Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you are celebrating love even if you don’t have a someone special. Actually you do. You have you! And you are the most important person in your life! How about you doing a little self care and lavish yourself in raw chocolate? And guess what? IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Continue reading
This past weekend I attended a Shamanic weekend workshop. It was a powerful and life changing experience. We journeyed, we sang, we dance, we opened our hearts to perfect strangers, and we healed. I am still processing the whole experience and plan to write or do a vlog about it soon.
We were asked to bring snacks to share with everyone. It was recommended to bring something gluten free, nut free, dairy free, and vegans due to the dietary needs within the group. A few months ago I saw on a website, a recipe for brownies made with black beans, but I didn’t write it down. So I thought I would wing it and hope for the best! So here is what you need to make these spirit nourishing morsels….
2 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 can canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 vanilla bean scrapped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup, room temperature
1 cup old fashioned gluten free oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 9.5×13.5 inch non-stick square baking pan.
- Combine everything in the food processor except chocolate chips. Process until very smooth. Stir in chocolate chips 3/4 of the bag, then the last 1/4 of the bag sprinkle over the top of the batter.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and top with more chocolate chips.
Bake for 28-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.
- They are best when stored in the fridge.
They came out AMAZING!!!! So fudgy and dense. Not only are they out of this world delicious, but they are healthy for you too. These brownies a packed full of protein, fiber, magnesium, and iron.
This year is the year of manifestation for me. I have been discovering my own power of being able to manifest the things I want and desire. Back in January I created a vision board to help me focus and work towards the things I want to accomplish this year. I’m happy to report that most of my vision board has been completed or being actively worked on. I have a new job that I love. I have completed all three levels of Reiki training and now am a Reiki Master. I have improved my spiritual practice and continue to work at it constantly; I practice mediation everyday, and have even obtained my certification in meditation. I am currently working on another certification. I’m attending an extremely intense holistic health coaching and nutrition program, which will take me a year to complete. And the last thing on my vision board to complete is finally coming to fruition.
Last year I began researching and exploring the possibility of become a surrogate. This is something I have been wanting to do for the past 15 years. On September 18, 2014 I applied to become a surrogate. It was my youngest son’s first birthday. I went through all the paper work application, the interview, background check, psychological exam, medical reviews and after many, many months I was finally matched with a gentleman 2 hours away from where I live.
Today I begin the first physical part of the process by starting birth control pills. I am not looking forward to taking this or the hormone injections I need to do because of the synthetic chemicals and side effects that my body will encounter. But it will only be for a short time and it will be all worth it in the end.
At the end of the month I will travel to Connecticut to see a fertility specialist and have an internal exam. If everything checks out ok, I will begin hormone injections. I have spent the last few months cleansing, praying, meditating, and getting my body ready to undergo this miracle of life, so that I can share my body to help create a family.
Jason and I will be documenting this experience through blogs and vlogging. I am so excited to take this journey, and will go into this experience with no expectation and will allow things to unfold as they are intended too. I look at my beautiful boys and can’t imagine not being able to have them in my life. Not to be able to hold them when they cry, see their sweet little faces when they wake up, not to see them develop and grow into the people they are meant to become, and all the other wonderful and not so wonderful things that come with being a parent. I am honored and humbled that I can provide this for a family or someone that has not been able to conceive a child. And I am looking forward to this beautiful experience.
Earth day is fast approaching, and I was trying to think of something to do with my little man this past weekend to celebrate. I took him to the local Audubon Society to participate in the first Annual Pollinator Parade. This celebration was to raises awareness of the critically low numbers of Monarch butterfly population and the plight of many other pollinator species.
Children and parents were encouraged to don their wings and antennas, to participate in the parade around Gilsland Farm. They had a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course of the Monarch butterfly’s migration from Maine to Mexico, art projects and a bee display.
