What's Up

Hello Monday! March 20

March 20, 2017

Spring flowers

First off, happy 1st day of Spring! I snagged these flowers from my yard. The sun was shining bright today, and dare I say the weather is warming up?! A lot of Virginia beach friends and even my two oldest sons braved the weather conditions this weekend for all the Shamrock races, fun to see photos and hear about how cold it was on the course.

Monday snuck up on me again. Here are a few things I’ve enjoyed over the past week:

  • Have you seen this poster floating around the internet? It has an illustration of every. single. bird in North America! Talk about inspiration. A group of artists all participated, so that’s even cooler.
  • A great reminder about mindfulness, and how to take control.
  • My “real” first job was an Event Planner Coordinator at Washington College, and those four years I spent there were a big part of my journey of becoming an adult! The college recently produced a wonderful video about Sophie Kerr –> Sophie Kerr (1880–1965) was a prolific writer of the early 20th century whose stories about smart, ambitious women mirrored her own evolution from small-town girl to successful career woman”. I watched the entire video, and smiled through most of it. Especially when one of my favorite faces popped up, Michele Volansky, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance at WC.
  • I just read this awesome post about making assumptions.”If you’re like a growing population of self-doubting moms, upon realizing that her house is clean (and yours looks like wild monkeys had a sleepover last night), you immediately transfer the fact that she does one thing well to the fact that she does everything well.” Just yes, to all of it.
  • And while you’re planning your garden… remember these wonderful plants and flowers that the bees, hummingbirds & butterflies will thank you for!

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What's Up

Oh Hey it’s Monday! March 13

March 13, 2017

unnamedIf you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that I just spent three glorious days at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health with my best friend Heather.

My sister has been a Kripalu employee for many years in their Healing Arts department, and I’m embarrassed to admit that this was the first time I’ve come to visit this amazing place. We spent the week attending the R&R events (yoga classes, lectures, etc.), eating delicious meals (they even have silent breakfasts!), and truly embraced the term “rest & relax”.  Kripalu has many rules for your weekend, one of which is no cell phones, so we spent the weekend with our phones set down and away. When was the last time you discounted from your phone? We stayed in “the dorms”, with 24 other women in bunk beds (hello white noise coming from my ear buds), and spent quite a lot of time in the whirlpool & sauna (helpful hint: bring ice cubes with you!). Heather and I often talked about hiking in the mountains, but each time we walked past a draft or open door, the frigid 4 degrees changed our mind…

As a mother, wife, and small business owner, I often forget about myself and my needs as I’m sprinting throughout my day trying to DO IT ALL. This weekend was magical, and so very helpful for me to realize what truly matters and how to go about getting where I want to be with a clear open mind (and often disconnected from my phone).

Here are a few Monday links that I wanted to share:

  • Yoga Dance – ever heard of it? We went to a class Saturday at noon with DRUMS! The energy in the room was out of control. Here’s a peak at KDZ The Kripalu Drummers.
  • I tried drawing a mandala on the plane yesterday for the first time. Upon further research this morning, I realize there is a process to it! And I plan on practicing this: How to draw a mandala.
  • In the dining hall at Kripalu, we learned about Ayurvedic eating. Ayurvedic gives some great guidance for eating, especially when it comes to digestion.
  • Remember how I talked about setting INTENTIONS for the New Year? This weekend was all about intentions, and it reaffirmed the ones I had set, and I added a few more to my list. Have you made a list? Here’s a great one from the Huff Post: Creating Positive Intentions for the New Year.

So I’m ready to start planning my next trip to Kripalu. Who wants to come with me? Happy Monday!

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What's Up

Oh hey it’s Monday! March 6

March 7, 2017

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PC: Amanda of Orchard Cove Photography, one of my favorites of me and 2/3 of my boys.

Ok, so it’s technically Tuesday, March 7th – Monday got away from me…

My family survived the epic stomach bug of February/March 2017 – I barely made it. I am SO very thankful for currently healthy kids and a germ free home.

We went to the mountains this past weekend. It was glorious. If you haven’t been in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I highly suggest going. Besides the visit to the UVA campus (& Bodo’s Bagels), we drank a bit of wine and beer, and the husband took a “time-out” at Wintergreen skiing. I also visited with two different sweet beach friends and former neighbors.

