Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Right Friends

"While the right friends are near us, we feel that all is well.  Our everyday life blossoms suddenly into bright possibilities."  Helen Keller

I am blessed with many "right friends."  But today I want to send a special shout-out to my dear friend Reem.  I haven't seen her in about two years, but that doesn't matter- I can feel her friendship despite the time and distance.  When I lost my only pregnancy, she sent homemade cookies.  Reem had her mother, who lives in Palestine, light a candle and say a special prayer for me and our future baby in an ancient church in the Holy Land.  When IVF failed us, she sent a ceramic angel to watch over me.  Recently, she mailed me a hot pink book entitled, "Bloom."  It's filled with wonderful quotes like the one above, that inspire us to bloom.  I look forward to sharing more of them with you.  And I love the idea that her act of kindness will go through me and inspire you as well.  

Thanks Reem.  You've been the right friend for the past 14 years.  Girl, your friendship keeps me blooming.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Rogue Blog Post

This morning I received an unexpected blog comment from my sweet friend Heather: "What a great start to the morning!  It's great to see you blogging again, Kathianne.  I've missed you!"

This was surprising for two reasons:  1. Heather just had her fourth baby so I don't know how she has time to read my blog and 2.  I didn't write a blog post.  Yep.  My blog (or more accurately the email subscription service I use) randomly picked a post from March and emailed it to all my dear subscribers.  You thought it looked familiar, didn't you?

It appears that the Universe (or my blog?) is sending me a message to start writing again.  Or maybe there was something in that post that a subscriber needed to hear?

Anyway, my blogging hiatus wasn't planned.  A while ago I told myself I wasn't going to stress about the frequency of my posts.  I'm not getting paid to blog- it's just for fun and because I want to share some of myself (insights, stories, and art) with the world.  (As it turns out, connecting with my readers and other bloggers has been incredibly rewarding.)  It's just that over the past few weeks I just haven't been inspired to share.  Actually, that's not true.  A few weeks ago I wrote a really raw and revealing baby update but my husband respectfully requested I not post it.  In the past, I've revealed a lot on here which I assume has not been easy for him.  He's as private as I am open.  And this was his first request for blogging privacy which I had no problem honoring.  But after that I just got stuck.  I couldn't post about what was most on my mind, and everything else seemed trivial to me.  So no new posts.  Until now.

So, what to share in this new post after so many weeks of silence?  Well, there appears to be a bright light at the end of our long and dark (yet enlightening and insightful) journey.  The last few weeks I have been busy preparing for something very special.  And I can't wait to share that news with you.  But I don't want to jinx it.  So I am going to tell you after the fact.  I hope that's okay with you.

So until next time, nourish yourself dear reader.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Off to Africa

Dear Reader, I am incredibly excited to introduce you to my sweet friend Rebecca Bedard. Rebecca is heading to Africa on October 3th for 6 weeks of volunteer work.   Read on for inspiration!  I'll also be interviewing her when she gets back, so stay tuned for that update!  

(Photo credit: Karin Prescott, former TASAAGA volunteer)

K:  You are going to Uganda!  Tell us a bit about your upcoming plans.

R:  I'm leaving October 3rd, and will be away for 6 weeks (starting to worry about how much stuff I need to bring, yikes!!!)  I'll be working with a local non-governmental organization (NGO) called TASAAGA which is based in Kampala.  They've been in existence since 1995, and have grown tremendously since then but retain their core mission - to educate people about HIV/AIDS, and provide support for those impacted by the disease, especially women and children.  They have several programs, including a youth empowerment program that teaches kids the game of soccer, and incorporates a lot of HIV education to hopefully reduce risky behavior and prevent the spread of the virus in younger people; they run children's support centers and a primary school in a rural village called Sitabaale, and again incorporate HIV education - these centers primarily work with and provide primary school education for children who have been orphaned because of HIV/AIDS; they work in medical clinics and provide community education about HIV in rural fishing villages, as well as provide home visits for people living with HIV/AIDS; they run a micro lending program for women in villages surrounding the village of Sitabaale - the women receive business skill training and HIV education and a small loan (initially about $60) to begin a business that can become sustainable income for them to provide adequate food and education for their family.

I will primarily be working with the micro lending program, and when I'm not busy with that, will be working at the children's center in Sitabaale doing whatever needs done - stitching boo boos, doing laundry, teaching.....whatever it is, I'm up for the challenge!!

K:  How did you learn about this opportunity/ organization?

