I am so thankful to get to do the work that I love, but as my own boss it's sometimes hard to get feedback on how things are going. Which is why it is especially heart warming and affirming to hear from the women I work with. And in a time of hard news and a world that seems to be coming apart at the seams we could all use a little lifting up. So a big thanks to Bhavna for sharing these kind words and brightening my day!
Oh hello there!
I hope you had a joyful and relaxing summer
After a very long pregnancy and relatively short labor we were thrilled to welcome Aiden Felix Brandt into the world just after midnight on July 18. It has been such a joy to embark on this new adventure as a family of 4 and my new mantra is "embrace the chaos!" Here are a couple of the more peaceful moments:
With the remaining fiery energy of summer and the early "letting go" lesson of fall, I've been working on embracing finger painting that becomes face-body-hair painting, going to bed instead of washing the dishes, splashing in creeks, turning off my phone, hiding in pillow forts (yes, hiding from the dishes), dancing around the living room to old mix CDs, and saying "YES" to offers for help (thanks for doing the dishes!). It's been pretty awesome.
Even though we're just a week in, the transitions of the seasons and life have made themselves very present so far this month. This past week I joyfully celebrated many of the babies from my original Mamas' Circle turning two, and have been deeply saddened by illness and loss affecting dear friends and family. There are constant reminders of resilience, impermanence, and ever-present change.
And as I settle in to the last 2 months of my pregnancy, this sense of in-between is only magnified. The forces of my toddler and my yoga practice both demand that I live in the present moment. Then the excitement of bringing new life into this world takes me away to a place of curiosity and wonder about this person we will get to meet and raise and parent.
Welcome Spring! I have a lot to share with you this month so let's dive right in...
I love creating new recipes but with a toddling 9-month-old my time in the kitchen has been pretty limited. That, combined with my inability to eat a bunch of (organic and fair trade) bananas before they get brown spots, inspired this recipe. It comes together fast - like 30-minute nap fast - and is only slightly indulgent. It's definitely my new favorite afternoon snack. Plus, its vegan and with a simple swap of a gluten free flour blend for the whole wheat can be enjoyed by my GF friends, too!
Or are you ready to crawl back under the covers?
As we move out of winter and into spring, there is often a feeling of excitement that comes with the longer days and budding flowers. We can be motivated by the whirlwind of activity around us but sometimes just wish for a snow day so we can slow back down, snuggle up with a good book, and drink a steamy mug of tea.
Imagine a friend asks you to sign up for a triathlon to take place next May. The only catch is you’re not allowed to prepare. No training schedule, outdoor swims, or weekend bike rides for the 9 months leading up to the event. I’d venture to guess you wouldn’t sign up.
Many women argue that labor and delivery is the most physically and mentally intense experience that we can put our bodies through. So why would we not prepare? We’re told to indulge in ice cream and prop our feet up, but why not work also to strengthen our bodies, calm our minds, and prepare for welcoming our babies into the world?
Practicing yoga during pregnancy is a powerful way to support your growing body and baby both physically and mentally.
It's time to find out...
As the parent of a two-year-old, I have a lot of questions. Friends, family, strangers in the grocery store, and of course the internet, have UNLIMITED advice. Most of it is contradictory. Some of it is outdated, too new-age, or just plain weird. All of it gets very loud - not volume loud, but taking up brain space loud.
So what's a mom to do? We ask our own moms (and sometimes do the opposite anyway - sorry mom!), we consult google, ask complete strangers on message boards and in Facebook groups, and trust our children's most fundamental experiences to so-called experts who convince us they have the perfect approach. A simple amazon search for "parenting books" yields over 200,000 results. Clearly, there is no perfect approach.
Because it doesn't work... somehow all of that time tested advice is lost on your kid - whether they are one day old or 45 years young. They can't fall asleep "drowsy but awake," completely reject the meal that was their favorite last week, and forget to tell you when they are coming to visit. So what's a mom to do?
Yes, you read right. Lactation cookies. To help women produce more breastmilk. While eating cookies!
What more could you ask for?!
This recipe is a full year in the making. After many attempts, taste tests, and adjustments, it's finally here - a lactaton cookie that can easily be made vegan or gluten free! See the recipe for two simple substitutions and get creative with your mix-ins. You deserve it, mama!
Other people can also eat these cookies... just make sure mom has as many as she wants first!