  • Being a mom is hard. Heck, being a parent is hard. This article resonated with me last week.
  • Our former nanny (who also happens to be a wedding planner), had a shoot of hers featured on a blog. Think woods, gin, vines & just all around amazingness.
  • Have you read this article: “Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains“? Thinking about starting up a weekly hiking group in the afternoons… who wants in?
  • Remember the WELL Women workshops I attend? In a few weeks, I will be the speaker leading the March workshop! Tickets are on sale now. I’ll be speaking on finding daily inspiration. You can also take a peak at their recent branding shoot by the talented Mary of Bluebird’s Garage, and of course Zoe Grant, Photographer extraordinaire!
  • The R&R retreat with my best friend is in TWO. DAYS. This will be a first for me. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. Starting the packing process – any advice? Sounds like I’ll be unplugged from my phone for some of it, which will be wonderful but weird…

That’s it for now. Until next week!

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What's Up

Oh hey Monday! February 27th

February 27, 2017

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Photo by Zoë Grant at the Creative Union Dinner: Part V

Ya’ll, this Monday truly feels like a Monday. My kids have had the stomach bug since Wednesday. Yes you heard that right. Brutal. We burned through 3 bottles of Thieves Essential Oil, 1 HUGE container of laundry detergent, and a lot of bland boring food (which we’re still eating). I am SO ready for Springtime and germs to go away. Any tricks you have to keep away the germs in your family?

Anyway, here are a few fun links to push those Monday blues far away:

  • JT singing “Can’t Stop The Feeling” at the Academy Awards last night. Best. Song. Ever.
  • My parenting guru Diane Malaspina is holding three seminars at 1701 in Virginia Beach this April. If you’re a parent, you should come with me. Being a parent is HARD! I’ll take all the information I can get. Seriously.
  • My new favorite Etsy Shop is “The Urban Hedgehog“. A team of moms Miriam & Cheryl are located in Canada, and they hand make modern and minimalist items for stylish kids. They love the beach & the woods, so they’re right up my alley.
  • Right along those lines if you have little ones, Ms. Emily of Music Together just opened up Spring Registration for music classes in Virginia Beach & Norfolk. I have fond memories of attending her classes with my older sons, and am excited to bring the baby to his first class at the end of March!
  • For Christmas, we gifted my cousin a pair of “The Frankford” boots from Mason Dixon. Well folks, they arrived this past week, to say she’s thrilled is an understatement! I keep getting text messages every day raving about how happy she is. Also given that it’s my BFF who handmade them, well that adds a bit more happiness and love into the boots.

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Yup, you guessed it. Spring Tennis started, and I lost my husband to his team. #sigh

Lifestyle

Oh hey, Monday! February 21st

February 20, 2017

Tessa in the woods

I’ve been making changes and adjustments into my daily work and life recently, and thought the blog would be a good place to look at my week ahead, and add a few things that are inspiring me!

  • Have you read this article yet? I’m guilty of a few of these: 8  bits of plastic you can quit right now
  • Ever been to Kitsch in Norfolk? The cute shop is brimming with things made exclusively by talented people who live in VA! They celebrates 5 Years this week, totally cool. I will be the first to admit I rarely get out to Norfolk, but may make an exception.
  • I’m the “social media muse” of the Jr VB Garden Club, and we are finishing up the online pre-order Flower Sale this week. 100% of the proceeds go out to our Virginia Beach community – this year we’re helping the VA Aquarium purchase a vehicle. If you’re local – we’d love your order! All plants are locally grown, and we even have veggies this year.
  • Have you heard of Kirpalu: Center for Yoga & Health? It’s located in the mountains of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. My best friend and I are headed up there in TWO weeks for a R&R weekend of yoga, mountains, massages, SNOW, and seeing my sister (she works there!). We can’t be more excited as we’ve never done a girls trip like this before – have you done a spa/retreat getaway with your friends? Any tips/suggestions of what we should bring?
  • My new favorite Etsy Shop is “TheLittleNaturalist“, Jessie is a homeschool mom based in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, selling humanely found & collected nature objects & small collections as well as resources and items to aid in nature studies and natural arts and crafts for children and adults.
  • Each month, I have been attending a “Well Women” workshop. The last two were AMAZING, and inspirational, with speakers Anne Leonard of The Stock Pot, and Jess Horton of The Fit Petite. Really looking forward to Wednesday’s workshop about “Drama: We Create it Ourselves”. If you’re interested in learning more about this awesome group of women, let me know! P.s. I am the speaker for the March workshop (!!!!!).
  • Since starting my yoga practice at the beginning of this year, I’ve “down-dogged” myself in taking as many classes as I can fit into my already busy schedule. This quick article gives you the 10 Beginner Yoga FAQ, super helpful. (And for those of you interested in Hot Yoga – my “Hot Yoga Essentials” is just 5 items! See below..)

