Love and Paris situation

What kind of energy are you sharing with the world?I can’t help but think about the people who went through with the bombings/attacks in Paris/Beirut/everywhere else recently. These are the things I am thinking about:

1.) I worry. I worry about what kind of a world my kids are going to have, and about how much I should tell them about what is going on. I worry about them worrying about it, or being scared to expand their horizons and exposure to the world. I worry that the UN Climate Change Conference might be interrupted, because I believe that it is an important event for everyone to get involved with to save our planet as a whole.

2.) I remember. I was in New York City when 9/11 happened and it brings me to tears to remember what it was like to be so close. It was this wild mixture of being grateful, being scared, feeling connected, and yet lost. I remember how beautiful it was for a few days to walk around, make eye contact with people and to get a smile that sort of acknowledged and celebrated silently acknowledging “We survived.” and finding great peace in that. I remember the military guns in the subway station and the tanks around ground zero and how surreal it was, I remember wondering how they got them there so fast. I remember hearing that we were declaring war, and that many many more people would be dying, and how as someone who had been so close thought this was the worst idea, we need peace and love, not war.

3.) I wonder. I wonder if the world changed, and came from a place of love instead of fear, how long it would take for this kind of thing to stop happening. Would people grow up to be so angry that they want to kill people if they were loved everywhere they went and all their needs were taken care of? Are we just setting ourselves up for more of this through our treatment of each other every day? Would we all have to be like flower children of the sixties or could we just open our eyes a little bit more to see the soul of the person in front of us and love them for being them? I wonder how civilized a culture we are if we are cheering for the death of, anyone.

4.) I wish. I wish that all of us, all over the world could participate in a mandatory foreign exchange program that exposed us to at least three extremely different parts of the world from where we are from. I wish that doing this would build a greater empathy among all of us that would make it hard to consider ever participating in such violence because we know someone from every part of the world.

5.) I know. I know that love can help. I know that when we love each other and see the inner light/child glowing through every person/animal that we see that our heart and soul expands and we become more connected in creating a space where we can all thrive. I know that some people are so so hurt or scared that this is hard to believe, and I know that all I can do to help is to love them for who they are, and for their playful inner child to thrive. I also know that there are bombings happening a LOT more places and Paris, and we need to send love to all who have been touched by that as well. I know that when I have felt that I had nothing in terms of life support I knew I had love…I don’t know if it was God’s love or the spirits of my family past that I felt but I knew I’d make it if I was meant to, and that love had something to do with it.

It doesn’t feel like love can do much when there is a situation like this, but when it comes down to it love is something that is within all of us and it’s a lot more pleasant than hate. Living in fear of what could happen only hurts us. Spread the love, acceptance and support for our neighbors.

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Mushrooms in the Morning…?

Mushrooms in plant container.

I found these this morning in the container one of my baby Hazelnut Trees is in.

Yes, I found a few mushrooms this morning. I am excited by things like this, new growth in my garden but I don’t have any kind of mycology certifications though I do think it would be fascinating!

But why haven’t I blogged for a few months?

Because LIFE is happening, live and in effect right now. I have hardly had time to breath it seems recently…it has been busy.FULL ON MOTHERHOOD is in effect. I’ll go ahead and post this now in case I get distracted…

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Seattle Mom of 3 Reflects Life as Parent in Seattle During Strike (Go Teachers!!)

I have three children. They are ages 10, 6, and 4. My 10 year old daughter goes to a private co-operative school after we had a hard time making public school work for her though at this point the plan is for her to try again for middle school. My 6 year old IS in pubic school, or I should say she is enrolled in public school. She is not going to school right now due to strikes. She is VERY excited to go to school and enjoys going to visit the picketing teachers, but like all of us we hope it is all over soon. My 4yo is still in preschool and so is unaffected except for the confusion around his big sister not going to school, and he is very excited to start next year!