R:  I spent about 2 months researching NGO's in East Africa online, focusing on Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.  In the end, TASAAGA was the organization that did the work i was most interested in, that had been in existence for a long time, and had a great reputation.  A couple of the reasons I chose to work with them was  how open, friendly, and available the executive director was to answering all of my questions (he called me one afternoon after a brief email exchange to make sure he had answered my questions fully enough, and had me talk with one of the volunteers!) and the fact that in my research I found out a women who had been a volunteer there had been so moved by the experience she created another small NGO (collaborating with TASAAGA) that worked with children in some of the refugee camps in Uganda.
K:  A lot of people have plans to go to Africa (or somewhere) and volunteer (myself included!) but never get around to fulfilling that dream.  How did you decide to jump in and do it now?
R:  I wanted to do something like this a few years ago, but on a smaller scale.  i had been discouraged from doing it then by receiving feedback that to go to Africa for 2 weeks to volunteer would not be helpful - by the time i would get there and be trained, it would be time to leave, which would make the experience likely wonderful for me, but ultimately would waste limited resources of the program.  So i waited until i had the financial resources to go for an extended time, and also a boss who was willing to let me go and hold my job for me!
But that is the practical side of it. Truly  I decided to go now because I had been feeling like I was meant to do something, but wasn't sure what.  I had also been reading the book Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff, chronicling the resilience of women worldwide against arduous, violent, and oppressive circumstances.  So I started praying for the Lord to use my talent, skill, and desires in whatever way would make a difference.  I started volunteering in an after school program, thinking it would be that " something"  but it wasn't.  One morning in church, listening to the sermon it hit me that i was meant to work with women, to help them improve their lives.  for reasons I'm still not clear about, I just felt drawn to East Africa.

I chose to work with the micro lending program at TASAAGA because I want to try and make a sustainable difference in women's lives - even if one woman I work with is able to start a business so she can reliably feed her children, send them to school, keep herself and her family healthy it will be the most amazing satisfaction.  But I fully expect  what i gain from the program, and particularly from the shared experience with the women, will be so much more than I am able to give to them.

K:  You have a HUGE dog.  Where is Kane going to stay while you are in Africa?
R:  Kane will be on "vacation" at the "spa" In other words, he'll be staying at my parents, receiving innumerable treats, bellyrubs, attention,.....I will surely have a hard time "deprogramming" him from it! 
K:  How can NCB readers support you?
  R:  TASAAGA is a non-profit organization that runs totally on donations.  currently they are fundraising for two projects - the second phase of the micro lending program: the goal is $1200 for a group business - 6 women are looking to open a bakery, with all of them working, sharing profits,  and repaying the loan.  And the bigger fundraiser is to start a medical clinic in the village of Sitabaale, which will serve it, and the surrounding 5 villages.  currently people in these villages have to walk for 3 hours to the closest government clinic for medical attention (imagine walking 3 hours with your very sick child, or with a broken leg......)
The website for TASAAGA is   On there you will find a link for a donations page.  Unfortunately they do not have means for electronic donations.  If you decide to send a check, please just write my name somewhere on it - once a volunteer raises funds, I have oversight of them, and I want to be able to contact you and report how  your donation was used!

K:  Is there anything else you want to add?
 R:  I can only encourage your readers to  think about how they want to make a meaningful difference in the world, and go out there and do it.  You can make a difference in so many. many, many ways - be creative, follow your heart, do what moves you.  but most of all just do it!

Here's a bit more about Rebecca in her own words:
I've been a nurse for 14 years, and specialize in psychiatry.  I also have a master's degree in public health, and have spent time doing health coaching (where I luckily met Kathianne!), managing grant projects, and running an outpatient clinic.  I've lived in Boston the majority of my adult life, but am ready to move somewhere I no longer have to shovel snow! I have the most awesome dog, a 140lb bullmastiff named Kane - he really is like an enormous non-verbal two year old : )

Bon Voyage Rebecca!  Safe travels and we can't wait to hear about your adventures (and see some photos) when you get back.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bibliophilia: 12 Surprising Reasons Why I Have a Love Affair with Books

My husband and I just celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary last week.  
But I confess, I also have another love.  

Here are the top 12 somewhat surprising reasons why I have a love affair with books. Books...  

