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rooted {a meditation}


A meditation for you to try today:

Some mornings I wake up with a feeling of being disconnected from what's happening around me. Maybe I'm just tired. Maybe I'm feeling grief tap me on the shoulder. Maybe I'm letting the "I am not enough" gremlins tap at me. On those days, I sometimes turn to a meditation I like to call "rooted" to invite me to remember that I do know how to feel grounded in my life and to help me remember to call on the earth for support. Here's how I practice this meditation. This can be a beautiful practice done outside but most days I just do it right inside in my studio or living room.

I stand barefoot and bring my awareness to my breath.

As my breath begins to lengthen, I start to imagine I'm exhaling down through my body, all the way through the soles of my feet. I literally imagine I can feel my breath exhale down through my chest, belly, pelvis and hips, legs, and feet.

After a few breaths like this, I begin to imagine roots are growing from my legs and anchoring me to the earth.

When I feel that grounding, I bring awareness to my next inhale and imagine drawing up energy from the earth through my roots and into my body. 

I keep breathing, noticing, letting my body, heart, breath deeply connect to the earth continuing to use that image of drawing up energy through my roots and into my body.

Staying here for as long as feels right in that moment.

When I feel complete, I pause, bring my palms together at my heart, and say "thank you" to the earth for holding and supporting me.

Meditation note: Sometimes when you try standing meditations with your eyes closed, you can get a bit dizzy. I avoid this by swaying just a bit and being sure not to lock my knees.


Impossible to Know by Brian Andreas

I know I've told you part of this story before. The story of how my mom and I were in Churchill Handweavers in Berea, Kentucky 20 years ago, and we came across these incredible books by artist Brian Andreas filled with stories and drawings called Storypeople. The story of how we stood there and in our very different but equally life-shifting ways felt deeply seen in the midst of this time 20 years ago when our family was falling apart as my parents were in the beginning stages of their divorce.

My collection of Storypeople began that day and has grown over the years. Brian's stories are etched into the timeline that makes up my adult life.

Jon and I realized we were really in love while standing in line waiting to meet Brian at a store in Indianapolis when we agreed he should sign the "Real Reason" sculpture to both of us. I read one his stories at my grandmother's funeral, and I hold onto several others when the missing sits in. My friend Heather and I have been known to read stories from his books to one another over the phone while we laugh and cry. 

Over the years, the stories Brian shares with the world have helped me understand my own. I think you'll have the same experience when you dive into his world.

And his new book Impossible to Know is full of stories that have me again nodding, saying "yes," and even laughing out loud. (Three of these stories appear here in this post! So excited to give you this sneak peek!)

The theme of this collection is love (which is perhaps always the theme of Brian's work, of all our work). The dance of love between life and each one of us...the love that invites us back to the home inside us again and again if we let it in. And romantic love full of wonder and possibility and vulnerability and realness...the kind of love we all need to be reminded is possible and can be felt when we open up our hearts and show up as ourselves. 


The book comes out November 4th, and if you order it through the release date, you get some extra goodies, including:

  • A signed copy of the book
  • A FREE limited-edition vellum print
  • An e-book download link on day of release
  • And other hardcover Storypeople books are just $20 when you buy them at the same time

Imagine sitting around after Thanksgiving dinner or even during the holidays in December and sharing the stories from this book and others with your family. I'm imagining reading them with Jon by the light of the tree after Ellie's in bed.

Like I said, these stories help me listen to the truths found in my own.

I'm so excited to be partnering with Storypeople today to tell you all about Brian's new book and this preorder package. (And yes, sitting in my little quiet house Wednesday evening while reading an advanced copy of Impossible to Know was a true full-circle moment.) 

Note that this post includes affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase items through my links. Thank you for supporting my little corner of the web. 


20 things I learned on a girls' weekend in New Orleans

Earlier this month, I gathered with six of my girlfriends from boarding school for a girls' weekend in New Orleans. All seven of us hadn't been together in about 9 years, which is a really long time.

And it was awesome.

I totally fell in love with New Orleans and had so much fun catching up with these dear friends.