I am absolutely on the side of the teachers union. I strongly believe that we need to make sure the people who are working to nurture and educate our children need to be well taken care of and have the resources (help, money, time etc.) to do this effectively. It really does take a special kind of person to be able to spend days on end focused on nurturing little kids minds and we need to pay attention to those needs.

I am hoping that the talks today, assuming they don’t get cancelled, result in a solution that meets the needs of our children and teachers.

Posted in Advocacy, Kristin, Seattle | Leave a comment

My Top 6 Ways to Relieve STRESS

We all experience stress sometimes. At some points it is self inflicted and other times it seems to just appear out of the sky (or a phone call/email etc.). I find that finding ways to deal with the stress, is absolutely crucial for me and keeping my health as a top priority. Here are some of the tools that I personally use when I get stressed, overwhelmed or just plain irritated:

Meditation is something that I use at least once a day. Recently I have been using it to help quiet my mind so I can go to sleep at night. I also find that it helps my kids to go to sleep. I also like to use one of the meditation apps I have (I use Sattva the most recently) to do a quick session throughout the day when I need it. Usually it is a quick break from the kids or the computer that I need and their six minute meditations are perfect for that. I also enjoy using prayer and writing prayer treatments to help me find what I need to deal with a given situation.

I enjoy writing as a way to deal with whatever it is that is on my mind. For things I don’t want to share I tend to use and just get it all out. Sometimes I end up writing a toned down or more level headed version of what I’m dealing with and that might be posted here or another one of my sites if I think it might be useful/interesting to someone else. Writing in journals has always been something that I enjoyed even since I was a child just learning to write.

I have always loved a good book that helps me to enjoy life a little bit more. Recently I have read lots of books like The Four Agreements, This Thing Called You, Radical Acceptance, 29 Gifts, Soul Recovery and The Last Best Cure are all good ones that help me to process what it is that I’m having a hard time with. I’d love to hear about books that have helped you in this way too if you have any recommendations please mention them in the comments!

I absolutely find Yoga to be a very calming activity, one that I like to maintain as a regular part of my life as often as possible. Sometimes though, when I’m really angry though I just feel like I need to RUN. When I feel like that, I do it! I am not a “runner” really and so it doesn’t usually last that long but it is definitely something that helps me a lot (hello endorphin’s!) when I really need to cool down mentally. I also enjoy walking, usually with someone as it is a great way to have a conversation with someone and also get some exercise. After writing this I can see why some people love having a dog (aka dedicated walking companion) so much!

Gardening is something that I really enjoy. Something about cultivating the life of a plant that starts as a little seed and then is consumed by my family is very very satisfying. I am constantly working with and in my garden and indoor plants. I was born on Earth Day and that has helped me to embrace this part of myself. I am also obsessed with doing it as frugally as possible because my gardening life actually started out of frustration at the expense of organic food and wanting to grow it myself. I love saving seeds and feeding my kids things I make out of what I grow (or just letting them eat it out of the garden of course!) recently this has included salsa made of my tomatoes and jalapenos, jalapeno chicken (I bought the chicken, it wasn’t one of ours!), and earlier in the summer lots of berries (blue/black/and rasp-berries) and peas.

Painting and also drawing are things that I absolutely love to do. Admittedly I haven’t done either for a very long time. I would say that if I were measuring my “health” in each of these areas and how often I utilize them this would be at the bottom of the list, and I suppose that makes sense since I’ve actually written it this way! I sometimes joke that Art School for me was really just an intensive four years of Art Therapy, probably about as expensive too. I find it easier to express myself in this way, and it’s been hard to do since becoming a mom and particularly the last few years of moving so much. It is a goal to have a space dedicated to making artwork in my garage by the end of the year…I hope that will be a big announcement that will prepare me for next year!

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What if Exposure to Celebrity Gossip Headlines Actually Makes People Sick?