1.  Give You Power:  Knowledge is power and books are filled with knowledge.  When I have an issue that seems to rob my power (relationship issues, IVF, the adoption process), reading about the issue or how other women dealt with it helps me to feel more in control and better able to make informed decisions.  Fortunately, no matter what problem you have, there are always a hundred self-help books about it.  Unfortunately they usually have conflicting advice.
2.  Allow You to Be a Detective:  You can learn a lot about your friends and acquaintances by checking out their bookshelf.
3.  Make You Seem Intelligent: I was at a dinner last week when someone made a comment about John Galt.    I'd already felt super proud of myself for having made it through Atlas Shrugged -it's as long than the Bible- but at that moment, I felt incredibly intelligent -or at least well-read- at a table with 3 surgeons.  
4.  Are Portable:  I rarely go anywhere without a book in my bag.  So I carry a larger handbag, but they're in style anyway.   This habit is leftover from my days riding the T in Boston.  Public transportation without a book is a no-no.  Which leads me to the next reason....
5.  Increase Patience: Books make any wait pleasurable.  Long line at the post office or dentist? Friend running late?   Not a problem, I brought a book.  I can wait patiently.  And me being more patient- that's a BIG deal. 
6.  Build Character:  Memoirs give insight into other people's lives.  Reading about other people's tragedies and triumphs fills me with empathy, gratitude, and inspiration.  And as a bonus: they can simultaneously satisfy one's inner voyeur.
7.  Are Colorful Home Decor:  Our loft is filled with books that are arranged by color (a tip I got from a decorating magazine years ago.)  Being surrounded by books makes me feel at home.  And comforted.  
Disclaimer:  Color coordinating your books makes it a challenge to locate a book.  You have to remember the color of the spine.  NOT easy.
8.  Enhance Connection:  Although I've only ever been a book club drop out (too many books, too little time to read what I want to read) it was fun to connect with the club members for those first 2 meetings.
9.  Are Hangover Free Mood Enhancers:  When I am feeling down, getting into bed (or into a bath) with a book provides a temporary escape from my problems.  
10.  Provide Hours of Entertainment:  This year I decided to track my bibliophilia.  Since January 1st I've completed 21 books and have read over 6486 pages.  Yikes!  That's a lot of time I could have been cleaning, working, or perhaps doing something others may consider more "productive."  But I'm okay with it.  The words fill my mind and nourish my spirit.  What's really more productive than that?
11.  Are Inexpensive:  You can get them for cheap at the Goodwill or free when you swap with friends or visit the public library.  I mourn being able to go weekly to the Boston Public Library.  Now I frequent bookstores (so soothing) and rarely leave without a purchase (not so soothing).  In fact, as I type this I'm at Borders.
12.  Are A Side-Effect Free Sleeping Aid: I read every night when I get in bed.  It makes my eyes tired and helps me fall asleep.  Otherwise I lie there thinking, thinking, thinking...... 
So, what to read? Getting book recommendations is the best.  I love when friends pass along their favorite reads.  Please leave a comment and let me know what books you've enjoyed and which ones have left their mark on you.  I've done the same for you below.

Here are my favorite reads so far from this year.   
1.  The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs.  
2.  Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
3.  The Other Bolyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory
4.  The Help by Kathryn Stocket
5.  Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
6.  Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome to Texas

We just moved into our new place on Thursday.  We're up to our ears in boxes and without cable, internet, or a clue where anything is (in the apartment or in Dallas).  But I wanted to write a quick post and let you know we have arrived.  Our stuff has arrived.  And I'm now officially a Texan.  

It still seems surreal that we are living in Texas!  
But I don't have to look far to be reminded that yes, we are in Texas.
In Boston we had statues of Sam Adams.  
In Atlanta, MLK, Jr.  
In Dallas, cowboys and cattle.
Nice chaps!  And spurs.  

I'm sending lots of love from the Lone Star State to all my friends across the country. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And the winner is.....

Congratulations to Rachel Awes!  She is the winner of the first NCB giveaway.  Rachel will receive a $70 gift certificate to CSN Stores.  Not too shabby!  (FYI: I used the random number generator at to find our winner.  Such a nifty little service.  Rachel was the 5th post of 19 and 5 turned out to be lucky.)  

Thanks to all who participated and keep on reading- I plan to do lots more giveaways! 

Monday, August 30, 2010

The First Ever Nourish. Create. Bloom. Giveaway!

Are you feeling lucky?  I hope so because one lovely NCB reader will win a $70 gift certificate to 200+ CSN Stores!  

I've been scouring the CSN sites and here are a few items on my wish list for our new Dallas home: retro kitchen tables, luxury bedding, colorful throw pillows, and a stainless steel cookware set.  I'm sure you will find something (maybe shoes, bags, or yoga supplies?) that will make your home or closet bloom!

