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thirty days of giving thanks


November is almost here, and with that brings one of my favorite traditions: 

Thirty Days of Giving Thanks!

It’s simple.

Take a moment each day in November and thank someone in your life.

Send a text, make a call, leave a post-it,
write an old fashioned letter…
Make eye contact.
And say, “thanks.”
It doesn’t matter how you thank them.  
Simply think of someone in your life – each day – and tell them why you are thankful for them.  
Give them your thanks.


Thank thirty people in thirty days.

Can’t think of thirty?

Look more closely at the people you encounter in a day.

The postman.
The barista.
The friendly teller at the bank.
The woman who always stamps your parking ticket.
Your neighbor down the street.
Is there a local store owner who makes you feel welcome every time you shop?
Do you have a favorite sacker at the grocery store?
How about someone you work with that makes you laugh?
Do you have a favorite hair stylist, or massage therapist, or yoga teacher?
Have you told your best friend how much you appreciate their friendship?
Did you ever thank your favorite teacher?
Has anyone helped change the course of your life?
What about someone you are really close to – like your kids or spouse – when’s the last time you thanked them?
Post your stories on my Facebook Page, share your blog links there, too.  
Send out tweets and use #30daysofthanks to mark your posts. 

If you choose to join us, please let me know by contacting me HERE.

And if you have a blog, grab a badge.
A Free Spirit Life

Spread the word.

And give your thanks.

Your Personal Reflection:

Who will you thank today?

(p.s.  Thanks to all of you for your personal emails and well wishes about the birth of my son.  I’ll be posting my birth story very soon!)


big mothering with heart giveaways!


Tonight before bedtime I had two naked boys running around the house.

The diaperless 2-year-old was left alone for a few minutes in his room, only to be discovered moments later smearing poop into the carpet.

My bed was covered with unfolded clothes and instead of taking the time to fold them, this tired pregnant mama (of another boy!) threw them on the floor to deal with tomorrow.

The art room was left with scraps of paper and markers thrown about.

Not all evenings are like this.  But, tonight just happened to be one of them.

And that’s just part of being a mom.

Being a mom is a lot of work.  I never knew what to expect before becoming one.  Does anyone really?  But once you do discover what’s on the other side of birthing a child, you find you have a common bond with all the mothers before you – a camaraderie of sorts – a secret knowing what this job is really like.  You become part of the mama club.

When you are a member of the mama club, you don’t have to explain the rewards of being a mom.  You don’t have to explain the joys.  You don’t have to explain the challenges.  We moms are fully aware of them all.

And sometimes we get super busy.  We get caught up in “keeping up” – trying to be like others or just trying to make it through the day.  We put on that face.  You know…the one that tells the world,  Everything is just fine. But sometimes…it just isn’t.  And no matter what…we need each other.  We need to know we’re not alone.  We need to slow down. We need to rest.  We need time with friends. We need wine or dark chocolate.  We need reality TV.  We need a good book, a good laugh, a good bubble bath or a retreat away from it all.

Sometimes we need to shed our doubts.  Sometimes we need to cry.  Sometimes we need to laugh our asses off.

Sometimes we need to reconnect to our intuition, express our creativity, get messy, and live out our hidden dreams.
Sometimes we just need to mother our OWN hearts.

And that’s what Mothering with heART is about – taking time for ourselves and learning how to integrate the need for creativity, downtime, play and FUN into our daily lives while raising children.  And when we learn to nourish our own souls each day, we are nourishing our children’s souls, too.  Because that’s the cool thing about being a mom.  We’re bonded to these little people.  And they sense when we are happy.  They learn from our example.  So the more we return to our true selves and our authentic way of being in the world, we end up passing that on to our kids.  And that means more inner peace, love, joy and happiness for us all!

I’m incredibly honored and excited to share with you a group of AMAZING moms, business women, writers, artists, life coaches and much more who are sharing parts and pieces of their mothering journey with us in my newest online experience, Mothering with heART. Check out the link below to meet them!



Mothering with heART Contributors



And the best part is, many of these contributors have a SPECIAL giveaway just for YOU!  Check out these incredible gifts below.  All you have to do for your chance to win one is:

1)  take a moment to leave a comment on this blog post by Monday, May 20th, 2013.

