Skill It Home

creative handmade family cooking


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Dreaming and Feathering Giveaway

IMG_6485I can already feel in my bones that 2015 is an amazing year for having some of my long-held dreams blossom and thrive. I make it a practice to check in with myself often, frequently reviewing my life road map and fine-tuning my soul compass.

I also love having a community sounding board for all these dreams and ideas that swirl around in my head. I thrive on the support and encouragement of others.

There is something so powerful about declaring our dreams out loud. It breathes life into them. It makes them real.

We get awesome ideas from our friends and community that help imagine things that go far beyond what we think is possible. That’s why I love Amy Bower’s Dream Lab, a three-week online lab to help integrate your dreams into your “real” life. As Amy puts it, “We are going to dig into the past a bit, share real life tools, methods, and resources for getting stuff done, investigate  various types of dreams, learn how to “own” your work and embrace failure and so much more.”

Feathering the Nest is about creating space that supports the life you are dreaming of, Dream Lab helps you clarify what that is. That’s why these courses are such perfect companions to one another. They don’t compete or overwhelm each other, and past participants who have taken both at the same time found them to be a powerful combination.

Stephanie and I are delighted to be giving away a spot in BOTH Dream Lab and Feathering the Nest to one lucky winner.

Dreamlab 2015 Banner

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below telling us what you are dreaming about right now.

You have until Tuesday, March 3rd to leave your comment and the winner will be contacted on Wednesday the 4th. Please make sure I am able to contact you to get you registered in both courses! Happy Friday and good luck!!

 

 


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Five easy dinners

IMG_4495Do you have those weeks where it’s all you can do to just throw some food on the table in a hurry? Maybe a week where you serve pasta with red sauce five nights in a row?

I adore cooking and spending time in the kitchen but you don’t get to do that as much with a two month attached to you at all hours of the day! I know he won’t always be this little and cuddly so I am focused on enjoying this time and surrendering to my new schedule.

While that’s my reason for needing quick and easy dinners, we all have something we’d like to have more time for. That could be reading a book, working on a passion project, or just getting a few extra minutes of much-needed sleep!

Even when life is busy and feels hectic, I’m committed to cooking dinner for myself and my family as much as possible. We do it because we greatly value home-cooked meals made from whole ingredients. I know the food we prepare ourselves is more nourishing for us than take-out. And it’s certainly much more economical than buying ready-made meals night after night.

Yes, of course we eat out or buy a prepared meal sometimes! But over years of cooking and trying different recipes, I can honestly say that often it’s quicker and easier just to make something at home. I am talking three-ingredient dinners, nothing fancy, and releasing any expectations about how things are supposed to look!

I truly believe that even the simplest dinner, when prepared with a little bit of love, is the most nourishing thing to put on your plate.

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I thought I would share five of my favorite meals that I make when I have limited time or energy for cooking. These are dinners that go together in a snap and you really don’t need a recipe. Instead, you can take these basics and make all the substitutions you need with the ingredients you have on hand.

Best of all, they’re made from healthy, whole foods to keep you nourished so you can take on your life, projects, and appointments with confidence and grace.

I hope these recipe ideas help you, whether you’re in the midst of a major life change (hello new mamas!) or just looking to carve out a little extra time for yourself. Click right here to download the pretty printable PDF I made for you! You can hang this inside a pantry door or post it right on the front of your refrigerator as a happy reminder that a simple dinner could be on the table quicker than it takes to order a pizza to be delivered.

Feed yourself and your family with care and compassion, a smile and a laugh, because that is really all that matters in the end.

I hope you savor and lean into the lovely things you find in each day, and feel free to leave a comment below with your own super easy dinner ideas!


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Cultivating a heartfelt home and embracing imperfection

Last week in my newsletter, I felt inspired to write about my decision to slow down, surrender, and allow things to unfold this year. The particular phase of mamahood that I am in, caring for an itty bitty newborn, requires great heaping doses of surrender.

So I started capturing the pretty moments in between the everything else (dirty dishes, diapers, endless loads of laundry, etc) and sharing them on Instagram. Looking over the photos, I realized that someone could possibly get the wrong idea of what life is like in my home.

