theCOZYgreenCOCOON

Headed towards back to the basics living.


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Friends

It’s not the destination, but who’s beside you, that matters most.”

So true. Who we surround ourselves has such a big influence. I have to tell you that in the last few months I have really lost my enthusiasm for eating healthy, being green, and just all around trying to do what my conscious tells me is the right thing. Sometimes the reason I start doing something gets fuzzy. I forget why I do the things I do. And when that happens, I slack. I think well, its just one plastic carton or I’m so hungry just give me some chicken or a burger from somewhere. After all no one else seems to really care. Dozens of cars are in the drive thru. Those people are still alive. Does it really matter if I use a paper towel? YES! But it’s so much effort, the whiney voice in my head says.

“Two are better than one…if one falls down, his friend can help him up.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Thank goodness for sisters. My sister seems to really have the enthusiasm for eating healthy and natural and taking care of herself. It’s inspiring. Her energy has me getting re-motivated. In fact, I am re-watching Food, Inc., as I have time during the day. And I’m looking to start exercising again and looking at healthy natural foods with a renewed sense of purpose. I’m not saying I’ve got myself under control 100% now.  There’s an Arby’s chocolate croissant with my name on it that DH is picking up from the drive thru on his way home from work tonight. BUT, it all counts, right?!

Besides we did make it to the Farmer’s market this weekend. I tried out eggplant for the first time.

And we got some glorious red and orange bell peppers. So love those!

And some farm fresh eggs! Missed those!

So if you’ve been slacking in some area where you used to feel so enthusiastic to see a change in your life, then I encourage you: Go! Go find some friends with common interests and goals. Don’t be a loner. At least not all the time. I’m one myself. I’ve been known to hole up with a good book for hours before I had my daughter. Or to spend hours crafting all by myself, trying to learn to sew. But sometimes you gotta find your ‘peeps ‘ to keep you on track.

Find ways to remotivate yourself. Remember why it was you started something in the first place. Review where you started and how far you’ve come. If you derailed like me lately, that’s okay. Get back up there on the horse. If he ain’t dead, there’s still hope y’all.

Here’s something similar that I’ve been dealing with myself from Miss Mustard Seed. Love her style!

http://missmustardseed.blogspot.com/2011/08/losing-finding-myself.html

 

XOXO, Rachel


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Aha!

Life is a journey, not a destination.

(How many times have you heard this? And how many times have you really grasped its meaning?)

I think Oprah used to call it an “aha moment” on her previous show. I believe its also referred to as an epiphany. I was lying next to my now 10 month old daughter while she napped. I lay there staring at the completely blank white walls and trim and doors on our newly leased townhouse thinking  how they needed to be painted (so many colors to choose from, where to start?)and boxes needed unpacked and projects I had already thought of to do for this place, needed started. And then I remembered how I had read that white walls bring clarity. Hmm, could that be why my next thought was “maybe I’ll just live with them for a while, maybe this can be the ‘white walls’ season of my life. Not permanently , I just can’t see that for me, but maybe I’ll just enjoy the giddiness of a blank slate.

Maybe it all doesn’t need to be done NOW.

Maybe there is fun in the picking and choosing of colors.

Maybe there is fun in the searching for that hutch I need in the dining room for more storage.

Maybe I will slowly find the pieces I love and keep for a very long time, instead of buying cheap pieces for function only.

And then my brain really began turning.

Maybe I can really dig into my scrapbook class “Library of Memories” without first unpacking all the boxes.

Maybe I can stop to play with my daughter before the dishes are clean.

Maybe I can write a post without having to catch everyone  who used to read this blog up with the details of my life. Maybe I can just start somewhere. Start here. Just start now.

So I did. And now you know.  I’m back.  To blogging that is. I missed it, but somewhere I let myself “get behind” and never could quite catch up. A lot of things happen like that in my life, and then I impose some rule about needing to do things in their proper order. So then nothing happens. And then I get further behind and so it continues.  Does that ever happen to you?

Movement (my word for 2011) is still very much something that needs to happen in my life. Even though I’ve moved half way across the country, there is still more moving to do. Moving of furniture and things and routines as my baby girl grows.  Its enough to make a girl go crazy if I keep reaching for that  just out of reach place of perfection. I’ve decided it doesn’t exist.