2) for another entry, stop by and like A Free Spirit Life Facebook page. Already a fan or don’t use Facebook?  That’s ok…simply share the link about Mothering with heART with your friends and let me know about it.  I’ll enter you in the drawing a second time!


 The giveaways include:


SRR Square

Win a spot in the upcoming e-course, Sexy, Raw & Radiant – from Mothering with heART contributors Stephanie Perkinson and Leah Kent.

dream lab ad

Win a spot in the upcoming e-course, Dream Lab – from Mothering with heART contributor, Amy Bowers.


Win a copy of the book, Sacred Pregnancy (AND the magazine!) – from Mothering with heART contributor, Anni Daulter.

PicWin a FREE ebook, “How to Navigate your Biz While Staying True to You” (to be released in June) – from Mothering with heART contributor, Megan Monique.


 Win a $25 gift certificate for the natural online store, Hip Mountain Mama – from Mothering with heART contributor, Suzy Hawbaker.


Win a FREE ebook, Lemonade & Fireflies: Inspiration for a Magical Summer – from Mothering with heART contributor, Shawn Ledington Fink.

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Win a FREE copy of the new WishstudioPress zine, Glitter & Grunge – from Mothering with heART contributor, Mindy Tsonas.


Win 4 100% cotton naturally dyed handkerchiefs – from Mothering with heART contributor, Jennifer Schmitz.

mothering-with-heart-logo 200

Win a spot in the first ever, Mothering with heART e-course – from me.

Leave your comment NOW for your chance to win!  I’ll announce a winner on Monday, May 2oth.

AND…from now through May 20th, you can register for Mothering with heART at the discounted price of $59!
To register visit:  Mothering with heART Special Discount.


Your Personal Reflection:

What does “mothering with heart” or “mothering YOUR heart” mean to you?


winners and a discount just for you…


 (Photo provided by Leah Cherry.)

It’s time to announce the winners of the totally random drawings for Feathering the Nest and Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery e-courses!


Winner of Feathering the Nest:  Angie P.
Winner of Inside Out: Kerry


Thanks to ALL of you who left your fabulous, thoughtful comments on the last post.  For those of you interested in signing up for Leah and Stephanie’s e-course, Feathering the Nest, they are offering YOU a 15% off discount!  Simply register with the code:  “FREESPIRIT” and you’ll get this soulful class for $50!

Visit:  Feathering the Nest to register.

(And do it now, because class starts April 1st!)

I’ll be sharing all the scoop with you about Inside Out registration details on Monday (as well as an AMAZING deal).

Be well and as always, thanks for sharing your light and love.  Happy weekend!


Welcome Home!

Photo by Chris Duh.

I am beyond thrilled to share with you my new online space – A Free Spirit Life!  It does feel a lot like moving into a new home.  The foundation is built, the rooms have been created and the walls have been freshly painted.  And just like moving into a new house, I usually have to sit in the space for a while – you know – to get used to it.  To see what windows the sun comes in.  To notice how I feel in each room before deciding where the furniture will go and where the pictures will hang.

I’m so ready to move into this new space after writing on my old blog for nearly 3 years.  But I’ve felt a little nervous.  I’ve been stalling.  It’s partly because I’m figuring out new blogging software.  Like learning where all the light switches and outlets are in a new house, I’m just going to feel a little lost until I get used to it.  Maybe my hesitation stems from past perfectionist tendencies – the old me – who would have waited to invite you over until the furniture was in place.  Or maybe until the art was hanging just right.  Or at least before the boxes were unpacked.  But the new me, the one who is practicing letting go of perfect, is ready for visitors!

In my old blog home, I shared my challenges, my contemplations and my celebrations.  And here will be no different.  I may feel vulnerable at times, but the more I share my most authentic way of being in the world, the more I can’t turn back.  And I would love that as I share and grow it might inspire you, too.

Along with my website and business name changes, I launched the 6th session of Inside Out e-course this week to a huge group of life-explorers from all over the world.  Lots of big changes happening. Call it the new year, the new moon or the year of the dragon – whatever the reason – I sense more changes lurking.  So until these new changes take hold, I feel like I need to embrace being ok with uncertainty.  ‘Cause sometimes being in the transition of the transition is a scary place to be.  It makes me feel uneasy.  It makes my tummy flutter.  It tricks my ego into thinking it needs to take charge, and control, and do what it can to make it go the right way.