You might think it’s all sunshine, baking, and flowers around here. Fortunately, these things are part of my life, but so are big messes and unkempt piles of books and magazines. Those are the things that lie just outside the frame of my camera lens.

My home and my life are not perfect, but they do reflect my heart and my soul. I have cultivated my surroundings over time, with love, purpose and creativity.

IMG_6072I have hemmed the curtains myself, incorporated the hand-me-down furniture, and refinished the scavenged dresser and bookcase. I’ve painted the walls with colors I love and that make me breathe with peace when I look at them.

The found treasures and family heirlooms are sprinkled throughout the house and arranged this way and that, in combinations that shift with the seasons. Many things have been released over the years to make room for things that are a better fit.

The art of making a home is an ongoing one. I change, my family life evolves, and our home must grow to best nurture and support us where we are.

I take joy and pride in this cozy nest of ours. I think we all want to feel that sense of pride and comfort about wherever we recharge and refresh ourselves. A beautiful home is not about aesthetic perfection, it’s about creating a nurturing space that allows you to thrive and bloom.

As I continue to work on my home to make room for baby August, I also love to help others cultivate a heartfelt space of their own. That’s why I’m so delighted that Stephanie and I will be leading a session of Feathering the Nest this Spring. We both love this class because we are delighted by the transformations our community members experience.

IMG_3118Women from all around the globe have joined us for this course to create space within their homes that support their dreams and desires. And most of the time it’s just by rearranging what they already own.

Together, we help one another clarify what we want to create in our lives. And then we create the physical spaces in our homes that help us attract and manifest those visions for how we want to feel in our daily life.

It’s good, juicy stuff.

So how about you, love? What one thing are you dreaming about creating for yourself this year? And how could you make space for that in your home? I hope you’ll let us know in the comments below…


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The year of allowing

IMG_0481I love the ritual of choosing a guiding word for the year. After learning about it several years ago, I started this practice myself, choosing the word POWER to guide me through the year 2013.

In that year, I got married, bought a house, was laid off from a job that no longer suited me, and was hired by a company with awesome benefits where I get to work with amazing people.

So many things I’d been wanting and dreaming of for ages came to fruition that year.

The following year, on a plane headed for our Caribbean honeymoon, I let a stream of words flow through my hand to the ink on the page. A long list of possible choices for 2014 appeared on the paper, most of them looking pretty serious in black and white…

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Trust…Release…Gratitude…Surrender

I love these deep, weighty, self-reflective words, but I intuitively felt a need to expand beyond this comfort zone. A greater challenge for me would be embracing something more light-hearted, which is how I came to settle on the word PLAY for last year.

And I relaxed. I let go of my expectations, unrealistic goals, and philosophical intensity. I chose to slow down, be present, and have more fun. We traveled and ate amazing food and I took photos everywhere we went.

There were trips to Cape Cod to see celebrate anniversaries, visit with old friends and walk along the water. I set up my sewing machine on the dining table and sewed stacks of blankets, burp cloths, pieced together two quilts and made cute little stuffed animals for the baby I was growing in my belly. I got to know my yoga mat again and cooked delicious meals in my tiny kitchen.

I felt like a kid again, playing with my fabric, toys and art supplies. It was a much needed retreat and hibernation that deeply refreshed my heart and soul. I felt more Leah than I have in ages.

As last year came to a close, I welcomed little August Bison and melted happily into my new role as his mama. I knew I wanted to find a word for 2015 that would help guide me through the journey of motherhood. There are significant changes I’d like to manifest this year in body, mind and spirit. But I have don’t have any idea yet what those small baby steps are to get from here to here.

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This is how I came to choose this year’s soul mantra…ALLOW

I don’t know how exactly how to bring my desires to fruition so I will be calling on powers bigger than me to help. I’ll be talking to my spirit guides. I’ll reach out to my community of friends and loved ones. I’ll be meditating on growth, expansion, and connection.

I can’t force things to happen, I have to allow them to unfold. I’ll have to create this year in a spirit of trust and faith and have the wisdom to allow the path to appear before I take each step.

Have you already found your word for 2015? If so, please share yours here in the comments so we can all help one another along our paths. And I’ll be sending lots of love and light your way, my friends.

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