Life just doesn’t stop.

And so I am going to just enjoy the journey and celebrate the movement, however small. I am going to figure out what is enough to make me feel satisfied that I have indeed accomplished something, and enjoy life. I leave you with a quote from my Library of Memories scrapbooking class I’m taking right now:

“Not declaring satisfaction or “enoughness” is underneath all the shoulds and have tos and draining comparisons that are exhausting you.”   -Jennifer Louden

Here’s to making things happen and celebrating ALL the steps you make in the right direction, big or small. It all counts!


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I’m so excited…..I just had to share.

(Squeal) I’m so excited…and motivated…and pumped! I don’t know if you remember what my new year’s resolutions were, but one of them was to eat healthier and also another was to make bread once a week. Well…it looks like I am going to be able to head in that direction thanks to an awesome gift from my brother, a great bread book, and a link from a great friend which has lead me to another link and then another link and another and another….! Need I go on?

Any guesses what this is???

Up until about a week ago I had really been struggling trying to accomplish anything other than taking care of T. And I refuse to drop breastfeeding if its in my control. (That’s a whole different post and I will go there someday, but not now.) Now don’t get me wrong I think its a super important job and I love it with all my heart but I’ve really felt like other things, important things, have just been neglected. I’ve just been overwhelmed to be honest. How in the world can I keep my kitchen clean? How can I get all the laundry done and put away? Things like that. I’ve just felt such a strong pull to get my household in order in terms of food and health and cleanliness and yet not forget to enjoy and celebrate the special moments that are oc

curing before my eyes. I know these moments will go by so fast and I can’t get them back.

So I’ve been asking God to help me to find a way to accomplish the things that need to be done and just let the other stuff go when needed, and also wisdom to know the difference.It wasn’t long before I found Flylady and then a very good friend sent me the link to Kitchen Stewardship (I will be featuring somethings I try out from over there soon. Can you say homemade yogurt or whole wheat tortillas  and yummy warm soups?!?) Although they might seem insignificant sometimes, I do believe God cares about even the little things in our lives. The sudden influx of inspiration and links and connections has convinced me of this.  I hope you’ll join me as I explore them all here on my little blog. We’re going cozy and self sustainable and efficient!


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One Word Wednesdays

The power of words has really been hitting home to me lately. I believe I have already found a theme bound to reoccur in my life around the word “movement.”  Then as I was reading a new to me blog, AlieEdwards.com, I noticed that she posted her word for 2011,”light”. I got a little excited. Lots of  people think there are words that fit their lives for a period of time? Wow! Actually, I know Joyce Meyer would agree with me too. She stresses the power of words in her sermons. “And God said…” and that’s when things really began to happen at the beginning of time.

And so I’m going to start doing One Word Wednesday posts. Maybe just a quote, a definition or a picture. Something simple to just remind me about how big of an impact one little word can have on our lives and on others and share it with you. I hope you will share any that you come across that have meaning or impact on you. (=

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This week I’ve been thinking about resolutions. There were 12 different definitions listed on dictionary.com, but four of them seemed the most relevant for what’s been on my mind:

Resolution (noun)

1.a formal expression of opinion or intention made
2. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.+

+Could that last one explain why so many people don’t keep their New Year resolutions? Do we lack firmness of purpose in our mind from the outset????
Here are the resolutions I’m considering for 2011. Notice I said considering not resolving. Not sure I can take these all out at once (hey I’m just being honest with myself, I know I don’t have mental resolve right now),but they are definitely on my “let’s try this out list”:
  1. Bake bread every week. (More details on this later).
  2. Craft time every day-even if its just for 15 minutes. I love to craft and I’ll take what I can get.
  3. Develop a household routine. I’ve been reading flylady.net and I’m trying out some of her baby steps.
  4. Exercise  regularly/ eat healthy. (I need to get down to details on this one still. I’m starting out with just drinking more water and trying to eat at least 1 vegetable or fruit at each meal.  Yep that’s how far off I’ve gotten over the holidays. Eating 1 vegetable or fruit is an improvement. Sad I know.

Oh, and if you’re really feelin’ the power or words too, you might want to check out this workshop that Alie Edwards is doing too, called One Little Word. I’m thinkin’ I just might have to sign up for it. I’ve been so wanting to get back into my scrapbooking….