For a long time I have avoided Safeway. I much prefer Wholefoods or the local co-op grocery stores. A big part of “why” is the quality of the food, it would be a dream if it was “all” organic but truth is that it is not. One thing that is absolutely a solid reason for me to avoid places like Safeway or Target is to avoid seeing the Celebrity Gossip headlines. I find them disturbing. Celebrities are people that we know about, we know about them because they either did something amazing, like their performance in a movie or something or they did something else that caught our attention. Lots of us find ourselves motivated by them, wanting to be as successful as they are. So when we see a headline about how they cheated/were cheated on or about some horrible drug overdose that may or may not have actually happened I believe that if in any way we ever felt like we related to them, it feels almost like it is happening to us.

I am not a doctor at all but I read a lot. I know that stress is bad, and the more it shows itself in our lives the worse of an impact it has on us. For years I made a point to completely avoid even looking at the magazines if I went to a store that puts them on display…it was great, I didn’t notice them. Now though, I have kids that can or can almost read, so I pay attention to what they might be seeing, and it is horrible.

I really do wonder if exposure to those magazines correlates with sickness, because in my heart I believe that it must. Maybe I am just to empathetic but I feel sorry for the potentially wronged celebrities, and I feel sorry for them having to deal with all the rumors being spread so far and wide. I also feel even more sorry for the people who take the time to read these magazines (People, Star, National Enquirer etc.) almost as much as I feel sorry for someone that feels like they are getting a good deal when they get a “super sized” soda or sugary iced drink.

I admit I don’t often go to Safeway, usually it is to stop by the Starbucks they have inside which isn’t nearly as offensive but sometimes I do, there is one near me and sometimes I need just one ingredient for a recipe or some beer (if they have Omission IPA in stock) and I avoid bringing the kids if I can so they aren’t tempted by the sugary temptations or read any of these magazines. When I go by myself and I do see them…it usually makes me feel a little sad, not just for the celebrity but for the state of the world. I’d much rather read about real news and what is good in the world, what about you?

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So I Was Checking Out Fiverr…

I decided to see what someone could come up with for a new logo for one of my sites, and I was looking around for something I might be able to offer, and I got it!! I now have a gig up and available to send a postcard from Seattle…this was the image that I made to put on the gig (it links to it too if you want to check it out!)


I figure I should add a space needle or something, I figure once I do a couple (if I do any?) then I’ll take a picture of those and those can go up there too. Of course I thought about throwing my hat into the making a website pool but I’m holding off…for now.

A single place, millions of creative talents. from as little as 5$

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Back to School Kids Clothes Shopping Benefiting Schools!!

While we are on the saving money and raising kids theme I wanted to mention Schoola where you can not only get used kids clothes at an amazing discount, but some of that little bit of money actually is going to schools!

Even better you can organize a back to school clothing drive and the school gets at least $15 bucks! It is a great deal, because you and all the other parents get rid of those clothes that just end up on the floor because they don’t fit, and the school gets some extra money to do what they do best! Win-win all the way…

I would write more but with three kids who will be starting school this September…I have some shopping to do! Only after I send the ones they grew out of back though of course (wink-wink!).

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Made My First Thrive Market Order Today!!

I’m totally digging it so far, most exciting for me is that:

1.) They have the big Vanilla version of the protein smoothie mix that I have been getting that Costco only has in Chocolate…and for about a dollar less!

2.) They have the kind of bubble bath that I like to get for my kids…it’s one that in the store I only buy if it is on sale but the price on Thrive was pretty much the same thing as getting it on sale so I got it.

3.) They have ALL of the teas that I like to keep in stock, so with this purchase I went ahead and stocked up on Traditional Medicines Nettle Leaf tea, Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea, and I got a new (to me) Organic India Tulsi Tea with Moringa in it…all of these are normally over $5 so I was psyched to get such a good deal paying less than $4 for each!