Here are a few things I learned while on our trip:

1. The beignets at Cafe du Monde are worth it. Big time. There really is a reason why everyone tells you to go there. Here's what you should know: They only take cash. The service is brisk in speed and temperament. The line moves faster than you think it will. You will get powdered sugar everywhere. And your eyes will water with joy because they taste so good. (I wish we'd gone every single day.)

2. When it comes to hurricanes that come in a glass, remember two things: First, as my friend Melissa's friend Anthony says, "You should share one. Two, you're committed to the night. Three, you're getting carried home." And second, here's what I say, "Honey, only drink the hurricanes that have the words fresh juice in the description. The rest are going to taste like cough medicine."

3. Brunch at Brennan's is a must. The food was worth swooning over. The service was wonderful. The servers brought all seven of us our brunch at once in a little parade of delight. I'm still thinking about my biscuit. And the Carribean Milk Punch someone had that was so good and I want some right now. Be sure to make reservations.

4. Bourbon Street is as crazy as you imagine. And it has some of the best people watching I've ever experienced. Do go there at least once. Do go dancing (and maybe even dance right in the middle of the street). Do stick together. Do carry tissue in case you need toilet paper. Do pay attention to the reality that people will toss beads at you even if you keep your clothes on (so keep your clothes on sweetie). Do go to Bourbon O if you're looking for some awesome music, a more mellow vibe, and the best window seat ever to watch the crowd go by. Do say yes to a ride in a rickshaw back to your hotel at 2:30ish AM even though it costs more than a taxi. (You will remember all that laughter and silliness forever and ever amen.) Do not try the grenades even if they are buy one get one free. 

5. Honey, wear flats. These streets are crazy. Not even. You will be walking a lot. No one will be looking at your feet. And when you're out late (and you're gonna be out late), you will be so happy you're not in heels. (And if you're dealing with some awesome plantar fasciitis like me, these are the best - I have them in black.) 

6. Go to Lafayette Cemetery and take a tour with Carla. She is beyond awesomesauce. I learned so much and wish we all did things the way they do things in New Orleans. 

7. It is totally okay to take a breather in the afternoon and head back to the hotel for a lie down, especially if you've only had two beignets and an iced coffee and the group is about to go on a haunted ghost tour with the promise of 2 for 1 hurricanes at the end. You will be very glad you gave yourself that gift when you're up at 2:00 AM later (hashtagwateryoursoul).

8. The bartender at your hotel will know the best restaurants around. Mine directed me to Red Fish Grill, and I ate the best sandwich there - the blackened red fish melt. It was one of the few restaurants around open in that in between lunch and dinner time. I ate in the bar and watched a delightful young man shuck about 200 oysters.

9. Let yourself set down the old stories. And they will come up as they do when you spend time with people who have known you for 25 years and are like family. Show up as you and let yourself just have fun. And commit to the promise of being better at staying in touch. Texting is your friend.

10. Do ask your friends who have been to New Orleans for recommendations. This is how we ended up eating two incredible meals away from the crowds: one at GW Fins and one at The Franklin

11. Head to Jackson Square! It's gorgeous and there are quite a few shops and restaurants nearby. Be sure to wander through the artists who sell their work on the square.

12. People are really friendly and helpful. And I found this everywhere we went - from the airport to restaurants to our hotel and on and on. Now this might not apply to your experience with tourists or people visiting for college football games (or it might - the young man in the elevator was very polite when he said "Oh you're still young ma'am" when replying to my comment of "It's okay. I was young once too" when he apologized for being a wee bit obnoxiously drunk).

13. If you're only visiting for a quick weekend trip, you do not need a car. Uber is awesome. It is easy to get a taxi from the airport (the line moves very fast, promise) and from your hotel. And the streetcars take you to the major destinations (and they are so much fun - but be sure you have cash!).

14. Flying out late on Sunday so you can go to a spa before your flight can be an unexpectedly delightful idea. (So this one isn't really specific to New Orleans but it is going to be my new rule for travel whenever possible.) Three of us had later flights so we spent our last afternoon at the Spa at the Ritz Carlton. The massage prices were reasonable, especially for the Ritz, and you could use the other amenities in the spa. We had lunch there. And we went home a bit more rested and relaxed, which was a very good thing.