Let’s do this Monday! What’s on your list for the week?
Hot Yoga essentialsA built-in-bra tank (NOT cotton) | A Yoga towel | Leggings (not cotton again) | Ice cold water in a Hydroflask | Any old Yoga Mat will do!

What's Up

Women Who Create

January 30, 2017

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By now, I’m guessing you’ve seen the buzz on Facebook and Instagram about the upcoming Women Who Create First Annual Show, here in Virginia Beach over at Esoteric’s Tennant E.

This will be my very first art show that I will be participating in. To say I’m slightly nervous is an understatement!

Local friends, please stop by!

WHAT
WOMEN WHO CREATE” is a two-day event in the Vibe District of Virginia Beach, featuring local talent.

WHEN/WHERE
THIS Friday, February 3
4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 4
1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Esoteric’s Tenant E
501 VB Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA

SHOP
You can expect to find the best of the best in Hampton Roads… These ladies are bringing it! From a wide variety of jewelry makers, a silversmith with high end modern pieces, to resin pendants, and vintage pieces. You’ll see beautiful metal work, fiber art, and print making. Kid friendly wool animals and stamps, hand drawn illustrated scavenger hunts, or custom designed stationary. Smell the handmade candles, and taste the delicious all-natural jam and macarons that are almost too pretty to eat! Don’t forget the handmade items you can wear, such as belts, knitted sweaters & hats, screen printed t-shirts, and custom made clothing. It doesn’t stop there, local photographers and a wide range of painters and mixed media artists will have art on display!unnamed

Back to Basics

2017: The year of PRACTICE

January 12, 2017

DSC_7575If my word for 2016 was “change”, then 2017 will be the year of: PRACTICE.

Noun
1. The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.
2. Repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

or…

VERB
1. Perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.
2. Carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.

My list of things I hope to practice this year:
Organize the chaos (daily and household clutter)
Be kind to myself and everyone!
Running a small business.
Being Mom.
Staying connected
Marriage – date my husband?
Daily Activity for myself
Weekly digital detoxes

Since January 1st, I’ve done a bunch of things on this list – making the steps toward being a better parent, successful and more organized as a business owner, attending yoga classes, being active in some way (almost) every day. I’m excited to share every few weeks how my practices are going.

What about you? Have you set a few New Years intentions/resolutions? What about personal goals? How do you keep yourself motivated to stay on track?

 

 

 

Local Spots

4 Holiday Gift Ideas for children in Virginia Beach

December 10, 2016

If your house is like my house, it’s JAM packed with everything kid related – from the toys, games, puzzles, 50 assorted balls in all shapes and sizes, to every single item of sports equipment there is on the planet, stuffed animals, a billion tiny legos pieces, dress up costumes and enough super hero masks to start a small army. STUFF.

So after thinking about all the stuff we have in our pocession, I gave the suggestion of gifting activities that the children could got do. It certainly doesn’t take up much space!

Here are the 4 Holiday Gift Ideas for Children in Virginia Beach:

  1. 1. A Gift Card of Games at Pinboys.

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2. A Season’s Pass to Ocean Breeze Water Park.

I can't resist a good sunset! Especially when it includes inner tubes. @oceanbreezewaterpark #nofilter #virginiabeach #stillsummer

3. A family membership at Virginia Aquarium.

Our budding photographer getting the perfect shot. @vaaquarium #visitvabeach #stillsummer #virginiabeach

4. A Gift Card for rounds at Jungle Golf.

Checked another item off our summer bucket list! @jungle_golf_vb #virginiabeach #stillsummer #crunchtime

My family has tried all of these activities over the past year, and all four are a lot of fun for kids & parents alike!