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Been thinking about…Movement.

Have you ever noticed themes running throughout your life? I’ve heard that if something keeps popping up again and again in your life it’s God’s way of trying to tell you something.

For most of 2010,I would say my theme has been preparation and growth. Make that 9 months of preparation for the beautiful bundle I’m now holding in my arms. Now how is it possible to be holding something-or someone rather, and still be typing you may be asking yourself. Ah, that would be thanks to the Moby Wrap. A super long piece of fabric that you wrap around yourself and your baby and move around hands free (and might I add guilt-free) all the while being able to keep an eye on your baby. Not to mention my baby LOVES it. She loves the movement.  She falls asleep within 5 minutes almost everytime I put her in it.  It’s fabulous! It was extremely intimidating the first few times I tried to put it on but after that first successful attempt its been smooth sailing. My laundry gets folded, dishes get picked up and moved to the kitchen, mail gets opened and best of all my baby is right next to my heart. I know, that last one just tugs at you right? Sorry couldn’t help myself. But it brings me to my point. I think my new theme must be movement.

Another example:  While most people are getting up at 4 am on Black Friday on the hunt for good shopping deals, I will probably be up nursing my daughter and then trying to catch a few more zzz’s before DH and I head on over to the local U-Haul.  You see, DH and I are moving-again. Just down the road, literally about 20 miles, but we are moving again, nonetheless. It will be the 10th move in our 9 years of marriage. And for me it will be about the 20th time to move in my life. Just call me the travelin’ woman. My brother jokingly says our family is a bunch of gypsies because we all move around all the time or enjoy traveling more than most people. So, known as the travelin woman or gypsy, I’m on the move again. Just down the road, but I’m moving.

Then there’s the week long family ski trip planned for spring break. Movement here I come! This last year there’s was no skiing for me. I was too busy growing my DD. But this Spring, just stand back and watch me go. I wouldn’t recommend getting in my way. Mostly because I’m not that great of a skier and not always able to stop myself, lol! But you get the picture (=  And there’s going to be some serious movement leading up to that point to get myself in shape before then. Recovery from a c-section is not going to be had from sitting around eating Christmas fudge. Unfortunately. Insert sad face here if you know what I mean.

So after 9 months of preparation,  2 months of recovery and adjustment, movement has found its way back into my life. So I’m realizing out that it must be the new theme of my life. I’ve had a little time on my hands think while nursing DD can you tell?  I want to walk, run, dance, and feel the wind in my hair. I want to move.

Movement really is a wonderful thing. I am so thankful for it. And for so many things in my life this Thanksgiving. I hope that wherever you are this Thanksgiving that this post finds you with those you care about the most. May you all have a wonderful and blessed  holiday weekend.

xoxo, Rachel


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Lavender Love

I love lavender. It’s got that almost minty smell but then there’s something else, another scent mingled with the mint that makes lavender, well, lavender. It’s relaxing and refreshing at the same time. Well, much to my surprise and delight I found out recently that Albuquerque has a lavender farm, Los Poblanos. And not just a lavender farm but an organic farm that grows lavender as well as fresh fruits and veggies, too. So when I read they we’re having a Lavender festival this last weekend, well, you know I had to try and convince DH to go check it out with me. I was a little worried when I asked him about it. I had no idea if it would be worth the effort or not.  I wasn’t sure just how big or small this festival was going to be.  IT WAS HUGE!!! There was so much to see and do.

Lavender fields set aside just for handpicking and taking home with you, mmmm!

Crafters and artists hard at work.

Some great bluegrass/jazz/country background music to enjoy under the shade…

while we sipped our lavender lemonade.

Will have to post a recipe for this, once I find a good one.

It was a little hot and humid,

Monsoon season is coming!

but I found another way to keep me cool as we wandered through the dozens of vendors selling their crafts and home-grown goodies…

…an ice-cold snow cone!

It was wonderful seeing so many people just out and about enjoying all the great things our local growers and crafters have to offer.  Now I just have to work on getting DH to stay with me overnight at their inn. They are reported to have a chef that cooks a scrumptious breakfast from all their organic produce!

Hope you all had a great weekend too! (And to think there is another fun weekend up ahead for our country!)