Thursday, March 7, 2013


Yesterday in therapy, it became uncomfortably apparent that I have been living with a lot of shame. Which in turn has lead me to develop a un-authentic way of presenting myself to the world. Ouch!
I am very vulnerable right now. I was laid off from my job (as a residential landscape architect) two months ago. I have been in a holding pattern waiting to see what would happen, my self worth tanking. My blog is not great, because it has been my un-authentic persona. Presenting my fake amazing all capable self for display. I am amazing but not in that way. I am amazingly flawed, vulnerable and scared.
The key to getting away from living in shame is to be vulnerable and authentic. Sounds fun, right? So, i'm jumping into the deep end and working on authenticity.
I like creating things. I am a jack of all trades, I can pull off most things fairly well and easily. I'm not fabulous at any one thing. I find this frustrating. I jump all over the place, have too many projects and ideas all the time, not enough time and never really master anything. I'm trying to embrace this about myself.
I like teaching people. I'm trying to realize I can still teach people things without being a master at something. I'm going to try and incorporate this into a new career path for me.
I sew, I knit, I cook, I parent, I garden, I design, I grow, I nurture, I teach. I am an artist. I am a verbal processor, a virgo and very crunchy (in the hippie sense, homemade laundry soap anyone?!)
I would like to grow a creative community for myself. Teach and learn authentically.
Currently I am excited about food. I'm a pretty good home vegetarian cook. I am creating recipes for my friends Herbal CSA (check out moondance botanicals in denver, Tonja inspires me!) Fun and scary. I'm hoping to develop some recipes for the CSA I belong to. I am setting the intention of creating an online vegetarian cooking class for people who don't want to become vegetarians but would like to add vegetarian meals to their life. Something in the vein of Heather's classes at 'Beauty that moves' and she does create beauty, thank you Heather!
I stop knitting when the weather gets warm, not sure why, just happens naturally. So I finished this sweater (details later) for spring and started some socks, which will probably hold over to next fall.

I'm learning to make my own sewing patterns. I just checked out a book from the library on this. First one up, a skirt like this from the Tea catalog. I am also working on how to make an fabric origami pinwheel for t-shirts that you can put through a washing machine (Only machine washable clothes in this house, ahem) If I succeed in this, I want to make a tutorial on it.

My kids and I are making felt flowers. Inspired by this one a friend gave me (don't know who to credit for it's creation, it's amazing!) The first batch flew out the door as gifts of gratitude to friends. Must make more, everyone should have a felt flower while waiting for spring.

I'm cleaning the garden beds this week. Finding all sorts of bulbs and one small blooming crocus - YAY!

Planting peas this afternoon and planning a spring equinox party for the neighborhood kids. This will involve making very sweet bird nests for them to find, can't wait.
Last one, I told you I jumped around and I have a lot of time currently, I have inspiration for an embroidery pattern/kit. I've done a smidgen of embroidery, so I have lots of books from the library on that currently.
phew, that felt good to write. Happy to hear what you are working on, creatively, emotionally and spiritually if feel up for sharing.
gratitude and compassion
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Quiet inside, snowing outside. We are expecting 5" today. Hurray, I'm not ready to come out of hibernation yet. Lots of crafting to do. I hope you find time for some quiet today too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dinner time, ack!

It's a common problem, which hits home with so many of us. DINNER... If I plan ahead dinner runs smoothly, its cheaper and healthier. When I don't, it comes down to me finding something, anything, to feed the hungry kids and leaving myself and my husband to fend for ourselves. Which for me usually means the kids leftovers.

