Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Week 9 Making Do With Seasonal Flair: 12 Weeks to Seasonal Living Series

Every week of the last 9 or 10 weeks (I'm not exactly on track at this point!), I've felt more in tune with nature's rhythms and myself, and more appreciative of the so-called burdens of winter: The cold! The bad weather! The limited veggies! All the germs! Oh the darkness!

Each week I have been inspired to make the most of the season through the food we eat, the creative things we make, the way we move our bodies and so much more. As I take time to notice and document I'm made more aware and more appreciative.

To facilitate my journey and spoil myself a little along the way I've made thoughtful purchases to bring a little comfort and luxury in the throes of Winter: new taper candles, a new cookbook, finishing salts, cosmetic organizers and green cleaning supplies, cozy socks, loose teas and a tea filter, pretty decor and DIY materials for my seasonal refuge.

In Week 9 Kathie challenges us to "make do" with what we've got. Whether that means using only what we already have on hand at home in our pantry or craft closet, or using only what the season offers us naturally via produce and weather.

This is an opportunity to save a little money, perhaps, but more importantly an exercise in demonstrating our knack for appreciating what we have knowing we don't need to spend more money or own more things to have a meaningful and intentional home life.

You may have noticed I'm a couple weeks behind on this series. I didn't quite live up to this little challenge of making do and I tried to give it another week to see if I could pull something off.

Sure I didn't buy these cool ceramic dyeable eggs to celebrate the spring equinox, and I didn't buy this handsome cookbook or new workout pants as the weather warmed up and I started dreaming of green.

I did gift myself with other items like this set of Celtic wheel of the year cards to laminate and display, and also a copy of Ostara on celebrating spring. Oh, and I splurged for a seasonal color analysis that has changed the way I perceive and understand color in all its forms in my daily life. Ok, I did not give my best effort.

I believe wholeheartedly in the sentiment of the challenge but I also wrinkled my stubborn nose at it. Maybe because we were on the cusp of spring and I had lots of ideas and plans and well, whatever, it wasn't in me to exercise some restraint to make it happen. How embarrassing that I only held back a teeny tiny bit, and mostly didn't even try not to buy the goodies I really wanted.

What about you, do you appreciate the idea of making do? Would this be an easy or real challenge for you in your life and why?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Floor Plans: The Modern Nature House

Our Modern Nature house has an official floor plan! 

The house is larger than we had originally imagined at 2450 sq. feet. I suppose that's still "modest" by today's standards, and the second floor was constrained by the footprint of the first floor so everything up there is a little more roomy than we may have made them otherwise, but still cozy and I think it will grow well with us. 

Furniture in the rooms serve as placeholders for now. 

First Floor:
Andy's Workshop
Entry with Bench and Storage, half bath
Eat in Kitchen
Living Space and Project Space

Second Floor:
Guest Bunk
Master Bedroom 
Laundry/Storage Room
Communal Bathroom
Kid Bedrooms

There's a lot to be said about this floor plan. So many exciting subtle and not so subtle architectural features have been discussed but because we aren't really there yet in the design phase I will save them to share later. There is a connectivity and flow between the different areas of the house, which can't easily be appreciated from the plan alone.

The lot sits near to an abandoned rock quarry from which granite was gathered in the 1800s for use here in Richmond (buildings and monuments, etc.) and cobblestone streets all along the East Coast. We discovered the remains of an old cobblestone quarry road at the front of the property and the whole lot is very rocky (as I learned watching the soil sampling process). Hopefully there aren't any big boulders in the area where we plan to nestle the garage. Soil samples were taken from the lot yesterday to be analyzed and the results will inform the kind of footings needed for the house as it is currently designed. 

Exterior schematics are next and in the meantime we're obsessing about kitchens over here. These two photos continue to inspire the direction of our kitchen design.  


Soapstone counters and driftwood cabinets:

The thing I'm excited about right this moment is we didn't build into the design a "home" for the TV. We're going television free in this new house, something I've wanted to do for years!

Week 8 Seasonal Healthy Living: 12 Weeks to Seasonal Living

"Good Health" recommendations are always changing and remain not only tiresome to keep up with but also contradictory in nature. It really depends on who you ask, right? Current health recommendations and practices aren't necessarily backed by good science either so, if you're like me, you pick and choose from myriad sources what resonates with your own world views and then you apply it to your life in ways that work for you.

This week let's not get bogged down with what's "right" for our health, but instead turn inward to listen to what our bodies need and want for food, movement, and mental clarity.

Let's look to nature to ground ourselves. Let's look to the seasons to inspire the way we feed ourselves; the way we choose to move our bodies; how and what we seek for self care.

I had a year of Self Love therapy the year we moved back to Richmond. The boys were two under two and I had just left my DC job on the verge of launching MamaBorn.

"So what do you do for yourself outside of the gym and taking care of the kids?" my therapist asked. I sat there staring at her, unsure what she meant.

While listening to and trusting my body and the natural process of birth had always made so much sense to me, and Attachment Parenting's philosophy of listening to my mother intuition and trusting my baby had come very naturally to me, I realized then in the context of this new role and these new relationships that I had learned to power through instead of taking care. In lack of sleep, emotional stresses, and the very physical relationship that is mothering babies and toddlers, I had all but tuned out my own needs as a person—for hunger, for fullness, for movement, for rest, for solitude, for sleep—and it wasn't working for me anymore.