It's easy breezy to enter: All you need to do is write a comment by midnight (EST) September 6th.  The comment needs to be ON THE BLOG (not on Facebook or via email).  The winner will then be announced shortly after the contest closes.  Be sure to check back to see if you are the lucky winner!

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Note:  The gift certificate does not include shipping costs but many items in the stores have free shipping.
And last but not least: a big thanks to CSN Stores for sponsoring our giveaway!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Embracing Change

The hubby and I are moving to Dallas in less than 2 weeks.  My mind has been swirling.  When I start to think about the move, my breathing becomes shallow and I start to feel anxious.  I haven't been inspired to write.  So, it's been a long time since I wrote my last post.  (Yes, I do realize my last post was about Jean DiGiovanna moving and how she found the courage to do so.  But even when we make a decision to do something, it's okay to feel a bit unsettled, don't you think?)

We've been in Atlanta for 2 years now.  And two years ago I was feeling this same way.  It was hard to move from Boston.  I was there for 10 years!  At the time I didn't know how much I would grow to love Atlanta and my friends here.  How this city would become my home.  I feel like I finally know my way around.  We've found our favorite coffee shops, vegetarian-friendly restaurants, and eco-dry cleaner.  I found my sewing circle, a Spanish tutor, Crafty Chick Night, and a great dermatologist (not an easy task).  It took me two years to get here and now we are moving again and starting over once more.  I know that I will make new friends, my old friends can visit, there will be new places to discover, and new opportunities.  But still, I feel a sense of loss.  It takes time to build a community.  And in the meantime, there will be some lonely times ahead.  I don't want to linger in the sadness.  I'm just acknowledging it and moving forward.  

So I've been practicing the breathing and stress management exercises that I teach to my clients.  I've been journaling.  And I've been reading this quote to bring me peace:

Change is not something that we should fear.  Rather, it's something we should welcome.  For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they're meant to be.  -anonymous

You know I love a quote that mentions blossoming!  I also discovered this beautiful art journal from Andrea Schroeder at ABC Creativity that's gotten me inspired:
The powerful words in her journal have encouraged me to embrace this move: 

i embrace change.  i am strong.  i am brave.  i trust life.  i trust myself.  even when it's difficult or even hard, i can dive into the unknown.  i trust the process.  i make friends with change.  i know that there are always gifts on the other side.  -Andrea Schroeder

So here I come Dallas.  I'm ready for your gifts.  I'm ready to blossom and bloom.  And I'm even ready to find a new dermatologist. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Meet Jean DiGiovanna

Today I'm introducing you to someone who made a difference in my life.  Readers, meet Jean DiGiovanna.

Back in 2005, I saw Jean for life and career coaching.  Within months of meeting Jean, I quit a job that was no longer satisfying and starting checking off items on my lifetime to-do list (including attending a Spanish immersion school in Mexico for 5 weeks by myself and trying out for the Patriots Cheerleading Squad at 32.)  She helped me clarify my values and make intentional choices based on them.  Even now, when I need to make a big life or career decision, I go back to the handouts and exercises that we did together.  I'm also positive her coaching influences the nutrition and wellness coaching I do now.   

Her services weren't cheap, but it was money I invested in myself.  And worth every single penny.  

Below is my insightful interview with Jean.  Read on and you'll see just why she made such an impact on me.  Enjoy, my dear readers!

K: In the midst of a down economy and after 25 years living in Boston, you are moving clear across the country and starting over.  Tell us about how you made this courageous choice.
J: It’s really hard to pinpoint exactly how I made the choice, but, like many choices in life, it’s all about timing and “heeding the call”.  While I have a great life and business here in Boston and great friends and support structure, I never pictured myself living here long-term.  I guess you could call it a “sixth” sense, but it was just something I felt.  At the same time, I never knew where I saw myself, so I continued to build my life here.  The biggest catalyst was when my father’s health began to improve early this year and that relief and gratefulness had me question my own life.  When you experience a loved one getting ill and almost losing them, it makes you realize how precious life is.  He now has a second lease on life and it had me take a hard look at what I really want.  I knew it was time for me to stop wondering where I was supposed to live and start living there! If not now, than when?   It was like my soul would no longer let me “hang out” in the not knowing anymore.  What helped me get clear were simple questions like “Where could I see myself? Where would I like to live? What places bring me alive?”  Colorado and California came to me and although both places are far away, the fact that I have family, friends and colleagues in both places definitely helped.  I took 2.5 weeks in March and travelled to Colorado with the intention of “could I see myself here” and as soon as I drove from the airport to Denver and saw the Front Range, I knew.  There was something about the mountains that really affected me and I knew I had to be closer to them.  I also came to discover over the last few years how much nature and being outdoors feeds my soul.  It did take me a while for my “mind” to come around to the idea and stop fighting the fear, but that is why I have a coach myself and others who support me and help me stay grounded and focused on what is important.  In the end, it was about following my soul even though I didn’t exactly know where it would lead me.  

