Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Celebrating the Spring Equinox 2018

I always seem to find myself at the last moment whipping together a way to celebrate all the holidays.  I knew the Spring Equinox was coming up but up until that morning I had no idea how I wanted to celebrate with my kiddos.  It was actually their first day back at school since spring break, ironic really, and I wasn't sure what we would even have time for.  But on my way home from work I stopped at the store and picked up a bouquet of flowers, two small herbs and some spring treats.  I rarely buy candy and some treats are only allowed on certain holidays like these candy covered almonds.  Spring Equinox only and sometimes on Easter at their Nonnie's house.
Luckily, we had some flower crown bases to start with from the Renaissance Festival and from birthday gifts so I was just adding fresh flowers to wire crowns we already had using hemp sting I already had at home as well.
 I left the stems on the flowers to give me something to tie to the crown, and had the girls place them out where they wanted them, then I just wrapped the hemp around and around until all the flowers were attached,
Vera snapped this one of me and I actually love it.
As for our plants we have super invasive grass so we just dig holes and trim back the grass/weeds as the plants grow.  For the Equinox we added thyme.
 and we watered our parsley which has been taking over!
 and our sage.
and since I was picking up Spring treats I opted for these organic coconut cookies, as I'm trying to avoid gluten and processed sugars.  but more on that in another post.

What are your favorite ways to celebrate Spring?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Just go.

Sometimes you just need to get in your car and drive.  Don't have a plan or a destination in mind, or if you do that's okay too.  But checking out of this digital world and enjoying the physical natural world is cool too.  So next time you have 24 hours without work or commitments hop in your car and sleep outside.  I know I will.
Apache Lake Area, Arizona. 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

Renaissance Festival 2018

A couple of weekends ago, I slipped away with my humans and headed to Medieval times for the 30th Annual Renaissance Festival.  The event is hosted in Apache Junction about 50 minutes east of Phoenix, so we prepared for the journey across town and multiple freeways and got there midday.  Thankfully, the weather was in a cold phase and hats and jackets were even necessary.n
If you've never been the the Renaissance Fest. The venue is full of permanent structures so it really feels like old villages.
Our first stop was of course the bakery.
We got a fancy croissant filled with cheese and jam.  warmed to perfection.
Next, we stumbled upon the Court Jester performing on stage.
Yes, that's a real sword in his mouth balancing on his tonge.
My littlest carnivore, as a mostly vegetarian, and sometimes vegan mama I am honestly shocked at how much meat this child craves.  She asked for this turkey leg herself and of course as moms we all know sometimes we have to sacrifice our morals if it means our kids are going to actually eat something!
Next stop was this year's newest feature the mermaids.  A real mermaid in a tank!  only took an hour and a half line to get inside to see her ourselves.
It has been a few years since I'd been to the festival about 12 probably, so I was impressed to see how much it has grown and there is actually quite a bit off free stuff to do included with the cost of the ticket, honestly the girls would have played on this playgound all day if I had let them!
Walking around we passed by an outdoor kitchen and the kitchen witch in me burst!  It on my life goals to create an outdoor kitchen complete with cauldron and kettle just like the one pictured here.
After exploring a bit we found out way to the Jousting Arena, my littlest is obsessed horses and unicorns so when we told her there were real horses and we could see them she literally jumped for joy and squealed a bit!
We had so much fun, I definitely plan on making an annual tradition out of it, it's fun to play make believe with these kids as they get older, play dress up (even though we didn't really have dress up clothes this year, next time!) and just take a day to be present with them.  Did you go this year? What was your favorite activity or souvenir?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Sacred art of Henna on Expecting Mothers.

I was recently asked to henna the bellies of these beautiful mamas to be.  I birthed with a local midwife and her team of midwives now opperate the Phoenix Birth Center in downtown Phoenix.  They are a community based birth center with lots of love for their mamas.  They host monthly circles for the mamas due that month to give them henna, love, advice and create a space for dialog between expecting moms.  
Since this mama had already birthed her sweet baby boy we thought adorning her chest and home of her son's nourishment would be appropriate.  I love that henna is a form of body art that can adorn each phase of our lives.  Many religions and cultures use it for marriage but here in the west we often use it for bellies, from everything I've learned of this shared art form, there is no right or wrong, it's all about forming a sacred connection between the plant, the people and the story they are sharing.
This mama's belly was calling for a mandala, her perfectly round belly just needed something big and bold so I opted for a clean design with little shading or fill (I was on a time constraint of about 30 minutes per mama).  I made sure to use thick bold lines so this would stain well.  When I was done she showed me her shoulder tattoo of a mandala, and I love that when we just let the medium, in this case henna, speal and we don't get in the way of that or over think it, the connections are so interesting!
I am happiest when surrounded by strong women and grateful hearts.  Henna is a connective + diving plant and it brings together cultures and stories.  It only makes perfect sense to adorn a mother-to be on her sacred journey as she prepares to 'leave her body' to gather her baby and bring him/her into the world.  To protect her, to complement her beauty, to tie her to the earth.  A primitive art for a primal experience.  I'm so honored each time I witness this practice and contribute to their experiences.
I'll be honest sometimes my inspiration for a design comes from the clients clothes, this mama's bright beautiful floral leggings begged for a floral design on her beautiful belly.
For the final belly of the night I was deep in focus.  Her stones and energy screamed for sacred geometry so I opted for the flower of life to fill in this tear drop design.
Sometimes when moms share about their previous births there can be a lot of emotions and I wanted to do something special for this mama because I felt like she needed something powerful to remind her how strong she is and the energy of this place is, and I hope baby felt a bit of that too.  I don't know if she's had her baby yet, but I hope when she does it's every bit as magical as she wants it to be.
I'm forever grateful to the midwives who trust me and my ingredients on the bellies of their most trusting clients.  I'm honored to be a part of their end of pregnancy circles.  I love listening to their knowledge and wisdom passing between these women.  I look forward to the next round of bellies each month.