All of this got me over the $49 to get free shipping, and when I applied a code they had emailed me in the last week it took 15 dollars off!! So I paid $35.95, got free shipping, and it says that overall I saved $39.56…Works. For. Me.


I think my next big purchase will be for some healthy snacks to put in the kids lunches probably, and I look forward to it!! I look forward to sharing this with the next person who tells me it is too expensive to eat healthy/organic food. It really makes it all SO so much more accessible. Each membership even helps cover a membership for someone who isn’t able to otherwise afford it, so in that we are all helping each other with this one. We get healthier food and we are helping someone else to get healthier food. Woo-hoo!!

THAT is what I mean when I say Together We Are Stronger.

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How To Pit Cherries?

Wow, so I saw this video the other day, of deserts to make with cherries, and it was one of those wonderful magical videos that made everything look so so easy…there was one part in particular that completely caught my attention, especially having had bought at least three bags of cherries so far this season! In my experience, the cherries are so so yummy when they are fresh, but a few days later, before they are actually “bad” they are still really great to freeze, which leads to what I saw in the video!


In the video, the lady casually reached towards a bag of cherries, and then popped out this “thing” that she used to pit the cherries. It looked to me almost like I was looking into the kind of world that existed in the 50’s when women were portrayed as these domestic goddesses, and obviously they all had one of these things. So I have since popped on Amazon and found this Cherry Pitter (pictured above) and it’s in my cart, and decided to tell you about it. Do you remember ever seeing one of these things??

**Just so you know the other cooler looking ones that I saw had reviews that said they fell apart pretty fast after getting them, this is why I chose this one for the very “solid looking” design.

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I’m Texty and I know it…

Every time I hear the song I’m Sexy and I Know It or see some joke or reference to it I totally think about this…and I think at least for me, I’m like, super texty, and sometimes people take it wrong. It isn’t that you aren’t worth calling, I’m just more comfortable texting. :-)

So I pulled this together on Cafepress, click if you are interested and you’ll see a way that you can put your favorite quotes/thoughts/images in print on items too.

Posted in Illustration, Kristin, Musings | Leave a comment

Happy Dance…(Thank you SpamShield!!)

Alright, so I have spent the last few days FRANTICALLY trying to stop user registration spam on one of my sites. I have been wanting to get Buddypress going on one of them and was determined to get it up and running efficiently, so when my inbox started absolutely FLOODING with spam user registrations (more than 50 a day) I was beside myself!! Making it worse was that my gmail was reaching it’s memory limit making it double frustrating. So I was trying to delete as many emails as I could while getting way more a day than usual.

I started trying different plugins for spam, I already had Akismet and I tried probably about five different ones too. Keep in mind I’m home with the three kids these days so basically this means that when I had time I’d research plugins on my phone, go to my computer and install in less than about 5min, look at what time it was and watch my inbox. The first bunch of them, all of which I tried one at a time did absolutely nothing. The most promising one with the most users/reviews didn’t like the way my server was set up. I had gone through and gotten the right key to apply and everything, totally frustrating, and I don’t have time to call GoDaddy and ask them to reconfigure my server right now.

Finally today, rather than trusting Google/Wordpress recommendations I went straight to Buddypress. I then clicked “Plugins” to see if they recommended any for this issue and I found one, they had WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam. As you can imagine I went and installed it, checked the time (it was 12:50pm) and while I had gotten another spam registration at that very point in time, I simply deleted it and waited.

Now, it is 7:26pm and I am declaring victory…I have not gotten any new spam registrations and in addition to that I’ve gotten a “real” comment on that site, that of course I had time to follow up with since I wasn’t trying to find another spam solution.

So happy dance!! I totally recommend WP-SpamShield to anyone who is trying out BuddyPress to create an online community using WordPress!!! If you want to donate to them continuing this effort to prevent spam (please do) click HERE! I wish I could donate more..

I learned and will (hopefully) remember to go straight to the source next time I’m looking for a solution…

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