K: What advice do you have for others who may be hesitant to take risks and make big changes?
J: If you were not hesitant or fearful in some way, you probably are not human.  Of course, everyone has differing levels of fear and hesitation, but it is completely common to feel that way.  So, the first piece of advice I have is stop making yourself wrong!  The best thing to do is acknowledge the hesitation or fear and get curious about it.  You don’t have to dwell in it, but explore what is there, not why it’s there, but what is there.  What are you afraid of?  What stops you from taking the leap?  Journal your answers, get support, but most of all, bring it out in the open because if we don’t move through it, it will just show up again in some other form.  So, in a nutshell, acknowledge it, embrace it, get curious about it and you will begin to notice it will not have as much control over you as it once had.

K: Tell me a bit about your business.  What are your clients seeking when they come to see you?
J: I will focus specifically on my coaching business here.  When clients come to me, they want to seek greater fulfillment in their life and/or work.  They want to discover their soul’s purpose or calling.  They seek to have better relationships at work and at home.  They come to me to help them find their voice, speak their truth and stand more fully in their personal power.  They come to me because they want to feel more “alive” in their life.

K: What are the biggest misconceptions with life and career coaching?
J: That it’s therapy.  That they speak and we just listen and nod and tell them what to do.  It is completely the opposite (except the listening part!).  A great coach is one who can listen openly without judging and responds with powerful questions.  The premise of coaching is the client has the answers.  Often, it’s the right question that just hasn’t been asked.  Coaching can be therapeutic, but it is not therapy.  We don’t go back to dig up the past.  We start with today and look at what you want in the future.  We will explore what gets in the way and help you move through it.

K: What might your clients be surprised to know about you?
J: That, like many others, I wait until the last minute to do things.  But, instead of calling myself a procrastinator and making myself wrong every time I do it, now I just honor that it’s how I am and it’s the way that I process.  I really do mull over what I’m working on for a while before putting it down on paper.  It doesn’t mean I’m not working on it, but from an outside perspective, it can easily appear that way.  What I say is that I “marinate,” instead of procrastinate!  The other thing that might surprise them is that I’m not always busy doing a million things just because I do have several businesses and enjoy many things.  My secret is that I do many things, but I do all of them part-time.  That is what allows me to maintain several businesses.  It’s also what helps me stay creative and engaged.  From the outside, though, people think I’m superwoman and that because there are so many different businesses I have, I must be busy all the time.  Balance is extremely important to me and when I’m out of balance, life is not good.  So, as soon as I begin to feel that, I quickly do what I need to get back in balance. 

K: You are also creative (writing poems and making jewelry.)  How does that impact your coaching business?
J: It feeds my business and vice-versa.  The great thing about completely different areas is that they use different parts of my brain and energy.  If I were just focusing on one thing or one service in my business, I would be bored to death.  It’s what keeps me feeling alive and sparks my creativity.  The writing and painting and jewelry making are very meditative for me so they also balance out my energy and help rejuvenate me.  It’s so important to recharge your batteries whether it be reading, doing yoga, meditating or playing with your kids or pet.  It doesn’t matter what it is – what matters is that it feeds your energy and helps bring you alive again.

K: What else do you do to nourish yourself?
J: I love to salsa dance and it’s a great way to get out of my head from “thinking” mode and to move my body.  That is also why any kind of exercise or body movement is great for balancing out your energy.  Partner dancing allows me to “let go” and let the man lead.  I believe dancing is the best metaphor for partnership and if 2 people can truly learn how to dance, it adds so much more dimension to the relationship.  Dancing is what helped me learn how to “let go” in life and allow myself to receive.  And, the interesting thing is as I began to learn how to use my voice more and stand in my personal power and my feminine energy, my dancing would greatly improve.  I also enjoy baking and have always had a sweet tooth and I could sit in front of a cooking show for hours and not get bored!  I don’t watch a lot of TV and may be the only person who still has rabbit ears and a converter box with my TV, but I always say, if I had cable, I would like to just order 2 channels, the Food channel and HGTV! 

