Monday, October 17, 2016

As the days get darker, start to look for comfort you can keep.

Hello lovelies!
I hope your week was amazing, full of peace and magic.
Last week I wrote about radical self love and body positivity.  I know this is a hard topic for a lot of you and as the seasons turn, it may just get harder.

I spent a lot of time this week trying to figure out the best way to help our readers in these dark days ahead.  Fall can be a lot of stress for all of us.  We have a lot of holidays on the horizon.  There's a lot of work that goes into these celebrations and a lot of family time.  That family time can be just as stressful as the work!  Combine that with the days getting shorter and you have a recipe for stress, depression, and hard times with mental wellbeing.

With the day light hours getting shorter, we're also entering a colder period.  The colder it is outside, the more likely we are to stay inside away from the sunlight our bodies deseperately need to maintain proper vitamin D synthesis.  Low vitamin D levels are linked to depression so its essential that we all take good care of ourselves during this time.

So what can we do? Well first, I encourage all of you to reach out.  If you don't have at least one friend who can handle you at your low points, please reach out to a community.  Find groups online.  Facebook has tons of options for support groups in any situation.  Make sure you join several, you won't necessarily feel comfortable in the first one you find and your comfort is what determines how much help and support you end up with.  If you never share, you never connect.  If you have a large enough local community you may be able to find support with in person groups as well.  You do have to be careful in these situations.  Don't get so wrapped up in helping others cope with their lives that you let it drag your own situation into an unmanageable territory.  You count too.  You deserve to receive support too.  You deserve your own healing.  You can't clean up everyone else's mess.

I absolutely suggest that any of you who are financially able to, get a pet.  Studies have shown over and over again that owning and investing your time into a pet can be incredibly beneficial on the pet owner's mental wellbeing.  You have to be considerate of your cirumstances before you invest.  As much love and adoration as a dog can give you, they come with greater expenses than a fish.  I love my dog and Spirit loves her dog, we both have small chihuahua mixes.  While our dog food bill may not be crazy with dogs well under 10lbs, we have to think about shots (some states and counties require specific immunizations so be sure to research your local ordinances), grooming, leashes, emergency vet care (which can be very expensive and must be considered), and pet desposits on rental homes.  Cats come with similar expense lists.  I love a good floof (cat), they have such a strong nature and when they love you its because they choose to love you.  Its just that not everyone can afford the care that goes into them.  Thankfully there are so many other options out there, from turtles, to lizards, to fish, to snakes, to hamsters and beyond. Do some research on what it will take to give that pet a great life and what it will cost to maintain that life.  A pet can help you center.  Having something to nurture, care for, give affection to and watch after can be amazing for your sense of self worth, your confidence, and your mood.  People with pets live longer and enjoy their lives that much more.

If a pet isn't an option in your current situation you can still get the benefits of a pet through volunteer work!  Every humane society, shelter, and rescue wants your help.  Those with a phsycial location want you to come and interact with the animals.  You can help them socialize, take them on walks, assist with vet care, and help with simple daily care tasks.  Volunteering can be incredibly rewarding and you can help in any way you are able.  You don't need to put in full time hours, you don't need to be the vision of health.  All you are required to do is to show up and put in some effort when you're ready.  Many of these organizations offer short training classes to familiarize volunteers with policy and practices of the organization, but once you have your training you are welcome to come and go as you can.  They welcome the help!

If pets aren't your thing, I still enourage you to find your volunteer passion  Even if you only have one hour to give once a month, you will find that helping people with that hour gives you peace, purpose, and joy.  The people you are helping will be thrilled to have you.  You are an asset afterall!  Never forget that you are an asset.  You can meet a lot of like minded people if you put yourself out there in a volunteer capacity, and its never a bad idea to build your tribe.  If you have anxiety that prevents you from more hands on volunteering please don't let that stop you from sharing your gifts.  Every organization needs filing help.  You can give of yourself a little bit a time until the day you feel that you can take the next step, if that day comes.  If it doesn't, that's ok because you are still doing something great.

No matter what you choose to do this fall, please remember to take care of yourself.  Find a support group, adopt a new pet into your family, branch out in your volunteering or just read a good self help book to keep you motivated on finding and keeping your self worth.  They are all worthy causes.  You are worth investing in.




Stick with us lovelies.  Spirit is sending me a book soon to read over.  Once that happens, we'll be working on a giveaway with that book!  I can't wait to work out all the details and share them with you!  I can tell you this much, there will be multiple winners and at least one of you will win an essential oil diffuser AND a book.  We are so excited to host this giveaway and share some of our favorite things with you all!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The concept of radical love.