15. There is so much history everywhere you look. We really only scratched the top layer with this trip. I want to go back to learn even more, probably doing a bit more research ahead of time and maybe even renting a car just so I can explore around New Orleans more. (I still stick by #13.) 

16. Frenchmen Street is a lot of fun and a bit less wild then Bourbon Street. Lots of live music. We stumbled across The Business playing, and I became a bit obsessed with their lead singer Whitney. I might have said out loud, "She is now one of my spirit animals." They were so much fun that I actually suggest you try to find out if they're playing when you're in town. So. Much. Fun.

17. If you love art, handmade goods, and connecting with makers, the Frenchmen Art Market is a must. I had a delightful conversation with Katie Schmidt, the founder and designer of Passion Lilie, and plan to spotlight her in the {i heart makers} series soon. Love love love her designs! 

18. You should have your tarot cards read or dip your toes into some of the woo woo goodness when you stumble across it. I didn't have my cards read by the lady in Jackson Square who was gorgeous with her crystals set up beautifully on her table and her kind face and I totally regret it still. 

19. There really is music everywhere. All kinds of music. So good for the soul. Make time to stop and really listen. Look the street musicians in the eye and say thanks (and even donate a few bucks). Soak it up while you're there. 

20. You will stay out later than you have in years, but honey, you will remember you have that move to have fun like you're 22 again and it will be totally worth it. (And remember #7.) As my friend Melissa says, when you're visiting New Orleans, "Come from a place of yes and keep saying yes. Then, don't be afraid or embarrassed to say no thank you."

A few more notes about our trip:

We all came in Thursday evening and left Sunday. This meant we had two full days together. Staying that third night to have those two full days is the best advice I have when it comes to a girls' weekend. Friday to Sunday, especially when flying, is not enough time to really sink into your time together and to explore a new city.

We stayed at the JW Marriott, which was a nice hotel. However, there was at least one fraternity and one sorority from Florida there for the big game. As in the entire fraternity was staying at our hotel. That was #awesomenotawesome. There was also construction, which meant one restaurant was closed, and a few other things that were unexpected. That said, the customer service was really really good.

The girls did enjoy the Ghost Tour they went on but they all agreed it was a bit long. If you can find one that is less than 90 minutes, go for that one. The Cemetery Tour was just 30, and that was perfect.

And we also decided where we're going next: Nashville in 2017. This gave us all something to look forward to when the sadness of all of us living so far away from one another set in as the weekend drew to a close.

I don't want to wait until 2017 for my next trip though and am already looking through Pinterest for ideas for my next girls' weekend (and I still need to write a post about my "mama entrepreneur weekend" in Napa this past Spring).

For my next trip, I'm thinking staying here on the West Coast just so that I can spend less time traveling and more time exploring.

Where do you recommend? 


deliciously slow (with leah kent)

Note from Liz: I'm delighted to welcome Leah Kent as a guest today. She's sharing about one way she waters her soul: slowing down and making simple, delicious meals. Enjoy her post today!

I have always believed in the power of a simple but delicious home-cooked meal to feed a person from the inside out. When we eat well, it sets the foundation for living well. Connection and celebration and magic can happen around the dinner table, night after night. This is why the kitchen has always been my sanctuary and chopping vegetables is often my daily act of meditation.

Once our sweet little boy was born, it seemed like these treasured routines unraveled a bit. I wasn’t sure how to cook with his warm little body tied to mine in his soft, stretchy wrap pretzeled around my chest. Even in the glowy haze of falling in love with my newborn, I certainly missed parts of the life I had before.  

Never have I been more appreciative of every free moment I can find in any given day since becoming a mama. No one can prepare you for how time will shift and change when your world expands to embrace your new and precious little person. 

In these early days of mamahood the words “deliciously slow” came together for me one day. Rather than focus on the exhaustion, messy house, and unfinished projects, I chose to find at least one moment of joy and beauty each day and embrace it.  

Maybe I couldn’t do all the laundry that day, but I could walk with the baby to the end of the block and see the sun shining through the woods. I would take a photo of that moment and share it online like a journal entry of my newborn mama life. 