Adopting the Intuitive Eating* philosophy in particular changed my life and helped me over the course of a year to redefine my relationship with food but I couldn't stop there and have since expanded the concepts to encompass exercise and other aspects of my self care routine. Sometimes it feels indulgent, yes, but being in tune and able to provide myself with what I want and need to be a sane healthy human mother with plenty to give back to the people who matter most to me, well, justification isn't necessary.

This week the weather turned to the cool 60s and we wanted to be out in it so I'm focusing on the ways I moved my body this week.

The Sears Brothers in their signature embrace. Post dinner walk at dusk on a warmish winter night and the river is high. 

My sister and I made it out on Sunday for an hour hike around the marshland near our house. 

We went for what turned out to be a muddy marshland schlep this morning but the sunshine and cool air felt too good. As Spring nears I have renewed energy for what the rest of the year may bring. 

Another morning the weather demanded a change in plans from what I had penciled in as a treadmill run.

I drove to the gym this morning and hopped on the treadmill to run but then decided three minutes later to leave and drive all the way back to my neighborhood and down to the river for a nice long nature walk because it's 53 degress outside, my body is so sore and tired from my workout last night, and the James is just what I needed. I've been on a couple year journey relearning how to trust my body's need for things like food, and rest, and sleep. I think I'm getting pretty good at it. 

I workout Monday-Friday with a long outdoor walk or hike on Saturdays with my sister. (M/W mornings cardio and weights, T/R/F evenings personal training and long steady cardio.)

Now that the weather is warming up I'll be heading back to SealTeamPT, an outdoor fitness program I've enjoyed for the last year and a half. I took the winter off and hired a personal trainer instead, but I cannot wait to get back outside with the group. Rain or shine. It's a snapshot of nature every day of the year and it's a great workout. Spring is almost here and I'm done hibernating!

Does your current health routine serve you in the ways you need and want it to? 

In what ways can you look to the weather, the season, and the natural world to further inspire and guide your routine for fuel, movement, and self care? 

*To eat intuitively is to eat only what you truly want, when you are truly hungry, and stop when you are physically full. For more reading: The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. Through intuitive eating I have found my happy place where food is both fuel and pleasure, freely and shamelessly.

Intuitive eating resources:
Are You an Intuitive Eater? Quiz
Intuitive Eating Primer
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole (book)
The Emotional Eater's Repair Manual by Julie Simon (book)

If you want to check out the 12 weeks to Homespun Seasonal Living workbook that I'm using for these weekly prompts, check out Kathie's blog at Homespun Seasonal Living.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Week 7 Finding Seasonal Resources: 12 Weeks to Seasonal Living

This week in The Home Spun Seasonal Living Workbook we're asked to consider the resources we might gather to make our Winter intentions come to life. (PS. There are only 16 days until Spring!)

Resources may include: tools; skills; information; community events, classes, clubs, or organizations; and experts.

This week I'm seeking:

We have always had great luck with Yes it's a lot of work to find good childcare but the interface is so easy and we have been lucky to find exceptional women to nanny the boys over the last 5 years. I have three interviews scheduled this week!

Inspiration in the kitchen:
I am mesmerized by cookbooks of all kinds and add a few new ones to my collection every month.

These are next on my list:

 Of course a new month brings new veggies to the table too:

Makeup organizers:
Since switching to mineral makeup I have a lot of little jars rolling around in my makeup bags and they are multiplying because I can't stay off Alima Pure's website. I have three small zippered pouches in which I try to contain all my makeup and tools, but digging through them every morning to find what I need leaves something to be desired. My decluttering and cleaning frenzy has extended into the closets and I would love to streamline the way I store my makeup. These acrylic cosmetic organizers would be great to keep the powders neat and upright, but we don't have room for countertop organizers right now and we've put a hold on most home purchases because we're in the home stretch now of temporary living. I'll probably just settle for a bigger zipper case that can hold everything, but which one? If you have a favorite I'd love to hear!

Candle Supply:
With my new fixation on candlelight I've been looking for a place to conveniently, and regularly, buy pretty candles. Big Dipper Wax Works looks great for beeswax candles and Terrain has a new Spring inspired palette of candles available. Southern Season has a pretty selection for every month of the year and I bought some creme and light green sets there for March.

Cooking Classes:
The cooking schools at Southern Season and Sur La Table will release their Spring cooking class schedules soon and I would love to learn some new skills in the kitchen. I have a little vein of Castilian Spanish roots I'd like to be in touch with, or perhaps a class focused on Virginia or Southern heirloom recipes. I'm excited by the possibilities.

I met with a writer mama over the weekend and was reinvigorated to write again at I needed that little push. I love to talk writing and I want to get together with other writers more often. Especially mama writers.

This Winter, and through this series of posts, I have enjoyed a deeper connection with some of my girlfriends over our shared interest in seasonal living and intentional mothering. I appreciate these friendships so much because they are effortless, border on ridiculous sometimes (Ah but have you seen Fifty Shades of Gray yet!?)—humor is so essential these days—and also inspire, validate, and encourage my process. I need to lean into those friendships more.

What Seasonal resources do you want to gather this week to help you on your way? 

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