Me being the procrastinator I am, waiting until Saturday night to make Elliot’s wings, and at the last minute decided I wanted to make dream catcher wings. We joined the ranks of butterflies, spiders, bees, hummingbirds, and many other giggly wiggly creatures to celebrate these unsung heroes of our planet.
We learned a lot about the importance of pollinators in our ecosystems. Creatures like bee’s, hummingbirds, butterflies and other insects are largely responsible for many of the fruit and vegetable we eat. Things like apples, strawberries, almonds, pumpkins, cucumbers and many more exist due to the hard work of these amazing critters. I know I could not survive without almonds and strawberries, and let’s not for HONEY!!
So what is the job of a pollinator? They transfer pollen from one flower to another, fertilizing the plant so that it can grow and produce seeds and food. According to the Maine Audubon, cross-pollination helps in at least 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of the wild plants to thrive. Without them many plants would not survive. These are the little things we forget about as we go about our everyday life. Without pollinator, we would not have our beautiful fresh organic nourishing fruits and veggies!
Some of the things that that threaten the survival of pollinator like the Monarch butterfly and bees are insecticide such as Neonicotinoids, which are found on pre-treated seeds, the loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, non-native species and climate changes, all contribute to the loss of our pollinator champions!
What can we do to help pollinators survive?
- Pesticide Free Lawns and Gardens: This not only helps the pollinators, but also keeps your children and pets from being exposed to toxic chemicals.
- Plan a Pollinator Garden
- Set up a watering station for bees
Here are some additional resources to help Pollinators in you own yard:
Toady was Maple Syrup Sunday here in Maine. So farms with sugar shacks open their doors to the public to share the process of maple syrup makings. I was so excited to go! It seems like every year I forget about it. This year Elliot, Samantha and I went, but it was so cold!! Elliot was super excited when he first got there.
We didn’t get to see the process of syrup making, because Elliot had a bit of a melt down as we waited in line. Poor little guy was tired and cold, so we left before we got to see the maple syrup making. We did get to see some animals…..
So in honor of Maple Syrup Sunday, I made some maple syrup granola bars. Full of super food!
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of puffed millet
1/2 cup of mixed nuts
2 tbs of chia seeds
2 tbs of hemp seeds
1 1/2 tbs of lucuma powder
1 1/2 tbs of maca powder
1/4 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup goji berrie
3/4 cup of maple syrup
4-5 dates pitted and soaked in 1/2 cup of boiling water.
Start by soaking the dates in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then blend until completely smooth, and add in the maple syrup. In another bowl mixed all your dry ingredients and then add your maple syrup mix.
Next spread the mixture on a dehydrator sheet if using a dehydrator, or a cookie sheet if using the oven. I dehydrated my bars for about 5 hours.
If you are using your oven, set it on the lowest setting and check the bars periodically. You want them to be hard. Cut into sizes of your preference and enjoy.
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Contest Closes on Monday, March 23, 2015.
Recently my family suffered the tragic loss of my father-in-law. Although he was sick, we were expecting more time with him. His death not only opened a huge hole in my heart, but it also made unresolved losses and trauma from the past resurface. This left me in a severe depression and with the most uncontrollable anxiety I had ever experienced.
My life began to unravel and spin out of control. But I had a baby to take care of, a child in college, one in middle school, a partner that needed my attention, a house to clean, pets to care for, a job to go to, a best friend with breast cancer, and bills to pay. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I tried to hold on as tight as I could to maintain a sense of control. When you’re in the middle of chaos, sometimes you don’t know where to begin to regain that control. It’s times like this, when one is in crisis, you stop and just meet your most basic needs and… JUST BREATHE
As a culture we have forgotten how to breathe. In our fast-paced life full of soccer practice, smart phones, laundry, groceries, vet appoints, work, and other odds and ends we jam into our calendars; we tend to treat life as a marathon, rather than enjoying the beautiful gift it is.