About six months ago some friends and I set out to try a bunch of ideas and see what would make a difference. We are all mothers of young children and needed the ideas to be easy and things we could stick to.
Here are the winners!
1. Set a theme for each day of the week. This helped us focus when we were meal planning and got me away from leafing through every cookbook I own until my head exploded. The theme's were different for each of us depending on our families eating habits. Here are mine:
Monday: Pasta
Tuesday: American (for lack of a better word. ie. egg salad wraps, grilled cheese with tomato soup)
Wednesday: Mexican
Thursday: New recipe/choice day
Friday: Grill/meat (I'm a vegetarian, my family is not. I cook meat for them about once a week)
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Community dinner (we have a neighborhood potluck on Sundays)
2. Repeating monthly meal plan. I figured we basically eat the same things over and over again, why menu plan every week. So I made a monthly meal plan to use over and over. Well, I learned we do eat the same things over and over again, but in about a three month rotation. We were very sick of those first months recipes by the end of month three. Now I have three months planned out, this seems to be the right amount for us. I don't stick to the calendar exactly by the day. I just buy all the groceries for those recipes and cook them as they seem to fit in that week. I am now adding lunches as they tend to be on the fly and causing me stress.
3. Dinner exchange. I started a weekly dinner exchange with another mom at my kids school. I knew they ate similarly to us (vegetarian, whole foods). The idea was I would bring her dinner on Tuesday and she would bring us dinner on Thursday. This proved to be too much. So now we alternate weeks. Nothing fancy just double whatever I made the night before for our family and hand off at preschool pick up. Amazing how much I appreciate the night off, when it's our week.
4. Freezer dinner exchange. Once every few months I host a freezer dinner exchange. Four of us meet at my house. We each bring the ingredients for a freezer meal pre-chopped and ready to be assembled for everyone. Ahead of time we email what we will be bringing and what type of dish, etc. you will need to freeze it in. We chat and catch up while we assemble and then leave with four freezer meals. We always talk about doing it once a month, but don't seem to get there. Our first attempt was a disaster. We did not prep/chop ahead of time and it took us all day and we didn't complete all the meals. Learning from our mistakes, we find doing the prep work at home to be easy as we have a deadline and just assembling together manageable.
5. Community Dinner. We call is "Sunday Funday" and it rotates between houses. 5:00 on Sunday, bring something to share. The kids love it and we find it an easy way to wind down the weekend. Sometimes we have theme's, last time was middle eastern. I made falafel, someone brought hummus/pita, someone else salad. Store bought items are ok, it you don't have time. Other times, just bring what is leftover in your fridge.
6. Freezer list. Why did I not do this sooner!!! I now keep a list of what I have stashed away in the freezer. When I use it I cross it off the list. It's so nice on those days that got away from me or we have babysitter to take a quick look at the list and then grab something. Also, having it on the fridge helps me remember to double things and freeze some for later.
These were our keepers, always looking for more ideas. If you have one that is tried and true please send it my way!
Happy cooking!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Besides the 300 days of sunshine a year, one of the most endearing things about living in Denver is the mildness of the winter. We do get snow, maybe about once a month and sometimes in great amounts (I'm sure you have seen the blizzards during Bronco games.) The mildness comes in the days after the snow when the temperatures go up into the 50's and sometimes like today the 60's. Mid February! It's like a little slice of heaven.

So in order to keep my Vitamin D levels up and to ground myself I worked for a bit in the yard today. Not much to show as we didn't get around to a fall clean up and everything is mainly brown. Still, it did feel great and i'm hoping as the weather holds for the next few days (snow forecast for Wednesday) I can get out a bit with the kids and soak in some pre-spring rays.

I also found a few surprises!
My landscape tip for this week, is winter watering. When the temperatures are above freezing and you haven't received any moisture for one or two weeks. You need to water your beds. For Denver that is once or twice a month. I have one hose that is self bleeding so It's not part of my winterized sprinkler system. You can also just use a watering can and your kitchen sink. Gray water from cooking, bathing, etc. is also wonderful. If you do use a hose, make sure and disconnect it from the faucet when you are finished. This will keep the pipe from freezing. So get out there and see if there are any surprises waiting for you! (Or for those in the north east, enjoy a walk in that winter wonderland, spring will be here before you know it!)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, February 15, 2013

A cup of tea

My tea kettle has whistled three times today and I am still yet to have a cup of tea. It is one of those days.

I was laid off at the beginning of January, expected to go back sometime in March when spring appears. I'm a landscape architect and have been working the past eight years in residential design build. It has been an interesting month. Full of really hard and really wonderful moments. I'm uncertain about where my career path will lead moving forward.

I'm trying to savor the new pace of my life, follow my instincts and give myself time. This is very hard. I'm a Virgo!

One thing that has opened that I am able to savor is an increase in my creative energy. This has been amazing. I am so full of ideas and projects I am almost unable to start on anything. It's all over the board: embroidery, sewing, cooking, decorating, parenting, gardening. Once again trying to savor the pace, follow my instincts and give myself time.

Hence, i'm back on my creative blog (ack, just noticed how old my header is and it's going to have to stay that way as I no longer have access to a computer and only have my ipad and my iphone. Apologies in advance for the bad photography.) Might have to catch up with the times and try instagram. Hoping to share the past year of projects and keep myself motivated and moving on all the new ideas.

I had a weekend away with my girls last weekend (heaven!). I always come away so refreshed and wiser when I have been with them. One friend recently published a book, amazing! When someone asked her how she did it, she said she followed a writing coaches advice and spent at least 15 minutes a day on it. Although simple, this feels like sage advice. I feel like I could carve out 15 minutes a day for my creative pursuits and have a feeling it might just stretch a wee bit longer than that once I get going.

A few pics of projects from the past few months. Talk soon!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Look, mom's on the floor!

Please forgive the poor lighting I-phone photos. Just a little glimpse of morning yoga at our house.

Everybody loves when mom is accessible. LOVE

Time for tea!

- Julie