Sacramento Self-Care Event TONIGHT! {it’s FREE}

Hey you!

We are hearing a lot of talk these days about self-care and many people are left feeling like it is just one more thing to do in their already packed schedule. We know what we should do, but something is keeping us from doing it.

Join me – Tami Hackbarth – , Holly Holt and Nikki Stern for an evening discussion talking about what self-care really is and how to bring more of it into your life and how to feel good every day.

You will leave the workshop with a new way of thinking about self-care and a plan to get started right away.

Please bring something to take notes and a pen.

TONIGHT! 6-7:30 Ella K. McClatchy Library – FREE!

100% Guilt-Free Self-Care

Self-Care Now More Than Ever

Geeking Out On: Pay Attention Podcast w/Nikki + Melissa


My friends, Nikki and Melissa, started a podcast called Pay Attention and I can’t get enough of it. In fact, I am geeking out on book pairings for each episode so keep reading to find my book picks.

Why am I so excited about Pay Attention Podcast? Well, first off, these are two of my great friends talking about stuff I dig:friendship, food, generosity + gift giving, receiving, money and hope.

Nikki + Melissa’s podcast very much remind me of another lady friendship podcast I love: Joy The Baker. (I highly recommend listening to every episode of this one too – all 137 episodes!)

I thought you’d love Pay Attention Podcast too, so I’m linking to each episode with some of my thoughts added with a BONUS book recommendation for each episode.

They have no idea I am writing this post, so I hope they get a kick out of my commentary.

pay attention

Pay Attention Podcast with Nikki + Melissa

Episode 1: Friendiversary

You can listen to episode one to hear how Nikki and Melissa met and became friends. I love their business BFF story which has lead to real friendship.

I am lucky enough to call both of them friends as well! I met Nikki at It’s All Yoga about a million years ago and friended her on Facebook because I got a good feeling about her.

Do you ever do that? I recommend doing it. Yes, it feels awkward at first, but it can pay off quickly.

Anyway, once Nikki returned from the Pacific Northwest as a new mama with a kid my kid’s age, I decided we needed to hang out with our kids and so I asked her out on some mama dates and the rest is history. Turns out we have a lot in common – mostly life philosophy – and now co-host retreats together and try to hang out as often as possible.

Melissa and I met not too long after she and Nikki did. People from all parts of our lives kept asking if we knew each other and so we finally met for tea one morning where we, of course, ran into Nikki! It was clearly meant to be.

This episode reminded me of the book:

MWF Book Cover Cropped

While neither Nikki, Melissa nor I was in search of a new BFF per se, this book talks about how finding female friends post college is a challenge. And with some effort and vulnerability you can add more awesome women to your friends tribe.

Episode 2: Food

Nikki + Melissa talk about making friends with your body by listening to the messages she sends to you. And then feeding yourself kindly and with so much love.

I love this because so many women struggle with food: too much, not enough, good food versus bad food and so many messages about food and not one of them helpful or kind. I love Nikki’s philosophy about food and connecting it to mood.

This episode reminds me of this book:


Like Nikki, Alex is a health coach (and was the girlfriend in Super Size Me). They share many of the same ideas about food and making friends with ourselves to improve our relationship with food and our bodies.

Episode 3: Gift Giving

This episode has me thinking about gift giving and how it hasn’t played a big part in my life. And how that might need to change. Gifts are definitely NOT my love language – even though I do appreciate getting them.

This episode reminds me of this book:


While this book is about a different kind of gift, I couldn’t help but include it here because Brene Brown’s work has been such a huge influence on my life as well as Nikki and Melissa’s.

If you haven’t yet read this book, please do.

Episode 4: Receive

Nikki and Melissa talk about the book The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen and how their lives have been changed for the better by learning to accept compliments and allowing others to give freely to them.

Admittedly, this book is a bit woo-woo and out of my comfort zone. Already though reading this book has changed my life in so many positive ways and I continue to dive deeper into this work.

This episode reminded me of:

power of

I highly recommend this book to women who feel they have to do it all themselves and are burnt out and tired. She includes easy exercises to bring more help and ease into your life.

Episode 5: Money

Nikki and Melissa do some real talk about how they used to deal (or not) with their money and how once they started paying attention to it, more came to them.