By now, I'm sure you've heard of the concept of "radical self love" and the concept of "body positivity."  These phrases sound incredibly simple, but they can be beyond challenging.  These concepts are so heavy on my mind right now.  I couldn't stop thinking about them yesterday.  In fact, I stayed up all night thinking about how self hate and lack of acceptance has harmed society as a whole. Deep stuff.

Now, as I said, I'm an adult.  I don't know many adults who haven't been on antidepressants at least once.  I haven't met an adult without bouts of unreasonable and uncontrollable anxiety.  I'm not saying I can fix your mind.

I repeat, I'm NOT saying I can fix your mind.

I do think that I can help you start to feel better.  I do think that changing our dialogue can help.  I do think that if we could start appreciating ourselves, that we'd also feel better.  I think that if we had started trying to love ourself when we were kids, we might to be so anxious or depressed as adults.  Some of us have big life situations that caused our anxiety and depression, but some of us have just hated ourself far too long.  When I was a kid, I was told "Its called SELF esteem - I can't make you like yourself."  True...but let me teach you how to start.

So what are radical self love and body positivity, and how do they relate to your mental health?

When you have a society, you also have a generally accepted standard of beauty.  Its been a different standard in different times, but one thing has always been the same - its been near impossible to achieve that general standard.  When the standard said that being overweight was ideal, the general population was starving.  When the standard said you must be very thin, the average person was overweight.  Part of the standard is that is hard to acheive.

We have applied these standards to our lives as being the only acceptable way to be.  We have decided that what we are naturally is not good enough because it is not that standard of beauty.

Radical self love means we stop applying that standard to ourselves.

Not only do we stop with this impossible standard, we start to appreciate the things we have and even enjoy the way we are.  We have to stop looking purely for the aesthetic and start to appreciate the function in our form.  We have to accept and love our bodies for what they do, how they work, how they make us FEEL and not just for the visual.  That's radical self love.  You stop putting on make up to "fix your flaws" and start wearing make up because its fun or just stop all together because you don't enjoy it.  You stop shaving your legs to be feminine and realize that your legs are not what makes you a woman.  Your womanhood is in your soul.  Shave because you like how your smooth skin feels, or stop shaving because its a chore and it doesn't make you anything but natural to have body hair.  Don't pluck your chin hair because someone told you that it was ugly to have facial hair as a woman!  Grow a damn beard, weave a daisy in it and smile at your own playful beauty.  Own your body.  Take control of it.  Stop saying "yes" because you are conditioned to think its the only answer.  Say "yes" because you want to say it! Say "no" because its what you feel!

Radical self loves starts with loving your mind.  Understand that your opinions are valid and your voice is important.  You have something worth contributing to the world and you are so much more intelligent that people will ever give you credit for.  Give yourself credit.  Smile at your own knowledge.  Marvel at how your mind works and how you connect dots that not everyone sees. Appreciate your humor, no one else has a sense of humor quite like yours.  You are a match to none, you are so unique and so bright.  You're a wonder in this world, you need to own that.

Body positivity and radical self love are sides of the same coin.  You have to practice both at the same time if you're going to make a big difference in your life.  You can start with one and work towards the other if its just too hard to break those patterns, but you will see a huge shift when you start to actively practice both every day.

Look at your body in the mirror.  I don't want you to see scars, stretch marks, sags, bumps and lumps right now, we'll get there. I'm serious here, you have this amazing collection of parts and no matter what works on you and what does not - you are a person who is amazing.  Look at what your body does just on a lazy day.  Think about how much blood your body is pumping every day.  This of how many breaths you take in a single day.  Don't worry about the tone of your skin, love your skin because it protects your body.  This amazingly large organ literally protects every other organ.  That's mindblowing.  Think of the bones that give your body shape and form.  Those bones hold up to so much wear and tear and they last through it all, they heal themselves and they keep going on.  Look yourself in the eyes and think about all the beauty those eyes have taken in.  Cover your ears and hear the blood rush through your vessels.  Stop taking you for granted, you are beyond understanding and full of wonder.  Now go back to those scars, appreciate that your body rushed to heal and protect you.  Look at those stretch marks and see how your body accomidated your growth.  Those sags are signs that you've lived and loved in this body.  That bumps and lumps are part of the journey that got you this far.

It won't fix your brain chemistry to love yourself.  It won't get your debt paid off.  It won't make your problems disappear.  Radical self love and body positivity will make your life better.  When you cut yourself some slack, you allow yourself room to grow.  When you appreciate yourself, you also appreciate others a lot more.  When you radiate love through yourself, you attract loving people.