So here I am, in my new home, transitioning through the fear.  The fear that makes me wonder, Will they like it?  Will anyone read?  Will they join A Free Spirit Life community to share, learn and grow together? Or was this move…for nothing?  Now I know that’s all just silly talk.  Fear makes us think, say and do funny things, doesn’t it?

I feel myself unwinding.  My nerves are settling.  My heart is opening wider, fuller and bolder than before.  And my arms are reaching out inviting you – oh beautiful YOU – into my home.

A Free Spirit Life is more than a blog.  It’s more than self-discovery e-courses.  It’s more than mothering with heART.  And it’s more than an online community of life-explorers.  A Free Spirit Life is a lifestyle. It’s a way of living, breathing, and being in the world that is in full color.  It’s for those wanting more out of life.  It’s for those who believe dreams matter.  It’s for those who want to create a life they truly love each and every day, while practicing contentment with how things are in this moment.

A Free Spirit Life is about cultivating new beginnings, awakening creativity, and celebrating your unique brilliance in small – or BIG – steps along the way.  It’s a place to connect, to share and to grow.  It’s a place to be inspired – to laugh, to play, to cry, to celebrate, to LIVE, to breath, to be – as you are – authentically, beautifully YOU.

A Free Spirit Life is more than just my new home.

It’s your new home, too.

Welcome home, free spirit family.  Welcome home.


Your Personal Reflection: What new beginnings are you ready to cultivate?


The Gift of This Season

The Light of Winter
photo by Chris Duh

Here it is.  December.  The time of year where our hearts long for stillness, serenity and solitude.  And where we seem to be bombarded by everything but.  Black-Friday-this, cyber-Monday-that, sale-upon-sale, and advertisements that make us believe I gotta have that. right. now!

I’m making a conscious effort this year to stay. calm.  To slow. down.  To be present rather than buy presents.  And just when I think I’m relaxing I get a little tripped up. I notice I’m back to running around again, feeling the tension in my shoulders rise up to my neck, where that stress headache lingers on, reminding me that I’ve done it again.  I over-committed.  I over-spent.  I’m trying to do too much, take too much, give too much.  All at a pace that is…stressful.

So as I relish in the aftereffect of giving thanks for the last thirty days, I’m reminded of the intimate notes and beautiful comments I received.  I’m reminded of the wisdom that was brought to light.  I’m reminded of the new connections that were made (from all over the world). I’m reminded of the free coffee given, the tears of joy shared, the email from my grandfather, the note from my 84-year-old friend, and the amount of joy received from being more mindful and making space for the people in my life.

And when I remember the simple gifts that come from going slower, I can take pause from this fast-paced world, and truly embrace the peace that can come from this season, and which ultimately comes from within.

I’m choosing stillness, serenity and solitude.  How about you?

Your Personal Reflection:  How will you stay centered this holiday season so you can bring the gift of stillness and solitude into your life?

If you are feeling a little on overdrive, you may be interested in reading my newest Rhythm of the Home magazine article, Honoring the Gifts of Winter.  There is also a give-away going on right now for a spot in my upcoming Inside Out e-course, along with many other wonderful prizes.

AND…there is still time to enjoy the 2-for-1 offer for Inside Out registration.  Visit my Facebook page with all the details. Offer ends tonight at midnight C.S.T.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the 
highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. 
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Day #30: It’s Just So Wonderful

Today, on this 30th day of giving thanks, my 3-year-old and I were creating small thank you gifts together in our art room when this song started playing on one of my Pandora stations.  Kestan said, “Aw, this song makes me cry – it’s just so wonderful.”  And instantly my eyes filled with tears and I felt nothing but pure love.

  • Pure love for this child.
  • Pure love for this moment.
  • Pure love for this life.

And then in Kestan fashion he added, “Mom?  How do onions make you cry?”

Our kids.

They make us laugh.

They make us cry.

They make us crazy.

They make us fall in love.


And again.

And again.

My heart is full, I’m very THANKful, and giving and receiving is just so wonderful.