I love this episode because honestly I struggle around money. Not so much not having enough of it, but in being afraid of it. Being in business for myself has revealed lots of outdated and untrue stories I have been telling myself about money and I’ve spent the last couple years facing my fears (slowly).

This episode reminded me of the book:


I have been slowly making my way through this book (and doing the exercises) in the tiniest book club (just me and one other friend) and I have learned so much about myself and my relationship with money. Whew! Let’s just say, I’ve got a lot of work to do in this area.

Episode 6: Hope

Nikki and Melissa talk about whether it is possible to be happy during sad and trying times in your life.

I can speak directly to this with a resounding YES.  There is a huge caveat, it doesn’t happen by accident.

This episode reminds me of this book:

hope dies last.jpg

I read this back when it was released in 2003 and felt a deep sense of, well, hope. I might have to check it out again.

I’d love to know what is on your mind. Please leave a comment tell me all about it.

I look forward to seeing you soon!



Other related posts:

Featured Teacher Interview with Nikki Stern

Featured Teacher Interview with Melissa Camilleri

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2 SPOTS left for June 2016!

Winter Recipes

Hey, friend!

Do you ever wonder why I do what I do? I shared some of my thoughts here if you are interested.

One of my big self-care “secrets” is cooking and eating at home. I air quoted that secret because it’s another one of those things we all know we “should” do, but many times don’t make the time, space or effort.

I’m endlessly curious about what people feed their families, so I’m sharing what I feed mine in hopes you’ll share your favorite recipes with me.

Today I am sharing with you some of my absolute favorite winter recipes. Each of these has been road tested by my family and given a huge thumbs up.

One of the biggest criteria for a successful recipe in my book, other than being super tasty of course, is that it is easy. I am a fan of non fussy, plant-based, delicious, fast food. So rest assured each of the recipes below meet all that criteria.

winter recipe mail chimp

White Beans with Spinach and Sausage – I use Field Roast Italian sausage to keep it vegetarian friendly and this soup disappears almost as quickly as it comes together – less than 30 minutes start to finish.

Tuscan Vegetable Soup – another warm, hearty bowl of yum that comes together in under 30 minutes. I use vegan parmesan to keep mine dairy free, but my family loves using the real stuff for more flavor.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup – WITHOUT cheese! Nutritional yeast is magic fairy pixie dust and has made my dairy free life much more delicious. Again, this soup comes together in about 30 minutes and my kid claps when some ends up in her bowl. So easy! So delicious.

Red Lentil Coconut Soup – 30 minutes and this soup is perfect and ready to make your winter meal time tasty and beautiful. This is my go-to soup. I use bottled roasted peppers to avoid buying out of season and shave as much ginger into the pot as my kid will let me. This is winter comfort in a bowl. If you haven’t made this soup yet, please do. Or come to my house and enjoy some here. This is my kid’s favorite soup.

Roasty Soba Bowl – vegetables and lentils served over noodles with an easy and delicious sauce? Sign me up! I buy the steam packed ready to use lentils at Trader Joe’s to make this dish come together under 30 minutes.

For so many more tried and true recipes, please visit my Recipes to Make Again board on Pinterest.

I’m also going to share a few new vegetable recipes that caught my eye from Eat Your Beets. I haven’t tried these yet, but they sure look good!

Citrus and Honey Roasted Beets

Dairy Free Potato Leek Soup

Winter Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Almond and Cauliflower

20 Colorful Winter Salads to Eat Right Now

Butternut Squash Macaroni and NO Cheese

I’d love to know your favorite winter recipes.  Please leave me a comment and tell me all about it!

I look forward to seeing you soon!




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Favorite Reads of the Week

If you want to get these ON Sunday and ON time – sign up here.


In case you haven’t heard, I love love love to read. I also love to learn. And what I love the most is sharing what I’m reading and learning with others to connect them with authors, books and ideas that light their butts on fire. It actually one of my SUPERPOWERS (that and remembering every name and face of every person I’ve ever met).

So for 2016 I’ve decided to share my favorite books on Instagram every Saturday and each week I’ll be sending you articles that have caught my attention. Gabrielle shares her weekly roundup she calls A Few Things and I love clicking through her links every weekend and I hope you enjoy clicking through mine!

favorite reads of the week

Gilmore Girls Revival is real!