It doesn't happen overnight.  It's work.  There are days where you don't want to be positive.  There are days where you'd like to go back to hating yourself because its easier and familiar.  Its worth the work.  Its worth comitting to yourself.

If you can't love yourself today, that's ok.  Today I'll do it for you.  I love you.  You are amazing.  You are intense.  You are interesting.  You are important.  If you need me, I will be there for you.  I'm on your side.  Please try to be kind to yourself.



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Introducing Sparrow!

Hello Lovelies!

I am Sparrow! I've know Spirit through the crunchy/naturally minded community for several years, even before her last child was born! It's been a long and beautiful time!

I am a 30something year old mother and wife living in central Oklahoma.  I have two beautiful children.  My daughter is eight and my son is turning thirteen on Monday!  Where does the time go?

I am a lot of thing.  I'm crafty.  I'm creative.  I'm smart.  I'm disabled due to a spinal cord injury, but not paralyzed.  I advocate for body positivity and human rights.  I'm a product junkie.  I'm a lover of makeup.  I'm a pet lover with a current herd of 4 cats, 1 red eared slider turtle, one common snapping turtle, and one very goofy chihuahua mix tiny dog.  I'm a research junkie.  I'm naturally minded.  I'm spiritual.  I'm constantly inspired.  I'm assertive.  I'm loud.  I'm also sometimes very reserved.  I'm chronically anxious.  I can muster up confidence in situations that are very challenging.  I'm silly.  I play pranks on my kids.  I'm a mess and I'm happy.  That's who I am.

I hope to bring you all some positive, uplifting support.
I hope to review fun and inovative products for you all to consider.
I hope to make you laugh with me.
I hope to learn from you and teach you as well.

I have done some professional writing in my life, but its been years so please bare with me while I get myself comfortable with this beautiful audience.  Thank you for allowing me in your world!


Sparrow



Monday, October 3, 2016

Changes and Growth

The last few years have been filled with changes and growth for me.  I have moved from Texas to Oregon to Washington.  My husband has retired from the military gone to school and is now working with the BLM, a government agency. 

I have completed school and I am looking to grow my own business.  I am learning that this is a process.   

Yet some things have stayed the same.  I still have 4 wonderful kids that need me, I still have to budget to make it and for me that means discount shopping, reviewing items, and affordable healthy meals. 

I am still my same old spiritual self and I am going to be sharing more of that with all of you.  I have recently joined the Sisterhood of Avalon.  This has been such a spiritual growth curve for me that somedays I feel like I am not the right person for the group and I can't do the spiritual work.  Then I remember it's my ego talking.

But another change to the blog is that I will be adding an a friend.  She will be posting reviews, things of interests as well.  I hope you guys give her a warm welcome.

I also invite you to join us on facebook.

I really hope you will enjoy this journey with us.  I hope you will find what we share funny, enlightening, helpful and fun.  At the end of the day this blog is about fun for the both of us.  Welcome to our world.

Basil and Grain Pizza Stone ~~ Review


I received this pizza stone to review.  I love stoneware pans to bake in and used to use them often.  But while we were in the military they seemed to always get lost, or broke that I stopped replacing them until Basil and Grain.

I jumped at the chance to review this stone, because I am now in a home where I feel the love to cook again.  Our last place I just hate the kitchen and didn't like to cook like I did when we lived in Texas.  Now I can't wait to bake and cook more.

If you read me when I posted before you know that I love to make bread and my family loves to eat it.  I have two favorite methods of baking bread, one is in or on stoneware like this Basil and Grain stone, and two in a cast iron pan.

When you get this stone one thing you are going to notice that is different from the stones you get at walmart and that is the weight.  This stone is heavy.  But solid now, know that with shipping breaks can happen.  I didn't have any as my stone was well packaged with padding on all sides.  They also included an instruction sheet that let you know how to condition your stone.

You wipe it down with a damp rag, don't soak it as you pain will take forever to dry.  Once you wipe it down to get the dust from transit and manufacturing off you put in your oven.  A cold oven and then you crank your temp as high as it will go and leave it there for about 2 hours.

Now when I did mine, I forgot that the oven was on until about 4 hours later and my husband turned it off.  My pan is fine.   There were no cracks, I did have a little discoloring but that is normal with stone.

Then I heated rolls on it for dinner,  It crisped up the bottoms so nicely and heated them so evenly they were yummy and perfect for our dinner.

Then I cooked a frozen pizza on it.  I am going to tell you something I was lazy and didn't wait for the oven to preheat.  The stone worked well and I had minimal sticking.  Now we put a second pizza in the oven on the stone after it was up to temp and it stuck a little more but it didn't shock the stone and the stone worked perfectly as it was suppose too.  But the pizzas those cheap little ones came out perfect.