Things in my life began to spin out of control over year ago. I began to notice basic everyday things becoming overwhelming. This was really evident when I had to go back to work after the birth of my youngest my son. With the overwhelming guilt of leaving my precious baby with strangers, completing an 8-10 hour shift in a job I didn’t like, spending an hour and a half commuting, caring for the rest of my family and pets, and cleaning the house; it was all too much. I felt as though I was floating in a large ocean with no life preserver. For a while I was doing ok staying afloat. Over the course of time, my body became tired and I struggled to stay above water. Every day I begged and pleaded with myself just to get through that day. Giving myself pep talks to get through the next activity or challenge that needed to be completed. But one day I went under water.
I remember lying in bed and telling myself the only thing I HAD to do in that moment was breathe. I got through 5 minutes. Those 5 minutes turned into an hour, which turned into a day, and then I made it through the night. The next day I was able to get out of bed, make breakfast, then lunch, and dinner. The days that followed got better and better. The only thing I focused on was breathing. I could not worry about getting to the grocery store, I didn’t need to cleaned the bathroom or do the dishes, I just breathed. Eventually things got easier and I used other tools, counseling, and supplements to assist in regaining my health and wellbeing.
I began meditating regularly. Throughout my life, I meditated and knew of the benefits it provided. But like so many others, I struggled to make it apart of my every day routine and found it difficult to settle my mind. I decided it was very important to me to connect to my spirit, a higher power, and myself. I made the commitment to meditate everyday for one month. I’m now 3 months into meditating every day for up to an hour or more. I took things slow and allowed my self to “mess up” and tried not rush the process. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to meditate. Find what resonates and works for you, and just simply start by breathing.
Here are some of the things I did to create a meditation routine.
- Start by taking deep breaths. Breathe in a full breath deep into your belly, filling your lungs and allow your abdomen to expand. Hold the breath for a count 3 then slowly allowed the release to count of 5. Do this 3-5 times in a row, several times throughout the day.
- For 5 minutes a day, twice a day, close your eyes and do the breathing technique in Step 1. You may want to play soft relaxing music, hold a stone or crystal in you hand, or something that helps you focus or connect to your higher power. As you practice your breathing techniques focus on that object you are holding. If you do not have an object, just focus on your breath. You may find you mind wandering, just simply bring your focus back to the object or your breath. After practicing this for a week, increase your time by 3-5 minute intervals as you progress. You can set an alarm or use an app (there are many mediation apps you can download) to keep track of your time. As you practice you will find you mind more focused and wandering less.
- Use resources to help. I found guided meditation helpful in keeping my mind focused. The more I practiced the easier it got. There are many guided meditations on Youtube, meditation apps, or you can purchase CDs online, at books or music stores. You can search by topics, so if there is something specific you want to work on; there is a guided meditation for it. I recommend using headphones for the best results.
- Practice, Practice, Practice!!!! The more you meditate and do breath work, the easier it becomes. It’s like any new skill, it takes some practice, but the more effort you put in, the more you get out.
- Create a sacred space just for you. This could be a corner of a room, a closet, a windowsill, or your favorite chair. When you are in this space, know you are safe. Put things here that make you feel connected to your spirit, your higher power, the earth, or things that make you feel loved. Use incense, candles, or essential oils to create uplifting scents.
- Keep a journal of your meditations. I have learned so much about myself from journaling, especially after I meditate. I am able to think clearly and calmly, and reflect on my circumstances. It’s in this space you are able to make the best decision and choices for yourself.
I believe that when you’re at the point where things are so out of control the only thing you can do surrender and let go, that’s when the healing can begin. Space is made for new thing to manifest. What is no longer needed is discarded, and new opportunities present themselves. That is exactly what happened to me. I began to heal and worked through old wounds. I discovered a new path in life, and remembered how important it is to take care of me! It’s not only important to take care of your physical needs, but you emotional, mental and spiritual needs as well. Take the time to do the same for yourself, now matter what your circumstances are. Do it without guilt and do it regularly. Especially if you have others that rely upon you to take care of them. Be kind to yourself, practice self-love, and just breathe….