How to Enjoy Work (Even When You are Busy + Kind of Overwhelmed). Good lord, YES!

10 Best Feminist Quotes of 2015 – thank you, Sarah!

The Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich. Quit it. I think I need a nap.

Why Slowing Down Your Kid’s Schedule Might Be a Good Thing. I have been thinking A LOT about slowing down this week.

6 Secrets for Warming Winter Smoothies to Help With Digestion – don’t freeze your chi!

In Order to Change Habits, You Need to Change How You Think About Yourself – THIS: Consider, ‘What kind of person am I and is this right for me?’ and not ‘This is what Steve Jobs did,’ or ‘Everybody should get up early and run.’

Pursuing change through sheer willpower is for amateurs; examine yourself, and real change will follow.

Avoiding Burnout in the Age of Busyness

7 Tips for Coping With Fewer Daylight Hours – perhaps slightly late for this year, but rumor has it we have plenty of winter left.

How to Set Boundaries from Brene Brown aka my secret BFF.

I’d love to know what you are reading and listening to these days. Please leave me a comment and tell me all about it!

I look forward to seeing you soon!




Why I Do What I Do.

Inevitably every day a woman tells me about how much she needs a break, a moment of peace, some space to gather herself, a reprieve. Some days, more than one woman tells me about how stressed she is or how tired, or how she just can’t catch a break or her breath.

It doesn’t matter the age or marital status or whether the woman is a mother, I hear from all kinds of women that their lives have become unmanageable, unhealthy, out of control and that if they could just catch their breath, things would get better.

I can totally relate. Before I became a mother, I worked super long hours as a teacher and always promised myself I would rest during the next school break. Usually what would happen is I would get sick and be forced to rest because I was too sick to get out of bed. Not exactly the break I had fantasized about, but at least I was resting finally.

Then I would start the cycle again.

In the first few months after bringing our daughter home, I exhausted myself by trying to be there for her 24 hours a day. Even when it was my husband’s time to bond with her and to take care of her, I was hovering nearby at the ready to jump in and take over…just in case anyone needed me.

As the months wore on this constant state of being ready, of anticipation of coming to the rescue, wore me down. I was left mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted and scared to death I wouldn’t be able to be a good mother (or friend, wife or daughter). I knew I couldn’t sustain this pace of life and be happy.

Something had to change. I had to do something differently, in order to feel differently in my life.

So I started with some small changes. Things we all know we need to do, but rarely actually make happen.

I started with sleep. The advice about sleeping when the baby sleeps? I actually started doing that. I took naps when she took naps, I started going to bed earlier and pretty quickly I started feeling noticeably better.

Did I have to fight the voices in my head saying I was wasting precious time sleeping? Of course I did. After a while they got a little kinder, but in a culture where being exhausted is a status symbol, the pressure is real.

Feeling a bit more empowered because this seemingly small change made such a big difference in how I felt mentally and emotionally, I started making other small changes.

I made a plan to add more movement into my life. I first had to let go of the idea that a workout had to be an hour long ordeal at a gym with expensive clothes and lots of sweat.

I had to make peace with small changes being good enough. Again, we live in a culture that only celebrates huge weight loss, 6 pack abs and tiny waists.

I started walking with another new mama most days of the week. We met super early in the morning because now that we had tiny people we were up before the sun anyway. We would walk and talk and walk and talk some days for hours. We would take the kids to the park and push them on the swings until it was time to take them home for naps.

Each day I spent sleeping more, moving my body more and talking, talking, talking to my mama friend, the better I felt.

These small changes led to more small changes and over the last few years I have added many small daily practices to my life which have helped me feel healthier, happier and more sane than ever before. Most days I feel like my life is pretty manageable – I’ve got time to move, be quiet, read, connect with friends and family. It definitely looks much more like the life I had envisioned for myself.

I share this with you today to let you know you aren’t alone if you are feeling run down, exhausted by the pace of life. Not by a long shot. So many of us have been there.

There is a growing community of women who are making small changes in their lives and noticing a big difference in how they feel. We are supporting each other in our personal growth and feeling empowered that we are not alone in our efforts.