This is the second pizza cooked on the stone.  Might be cheap pizza but it was good.


The stone is well made to allow the heat to get all around it and it heats everything beautifully.  And clean up is a breeze.  For me personally I haven't had to use more than a warm rag, I always place it back in the oven between use and normally I leave it in there when making other items for me it works.  I don't see my oven cycle to keep hot as much as normal.  And my stone is always ready when I need it.

I love Basil and Grain, I really can't wait to see what other kitchen products and hopefully stone pans they have.  As I feel they really support me as a cook.

You can get your own Pizza Stone Here

I did receive the pizza stone for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.  


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Welcome, to my new direction!!


I am making changes and starting blogging over.  You will find more reviews, I will start adding more recipes and budget tips as I find them.  You will also discover magical living tips and even reviews and readings from my many oracle card decks.  This is still staying a blog of my walk in life just one part of the walk in my life.

So since my last blog I have gone to school, graduated with a 4.0 and have my degree.  I am a hypnotherapist as well as a life coach and a mystic minister. I have moved to Southern Washington state and loving it.  Life has been crazy but fun.  I can't wait to welcome you back into my life and share with you all that I have learned.


Welcome,
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Monday, September 10, 2012

Day one is in the books!

Well, day one is in the books and I wish that I had done better but at the end of the day I tried and that's all that really matters right?

So for the book challenge I managed to read two SHORT books.  The first one was Feng Shui for Beginners:  Learn How to Apply Feng Shui by: Susannah L. Williams



I picked this book up for free on 9/4 from Amazon.com.  I am using this challenge to read a ton of the free books I have picked up over the last couple of months there is a great facebook page that I follow that post links to these freebies.  Pagan E-Books for Free almost daily they post tons of free books from different sources all over the internet.

Anyways back to the book at hand this book was short Amazon.com estimates it to be about 50 pages long. So it was a quick read before I went to bed.  This book was great for introducing me to the world of Feng Shui.   It give many of the basic info that one would seek out, but what else it does is state that what you personally feel is better.  I liked that because I didn't agree with all the rooms the colors were oked to do in to and everything.

The only down fall this book was that it needed an editor, there where a few places that were hard to read because of the editing, like words missing or the wrong word there and such.  But over all it was a great intro to Feng Shui.  Do I think it's worth the .99 they are asking for it?  Yes if you can over look the editing.  

I also managed to get in another book yesterday and it was short as well.  This book I picked up for free in May and honestly when I started it I thought it was longer but in fact it's about 6 or 7 pages long that's it!  It was Pagan Sabbats of the Northern Hemisphere by:Shanddaramon 



This book is still free should you want to pick it up.  I honestly don't think it counts in my read a thon challenge but I thought I would give it a quick review.  This book gives the bare bone basics of the Sabbaths. It give the name date and a one line reason for the holiday and an idea or two of what you can do on those days.  I really found this book lacking in info.  And I really didn't like it.  I am happy I picked it up for free and didn't pay for it.  When I pick up books on the sabbaths I want more to them.  It's my fault though Amazon tells you the book is short and it was my fault for not paying attention to the info given to me.

Now on to the Get off your Broom Challenge

Lets see I think I did much better in this Challenge now that I look back.  Lets review it by the elements.

Water~~Well I drank more yesterday but not as much as I should but I did drink more which was my goal so Yahoo!

Earth~~Well I was outside but near as much as I should have.  So while I did met my goal it wasn't how I wanted to so I am going to work at this one more.

Fire~~This one well, I went to bed at 11pm but didn't sleep until about 2 am.  And I didn't work out yesterday so umm ya needs work. LOL

Air~~ I controlled my emotions much better than normal and I did meditate for about 10 minutes last night.   Funny story the music that was one while I meditated from Pandora was from an elemental series and it was EARTH last night.  I thought it was fitting.  I find it hard to quite my mind sometimes when I meditate.  Maybe I will read on of my books on that today.

And Spirit~~I think the books that I read helps enrich my soul and the meditation as well.  But I really didn't focus on my spiritual self to be honest.  I spent so much time cooking, cleaning and studying and some time with a friend which I really enjoyed and needed, that I didn't focus on myself.   I am hoping to improve this as the week goes on.

I know that I can't be prefect running out of the gate but I wish I was.  I wish that yesterday had gone much better.  But all I really can do is focus on today and improve today from yesterday right?  I can't wait to see what the other challengers did and what they will do.

I am worried about when we move and we are in the car for five days or so moving.  That normally means bad for you food and not enough exercise.   So I am going to try and come up with a plan now though any tips from you would be great!

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