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How to take a mama’s mini-retreat

OrchardI always hibernate a little bit while there is a class in session so I can hold space for the journey we go on together. I have been loving every minute of Season’s Eatings and the amazing group of women who gathered for this session. It feels like a big warm hug every day to chat about food, cooking, and family with other ladies and mamas.

I talk so much here about slowing down and finding ways to be gentle and nourishing with yourself. So isn’t it perfectly ironic that I often try to squeeze just a little too much into my days?

I especially feel the pressure to scurry around and do every beautiful fall activity before the real cold and hard days of winter set in. And all that apple picking and hiking and walking is wonderful but it also left me feeling a bit spent.

So I did something wonderfully selfish.

I took a vacation day at work and left the baby at his awesome school and I spent the day doing things just for me!

I started off with some piping hot coffee and took a long drive in the pouring rain to one of the best yoga studios in the state. I took a 90 minute Yin yoga class that was relaxing, restorative, and had lots of my favorite hip openers. The teacher peppered in a few readings and I swear it was like the Universe had chosen them just for me.

“Have the courage not to resist.”


My heart needed to hear those words. They opened me up and sparkled in my mind’s eye. I can be the queen of resisting, working so hard to control things or trying to stop the inevitable. Instead, what if I could be brave and confident enough to allow things to unfold? What if I stopped spending my energy fighting against things that aren’t really about winning or losing?

While I was letting this all wash over me on the yoga mat, outside the gray skies and heavy raindrops gave way to sunshine and bright blue skies. I left the class and went to a lovely market to get my lunch and headed for the beach.

I wanted to commune with the sea. I wrote words in the sand and splashed my toes in the frothy waves. I made a heart out of softly worn stones and whispered my prayers to the wind.

  • Please help me allow things to unfold with ease and beauty

  • Please help me practice trust and connection in my relationships

  • Please help me stay connected to my courage

Feeling restored and nourished, I drove back towards home. I picked up my little man early and we went to the playground together. I was truly a happy mama and so proud of myself for making space for this generous act of self-care.

Mamas, we need these days. We need these moments. What can you gift yourself today, this weekend or this upcoming week to nourish yourself?

If you would like to share it with me by leaving a comment below, I’ll write it on a slip of paper and hold space for you with lots of love.


Giveaway! Sprang Cleaning with Merrick Weaver

MerrickSprangCleaningI am so excited to have an awesome giveaway for you today! Sprang Cleaning is a three-week online workshop to gain tools to de-clutter your life and your mind. The leader of this adventure is Merrick Weaver, a dynamic woman and mama that I met when she participated in last year’s session of Feathering the Nest.

Sprang Cleaning was inspired by Merrick’s year-long project to greatly reduce her worldly possessions. Together with her family, she eliminated over 30% of their possessions. She feels very good. She wants you to feel very good, too.

Merrick and I have both read, and been inspired by, Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, that has gained a huge following in the past months. Releasing clutter, clearing space, and creating room for what you truly love is an essential part of my life as a maker of a comfortable, happy home!

I recently went through my overwhelming yarn stash with the Marie Kondo method and generated two big bags that I was ready to part with. It felt amazing to pare things down to a more manageable and realistic quantity of yarn that I am excited to work with. Best of all, I reached out to my local Waldorf school and was able to donate my yarn so that it could be used by their young students who all learn how to knit!

IMG_7242This is why I can’t wait for Merrick’s course. I want to bring that same wonderful energy of releasing things that no longer spark joy to our household. It is one of my intentions to make more space in my home and life for my baby boy to grow and play! As Merrick says, “Reconnect with what really matters. Create space for more magic. If you’re looking for more space to be creative or just want to tidy up, this class will get you started or keep you going.”

Sprang Cleaning takes place from May 6th to May 25th. If you want to learn more about the class, you can visit Merrick’s Etsy shop by clicking right here.

Today, I have one spot in Merrick’s lovely course to gift to a lucky reader! To enter, just leave a comment below telling us what you’d like to make more space for in your home and in your life.

You have until Sunday, May 3rd to enter and I’ll reach out to the winner the following day!

Leave a comment

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Recipes

LeahKent_SweetPotatoPrepHow is it April already!? This first year with August is already going so fast, I can’t believe he will be four months old next week. He’s teething and practicing his skills of sitting up on his own. Babies are so impressive and very hard workers!

As my baby gets more and more active, I have less and less time to make dinner and work on my passion projects. This just means that Deliciously Slow, my new slow cooker class, is coming at the perfect time for our family.

I’ve been making dinner in the crock at least two or three nights a week. Usually I make something big enough that we can eat the leftovers a few days later. So I am only cooking two or three times a week for five or six meals. Woo hoo!

One of the things I’ve discovered about the slow cooker in the past few years is that you can make so much more than just soup, chili or stew.

You can also cook dried beans, whole grains, and even root vegetables and squash. I either eat them as is or use them in other recipes. Sweet potatoes are a favorite food in our house because they’re so nutritious. And they’re especially good for breastfeeding mamas, by the way! Sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamins A and C plus Beta-Carotene and a ton of fiber. Good stuff!

You can cook sweet potatoes in your slow cooker so easily and the results are delicious! You can also make a tasty sweet potato and apple mash, which makes a perfect side dish now that grilling season is here again. I just made this and paired it with green beans and pork chops and it was amazing. As in lick-the-plate clean amazing.

Here are the recipes to make these deliciously slow and simple dishes:

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Wash and scrub 4-5 sweet potatoes, leaving skins on. Pierce several times with a knife or fork and arrange in the bottom of your slow cooker. It’s ideal if they don’t overlap one another too much. Cover and cook on Low for 6-7 hours. You can test that they’re done by piercing them with a fork.

These can go savory, topped with salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil or butter alongside grilled meats. You can also dress them up sweet with a drizzle of coconut oil and a sprinkling of brown sugar, maple syrup, or cinnamon. If you have leftovers, they keep nicely in the fridge and can then be chopped and used in a hearty grain bowl or salad in a day or two.

IMG_1932Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Apple Mash

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced or chopped
3 apples, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 TB brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Toss potatoes and apples into the bottom of your slow cooker. Mix the maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together and sprinkle over the top of the potatoes and apples. Cover and cook on Low for 4-5 hours. Serve as a dinner side dish. This is so easy and yummy, you could eat it for breakfast, too!

These are the types of healthy, whole food recipes I’ll be sharing in Deliciously Slow, my seven-day class that starts on April 13th. If you’re not already signed up, this is a pay-what-you-can offering and I’d love for you to join me! You can click right here to learn more about Deliciously Slow.

If you make these slow cooker sweet potatoes, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


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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