Your Personal Reflection:  How will you keep the spirit of giving and receiving thanks beyond the month of November?

And a special thanks to each of you who shared this month with me.  I have so enjoyed hearing your stories of giving.  Please keep them cominng!

Day #29: Thank the Quiet Givers

signs of the season

We kicked off the Christmas season on Sunday at an annual holiday party with some friends.  I met these two women years ago standing in line at orientation for our new job (which only one still works there part time). We worked for the same company but didn’t work in the same area, and yet, managed to remain friends.  Since our first day we’ve all gotten married and now each have two kids, so our holiday party has grown in numbers. This year we celebrated our 11th party with a wonderful dinner and gift exchange.  The kids had a great time playing and us parents enjoyed wine and yummy food.

And it wasn’t until a day later that I started thinking about how much effort my friend who hosted the party must have put in to prepare for our visit.  She had us over at her house, which we all know means you have to clean.  She cooked the main meals, including an extra vegetarian option.  She made side dishes for the kids.  She had drinks and appetizers.  And she did all of this at the tail end of a holiday weekend where she even had houseguests.  Oh and did I mention she is a mom of two, with the youngest being a four month old baby girl who has acid reflux and who is fussy most of the time?  Oh yah, and her husband travels and was scheduled to leave at 6 a.m. the following morning.  We brought an appetizer and salad and my other friend brought dessert, but that was not nearly the amount of work as our gracious host!

Needless to say, this very giving mama deserves my thanks today.  So I have a handwritten note ready to go and will drop in a Starbucks gift card before mailing. Because even though we do things for others because we want to and it makes us feel good, it also feels good when they notice.

Your Personal Reflection:  Who in your life is always quietly helping others?  You know they aren’t looking for acknowledgement, but take some time to recognize and give thanks for their kindness today.

Have you seen the 2-for-1 Inside Out e-course special I have going on until Friday? Check out Facebook for details.  (And if you don’t do Facebook but still want to know about the special, email me at

Happy day!

Day #28: More Action, Less Words

Sometimes saying “thank you” requires no words at all.
Your Personal Reflection:  Whether it’s giving your partner a foot rub, or bringing cookies to your friendly neighbor, or giving your child an extra long hug – share your thanks this week with action, rather than words.

Day #24, 25, 26, & 27: We Rest

my sleeping beauty
This is how I feel after 4 days of playing with family and friends.  It has been a wonderful holiday and now I dream of jammie day tomorrow with a fire and some soup on the stove.  
I’ve been thanking the people closest to me.  And tomorrow I will return to letter writing and thanking some very special people from my past.
But until then…we rest.
Your Personal Reflection:  Do you feel the need to rest after the holiday buzz this past week?  I hope you enjoy the gift of slowing down today, too.
And the winner of Carole’s beautiful yarn bomb is…
Anne!  Thanks to all of you who entered.
I will be announcing a really sweet discount for Inside Out very soon, so if you are interested, make sure to join my Facebook page or newsletter.  xo

Day #23: It’s All About Family


The love of a family is life’s greatest blessing.

Today, I am taking a quick break from food prep and “pine cone turkey art” to share my complete love and gratitude for my husband, Chris.  He is the most gentle, compassionate and dedicated man I know.  And because of his care and support, I get the amazing opportunity to be with our children during the days and work from home.
Chris, you are the love of my life.  You are my best friend.  You are and will always be my home.  I love you forever.  Thank you for being you.
Check out Chris’ photo taker website and see the photos where he captures the love of family in his third wedding shoot.  He’s an artist and designer, but photography is becoming another creative endeavor that he’s turning out to be pretty amazing at.  
I’m taking a blogging break over the next few days as there is too much food to eat, too much ping-pong to play and too much family fun to have.
Be well and happy week.  Thank you for being in my life.
Your Personal Reflection:  Take a moment to close your eyes, enjoy a deep breath and smile softly as you embrace all that you are thankful for in this moment.
And the random winner of Susannah Conway’s print is…

Stop by THIS POST to enter to win a “yarn bomb!”  (I’ll announce a winner this weekend.)
Psst…A special announcement about Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery e-course registration is coming soon.  Make sure to join my Facebook page for early bird discounts!