Back to Basics

Search, Find, & Explore

November 7, 2016

With a love of the outdoors from my childhood spent on Shelburne Farms, Vermont, I am always on the lookout for ways for my children to enjoy exploring as much as I do. As they’ve gotten older, I put my Art Degree to good use and began sketching quick illustrations of things we would find in the woods, or at the beach, even in our own neighborhood block. It was an instant hit, and quickly became something we looked forward to doing weekly as a family or with friends. As time went on, the need grew to have all the essential tools at our fingertips when we were exploring. Thus, my “Search & Find: Adventure Kit” was born, complete with a sturdy pair of binoculars, a magnifying glass, a small marker, and a trusty Search & Find Adventure Card.

One of our favorite things to do is hike in the woods, especially in First Landing State Park. As parents of three small boys (five years old and under), my husband and I have experienced the highs and lows of hiking with children all over the country, and we like to think that “we’ve got this!”

Enjoy these photographs from Jess Hill Photography of our most recent hike, and I’ve written a few tips at the bottom of the photos on how to have a great hike with your kids.

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Type of Adventure
Hiking while teaching your children an appreciation for nature, a fun family activity, and exercising

Where
Any woods big or small

Things to take into consideration while packing

  • Plan for “the sagging wagon”: Might need a kid carrying item: We love our backpack!
  • Snacks? Trail Magic (nuts & dried berries), sandwiches, apples or carrots
  • Water? Yes. Plenty.
  • Activity? Woods: Search & Find Adventure Kit
  • Protection? Be aware of the season when you’re hiking and what you’d need: sunscreen, or bug & tick protection

While on the Adventure

  • Be prepared to stop as many times as they need to
  • It’s Progressive. Don’t expect them to hike for over an hour!
  • Go in intervals – take your time! Snack between intervals, throw stones, collect nature items

Tricks

  • Collect leaves, sticks, stones, or nuts. (our rule: anything not living)
  • Bring your child’s friend – might get you another 30 min – 1 hour of “hiking”
  • Skip stones into water

And most importantly, have fun!

#searchfindexplore

 

 

 

Back to Basics

How Does Your Garden Grow: Week 2

October 11, 2016

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With bad weather (Hurricane Matthew) in the horizon, I knew I had a few days to get things into the ground. I laid out the plants from Brad of Veg Out Gardens, in a general location of where they needed to go. The Elementary children studied the root balls of kale and lettuces, and smelled the assorted herbs plants. I pointed the different shapes of the plant leaves, and we talked about what things help a plant grow (especially those worms we had plopped into the dirt the previous week). The children carefully measured the advised spacing directions, and with small beach shovels substituting as a garden trowel, they each dug a hole, placed the plant into it, and moved dirt around on top of it. I was surprised no one bulked at the idea of getting their hands dirty.

~ Brad’s tip of the month ~

The first frost is around Thanksgiving (November 22nd with a 50% of probability), so be sure to have your transplants in your garden soon. They need at least one month of growth and root development.

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“Straight” rows of kale & lettuce!

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Happy herbs.

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Excited Kindergarteners were up next to plant the carrot seeds in the smallest of the raised beds. Carrots are usually planted in the spring, but I wanted to give it a try in the Fall, and I had a row cover (of a soft fabric like material) that I wanted to test out as well.

This group of children had participated in the worms, so they were curious as to where the worms were and if they could find them. I had organized the number of carrot rows we would have, and had marked them with chopsticks and garden markers beforehand. The children pulled a string from one side to another, to make a straight line, and then used a trowel to make a small trench. Seeds were carefully pinched into the trench trying to give everyone enough space as to not over lap each other. Afterwards, eager hands covered each row with soil and patted them down. We talked about coming back each week to check on their progress.

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This sums up the end of week 2 in our school garden. I checked on the gardens today (3 days after the rain and winds of Hurricane Matthew struck us), and most of the plants survived. There are even carrot seedlings poking up from beneath the soil. So good so far!