Month: February 2017

Book Club! Chasing Slow

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Book Club! Chasing Slow

Three women, three yogis, three friends – that’s how it started, our book club. We are all so different yet so the same and that is the recipe for great conversation, good fun and the most exciting start to our book club!

The “club” consists of Kate, the hiking/cereal/yoga loving beauty who is my husband’s birthday twin. The similarities between these birthday twins are uncanny, and I love to spot them! Kate is a go-getter and bride-to-be with whom I can (and have) talked for hours on end about everything under the sun and moon and it is one of my favorite activities.

Beth is the brunette beauty who the universe called to be my friend. It wasn’t spooky at all the Halloween that she answered the door to a house my little goblins were trick-or-treating at. It was exciting! Mainly because I’d known Beth from my professional days commuting on the train. We had been friendly from seeing each other daily but when I met her again, it was such a pleasant surprise. Her and her husband came over for dinner soon after and the rest is history. Oh and she’s a celebrity on Ireland. I swear!

We are all at different stages in our life – Kate on the brink of marriage, Beth just coming out of the newlywed season and I am knee deep in motherhood. They keep me young and teach me all the trendy things that I don’t even know exist, although I don’t think I’ve admitted just how out of the loop I am to them. hehe.

Onto the book selection. Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner could not have been a better choice. It’s a read about life, identity, insecurities, motherhood and self – topics that are so dear to me and that I think and write about often. I’ve been moved to tears many times throughout the book, because I can relate to her stories and because they are just oh so beautiful.

We talked for 3 glorious hours about our pick, using the “Conversation Starters for Self Discovery, Courage and Truth” that the Chasing Slow team sent us as a thank you to pre-ordering the book! I know, SO COOL! We learned more about each other, and I think even about ourselves, as we thought through our answers and sipped kombucha, wine, beer and snacked on broccoli and cookies. I KNOW!

Erin articulates parts of motherhood that are so universal yet so hard to put words to at times. I can taste the experiences she talks about. I’ve had the same thoughts, visions and realizations. The same struggles of where do the kids end and where do I begin? The same wondering of who am I without a job? The same anxieties. The same journey in search of  so many things to be halted in the middle with tears in my eyes and on my hands wondering where the heck I am going and why.

The same but different. Because this is Erin’s story. Her bravery in telling it so true and raw is so inspirational and refreshing. Her peek into feelings of online life and work are rare. I find it hard to find honesty in the over-staged online world that I love so much and here in these pages, you find it. The most amazing thing to me is that Erin doesn’t throw up her hands and close her online accounts because they are superficial at times or part of the race to perfection. She continues to work and find balance and truth and brings her true self to the game. That is the best part and the hardest part.

How do we show up now that we know the rules? Now that we know you can look perfect in an instagram photo or facebook post…”Look how much fun I’m having!” Now that we know this, how do we balance it with truth in our everyday interactions? For me, I try to post real things – like messes and feelings – along with staged beauty, because sometimes you really do need a filter to make the picture look pretty right? Or do you?

 

 

How I learned to Make Soap

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How I learned to Make Soap

Like most things, there needs to be a curiosity and a  passion to explore something. I’ve always been drawn to soap, as strange as that sounds. Every market I go to, every little shop, I find myself sniffing the soap they offer. Soap and scents can take you places. Coconut scents throw me back to that vacation in St. John for my best friend’s wedding. Lemongrass makes me think of the time we stayed at the Four Seasons for another friend’s wedding. Orange bliss takes me to summer instantly. I love the time travel that this little vacation called soap provides. The soap I make can be found here.

One year for Christmas, Sean got me an assortment of soaps from Whole Foods and it is one of my most memorable gifts and I still smile when I think of those soaps even though they are long gone. Picturing him sniffing them and picking them for me is so fun.

I’ve also always loved science class, especially chemistry lab where you got to mix things up and experiment. Making soap is basically the same thing. You wear goggles and an apron and get to do fun experiments!

So, since I’ve always had a love for sweet smelling soap and have always been curious about how people actually make it, I decided to do some research. The following are the best resources that I found and they are a combination of books, websites, videos and small businesses. I borrowed all of the soap books from every library in Montgomery County, PA and I researched for about 8 months. It doesn’t have to take that long, but I’m painfully meticulous at times (rarely, but you must be with soaping) and I have two young kids so I was basically on their time. I hope this quenches your curiosity if you’ve been thinking about crafting your own soap!!!

  • soap queen tv – This is where I started. I watched all the beginner videos, took copius notes and learned the importance of safety while handling lye.
  • Books – Some of my favorites include:
  • Brambleberry  – An awesome site to purchase supplies and has a blog with tons of tutorials and ideas. I find the discussions to be incredibly responsive, friendly and helpful.
  • Make friends! It’s pretty easy for me to talk to people and I’ve found many local soapers to be so nice, helpful and encouraging. Specifically: earth and sky & Ethereal Soap Co.

If you want to make a business from your soapy adventure, I plan to share a bunch of those resources in the future so stay tuned. There are a ton of awesome people sharing on the topic of creative small business and I’m consuming the info at an alarming rate. You will most likely find me lurking in the library with stacks of books chasing wild children. The adventure never ends! : )

 

Transformation in Progress

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Transformation in Progress

Tomorrow is the big day. The day I register my baby for kindergarten. So many emotions.

When Brady was born, I shifted everything, as we parents do, and I shed all the skins that I wore and all the roles I thought I “should” be. A transformation that has shook me to my core. One that I thought was complete several times over, but I’m coming to find is a marathon journey that I am still on.

I’d love to carry a sign or wear a name tag that reads: Transformation in Progress. Wouldn’t you? Aren’t we all transforming every minute?

Now my days of caring for a precious baby are spent caring for a growing child and toddler. Soon those days will grow longer as Brady spends his days in a school desk and I’ll find a slower day with just me and little Meadow. Then she will slowly peel away for preschool – our first real separation. Ever. Much more on that in the coming years.

I’ve shed all those skins and roles since transitioning to motherhood and now I’m left with who I know I’m called to be. The real work of continuing to show up now that all the masks are removed lies ahead. I intend to follow my heart, my true creative nature to learn and share and create. It’s exciting yet unknown.