You are invited to be a part of this growing community. What small changes can you make today to feel more space in your life?

I would love to hear from you. Please tell me about where you need support in your self-care.

Big hugs,

live well women's retreat.jpg
Click here for more information on our April and June 2016 retreats.

Favorite Reads of the Week

This is actually LAST week’s… if you want to get these ON Sunday and ON time – sign up here.

In case you haven’t heard, I love love love to read. I also love to learn. And what I love the most is sharing what I’m reading and learning with others to connect them with authors, books and ideas that light their butts on fire. It actually one of my SUPERPOWERS (that and remembering every name and face of every person I’ve ever met).

So for 2016 I’ve decided to share my favorite books on Instagram every Saturday and each week I’ll be sending you articles that have caught my attention. Tracy shares her weekly roundup she calls I Love Lists Fridays (also be sure to check out her photo roundup called My Everyday Life) and I love clicking through her links every weekend and I hope you enjoy clicking through mine!

favorite reads of the week

7 Simple Ways to Read More This Year – check. check. check.

4 Tips to Keep Your ME Time When You Are a Momma – I definitely feel number one is my secret weapon. No woman is an island.

The Power of Restorative Yoga for a Cold – YES! At home with all the blankets and pillows you can find.

6 Feng Shui Tips To Bring Purpose, Intention + Clarity Into Your Home. – One of my college roommates teaches feng shui and has piqued my interest.

Swear Word Coloring Books – As a way to keep my hands and brain busy and to practice mindfulness around the house, I’ve taken up coloring. It worked great too as a way to pass the time int the car on a long summer road trip. I am pretty sure this will be mine! {save the date: 5/22 for a coloring date with me at It’s All Yoga}

The 15 Most Beautiful Places in California You Didn’t Even Know Existed. – I am a CA native and I didn’t know about these. Must change that stat!

Napping Office Chair – dude. Just yes.

The NOT To Do List: 15 Habits To Stop Now – What do you think?

A New Way to Increase Your Emotional Connection – would you try this?

I joined the club. Instagram made me do it!

I’d love to know what you are reading and listening to these days. Please hit reply and tell me all about it!

I look forward to seeing you soon!




February Do Over

Dear Friend,

Real Talk: January is not my favorite. I try every year to make friends, I really do.

Then inevitably I pick up a virus, can’t shake it for the life of me and then spend the entire month telling everyone person I see that I am never going to be well again. And coughing. THE COUGHING.

Sounds hyperbolic perhaps, but at some point early in every winter I am convinced I will never feel good again.

PS – I hate this part.

So I am hereby declaring:

january is
Why am I telling you this?

Good question!

The first reason is to invite you to join me in January 2017 to just rest, hibernate and recover or staying well if you have managed to not pick up a virus.

Before you reject this idea because we’ve all been conditioned that January is the month to do! all !the! things! Please think about how you felt this January….

  • Were you rested?
  • Did you nourish yourself with food?
  • Did you love your body through movement?
  • Did you go to bed super early and wake up when it got light?
  • Did you feel soothed and loved or were you frazzled and dry coughing like a wounded seal?

This is not to shame any of us if we were the later. This is to acknowledge that our culture tells us to resist nature -and millions of years of evolution- and we rush through the winter like crazy people despite there being evidence of nature telling us to slow down.

The other reason I am telling you is because I need to remind myself and ask for public accountability.

I declare MY January 2017 to be full of:

  • excellent hand washing
  • lots of napping
  • 8+ hours every night of sleep
  • restorative yoga at home
  • endless cups of hot tea
  • soup, soup, soup
  • slow walking
  • knit hats and warm socks
  • reading books made of paper
  • lots of screen-free time (esp at night)
  • coloring books
  • and so much quiet.

So again, consider this is an invitation to join me a year from now to enter the new year – the entire month of January – as one of complete rest.

Worried you’ll forget? No need, in December I will remind us all that January is a time of rest, restoration and recuperation.

So for I hereby declare:

feb us new jan.jpg
I’d love to know what you think of my new January is month of rest and hibernation. I’d love to know how you were feeling this month. Be sure to leave a comment.

I look forward to seeing you soon!