One of the other ways I nourish myself is to get outdoors.  When things seem crazy, overwhelming or I just need to rest my mind and regroup, being with nature and out in the fresh air, whether it be walking in the snow or enjoying a great summer day, being outdoors is very grounding for me.  That is also one of the biggest catalysts to moving out to Colorado – there is so much outdoor space that it utilized and enjoyed by so many!

K: Do you have any other advice you would like to share with NCB readers?
J: Thank you for asking!  Do what makes you come alive.  If you are not sure what that is, begin to track the things and people and surroundings that make you feel good.  Start noticing patterns and begin to pursue them.  Don’t wait for life to fulfill you.  Follow your energy and what you love to do because when you do that, life will support you.  Incredible people will come across your path and great opportunities will present themselves when you follow your passions.  Be gentle with yourself and honor exactly where you are.  And, know that divine timing is always perfect!

See what I mean?  Isn't she just amazing?  

To learn more about Jean, visit her here:

Here's Jean embracing life on a recent trip to Colorado.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sending Out Love Today

I have to give credit to Rachel Awes for this post idea.  
I'm copying her.  
But really, can you copy sending out love?  
Can too much love be sent out?  
I think not.  
She dropped the love rock in the pond 
and I am just happy to be a ripple.  
Will you be a ripple too?

On an uninspiring note:  If you are getting Nourish. Create. Bloom.  sent to you via email, can you let me know if it's arriving in an unreadable format?  I've heard from 2 readers that the emailed format is funny, but others seem to have no issues.  Your input is most appreciated.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Who Are You?

"Have you ever been asked this question: “Who are you?”
Have you ever asked yourself this question: “Who are you?”
What’s your answer?"

These are the words of Shawn Poh.  And I was inspired by his post at Lovtoo.  He writes that he asks himself this everyday.  I think that's a wonderful idea.

Recently I've had to ask myself this question often.  See, I've been clearing out my closet.  And in the past year or so I've realized: I am no longer the 20-something girl who wears mini-skirts.  So why were they were still in my closet?  Well, so many memories were tied up with those wonderful little skirts and dresses.  

But I had to clear out the old to make way for the new.  
The self that I am now.  
And just who is that self?  Well, here's my answer to Shawn Poe's question.

I’m a dietitian, artist, wellness coach, personal trainer, & writer.
I’m a lover of life.
I’m a friend, wife, sister, daughter, & aunt.

I’m a big fan of the Wizard of Oz.
I’m the owner of too many self-help books.
I’m grateful that I’m healthy.
I’m occasionally amazed that I managed to snag my husband.

I'm a crafty chick.  
I dig decoupage.
I'm a Charlotte.
I’m happiest in sundresses and sandals while sitting in sunshine.

I am no longer a mini-skirt wearing gal.
I’m the creator of Nourish. Create. Bloom.
I’m REALLY into glitter.
’m trying to become a mama.

I'm going to be a mama.  And one that sparkles!

Be sure to read the Lovtoo post.  Shawn's own answer is inspiring.   

Who are you, my dear reader?  I'd love to hear your answer to this question. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Nine years together.  I'm so lucky.

Click below for the details &

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bruschetta Night

My BFF Julia was visiting from Arizona last week.  She has three kiddos and lives clear across the country so we don't get much alone time together anymore.  But both sets of her in-laws generously took the kids and we had 5 days of girl time!  It was such a treat. 

For dinner one night we made 3 different kinds of bruschetta.  (I'm not sure if they all classify as bruschetta, but I call it Bruschetta Night so please just go with it.)  All three options are vegan, although I did throw some fresh mozzarella on my traditional bruschetta.

Here's us slaving away while sipping wine. 

And here are the creations:
1.  traditional bruschetta with artichoke hearts, 
tomatoes, garlic, basil, and onions with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and
2. homemade hummus with marinated peppers

3.  sautéed mushrooms, onions, spinach, 
and garlic with balsamic vinegar and olive oil

All three were a big hit 
and earned a high five from my hubby.  
(One never knows when creatively cooking sans recipe.)
And now I'm a convert to homemade hummus-  
so easy and so much tastier.

PS:  I had my husband proofread this post, 
and he said his mouth started watering just looking at the photos.  
So I think it's a dinner I'll be making again soon 
(although sadly without Julia).