Deliciously Slow started as a daily photo meditation and grew into something else for me. I felt very challenged to keep making home-cooked meals once I was a mama. But I was committed to eating well and at home, so I started to use my slow cooker almost every night. 

I made soups, stews, steel-cut oats for breakfast, dried beans, roasts, and more. Being able to add the dinner ingredients to a pot and then walk away? It was life changing. I was able to relax more, enjoy my time with my babe, work on my business, and still eat things that made me feel good.

Preparing meals in the slow cooker has had such a positive impact in my life because it frees up time in the kitchen so I can tend to my creative pursuits. I want that for all women and mamas who want more space in their lives to do what they love while still nourishing themselves with beautiful food. 

That is how Deliciously Slow grew into a pay-what-you-can online course to help you prepare healthy slow cooker meals. It’s a seven day class with a beautiful printable cookbook where I share everything I’ve learned about how to use the slow cooker to make truly delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with whole food ingredients. Our fall session starts on November 2nd and I invite all who are interested to join at a price that feels just right for you. 

I’m so happy to be sharing a recipe with you for one of my favorite slow cooker discoveries…breakfast. The first time I made overnight oats and woke up to breakfast I did a happy dance. A hot meal waiting for me with no thinking or cooking required? The morning felt so luxurious! 

That is my wish for you, too. To feel the luxury of spaciousness. To stay present and cultivate gratitude for the small miracles and pleasures daily life offers to us. To eat well, nourish yourself, and savor the deliciously slow moments. 

Deliciously Slow Spiced Fruit Steel-Cut Oats


1 cup steel-cut oats

4 cups water

1/2 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, or cranberries

1 tsp cinnamon mixed with a pinch of cloves, nutmeg, and allspice

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 T maple syrup


Combine all ingredients in the crock. Cover and cook overnight on Low for 7 to 9 hours

Stir oatmeal well before serving in the morning. Serve with desired toppings such as almond or coconut milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted or shredded coconut, and fresh cut fruit.  

Leah Kent founded Skill It to celebrate the everyday pleasures of living a {mostly} handmade and home-cooked life. A mama and artist, she loves sharing her passion for food, family, and creativity with others through her writing and teaching.

In addition to creating beautiful e-courses like deliciously slow, she is a certified holistic life coach. She makes her home in Rhode Island and relishes every opportunity to connect with the natural rhythms of daily life.

Deliciously Slow begins November 2. Learn more right here.


makers gonna make {i heart makers}

downloadable print from Inspire Empire

When you're a maker, sometimes you need a little bit of encouragement to keep going. You need to be reminded that all the hours are worth it. That you can learn new things. That people really are going to love (and hopefully even buy) that thing that you're creating that is really an extension of your heart. And I love that makers realize that they can create things that become a pep talk for other makers. 

Here are a few of these "pep talks" that have caught my eye lately:

This print from Bubby and Bean just makes me happy. I want to put it right above my desk in my studio.

This maker life tee from Small Glow delights me. So sweet. Also love the long-sleeve version + this mug + this shopkeeper tee. Yep. Love this whole shop.

Love this reminder from Signs with Soul for those moments of doubt.

These pencils from Harvest Paper Co. make me smile. Pink! 

This journal is hand lettered by Sarah Cason Designs with one of my favorite quotes that reminds you to stop waiting for it all to align and just get started right where you are. 

This wall hanging would make me sing my own version of "Shake It Off" every time I see it. And the best part? There's also a listing for a pattern so you can make your own.

I turn to this Ira Glass quote again and again (print from Pink Milkshake Designs). It is a really good one to have on your wall.

And this notepad from The Hipster Housewife is perfect for your daily to-do list or, my favorite, your "what I did today" list.

Also love this mug and this necklace and this sweatshirt.

An invitation: Are you a maker? Share a little about you and your shop with a link to your site in the comments so I can visit. Would love to possibly feature you in a future post.

Note that some of these links are affiliates, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase through the link. All photos are copyright to the makers mentioned.

To check out other posts in this ongoing series where I celebrate makers and the good things they create and design, head over here.