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If you haven’t been to the new site you might be missing out!

Many post will not be posting at both places.
This site will be closing soon, therefore, get to the new one and follow along.
There is great stuff ahead. If you like what you see here, you will love it over there.

Come join us!

Or follow along at bloglovin’

bloglovin

Hope to see you there!

Live Well!
~S

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View the original post at A Life Enchanted

My family gave me the sweetest Mother’s Day gift.

A week “off”!

A full 7 days of no cleaning, no cooking, no grocery shopping, no taking care of them. They want to do everything for me. Hmmh. Well, let’s talk about this, shall we….

First, I can’t believe how unbelievably generous these darlings are. The Mister gets up at 4:30 every morning to go to work and works hard all day. So watching he and our daughter cook dinner, clean the kitchen and do laundry at the same time was actually a bit painful. Plus, I like taking care of them! I don’t have dinner on the table at the same time every night because I have to, but because I like to. In this house I clean the floors daily,  dust every other day, shop every other day. And I like being busy, so sitting knowing the floors need cleaning, the lawn REALLY needs mowing and my plans for this week were to clean out the pantry and all the kitchen cabinets has thus far, been near torture. (it’s not as spotless here as that may make it sound, really.) But I made a promise. And I just love that they would even want to do this. So here I sit.

Okay, not really. I must confess.
I went shopping on my way home. I scouted for dirty dishes (and embarrassingly found them) in the bedrooms. I weeded the gardens some. But that’s not really house work, is it? I swept the floors yesterday and am having a very hard time refraining today. And I did wash some dishes. BUT, only because I had dirtied them!

So, to keep my promise I found a whole bunch of other things to keep me busy after returning home from training. I had to get out or surely would have started dusting. So I went foraging.

I found a slew of dandelions for us to talk about later this week. Here are just a few.

And the mustard spinach growing in the lawn needed to be picked before the mower got a hold of it.

Then I decided to venture in the woods across from the house. I didn’t find much more than a bunch of mosquitoes. And a ton of fairly old bottles and cans. Who ever logged these woods many years ago (or the teenagers who once lived here) sure liked Budweiser.

How old do you think this Pepsi bottle is? It’s plastic, but still been here awhile.

And this iced tea can.

I did find some really great spots deep in the woods. At one point, there I was carrying my basket with the hood of my sweatshirt up to help fight off the mosquitoes. I found myself singing…

“Hey there Little Red Ridinghood. You sure are looking good. You’re everything that a big bad wolf could want.”

Do you remember that song? Well, about the third time through I realized I was in the exact location where the pack of coyote who live in these woods were yelling at me just two nights ago. I love to run in and wander the woods alone. The song was strangely fun and creepy.

The beasts will accompany my future foraging expeditions, per the Mister. I’m married to a Marine, grew up in the woods and have no trouble taking care of myself. Nor do I have a poor sense of direction, but I was stalked by a big cat in these woods once too. I mean a BIG cat. Mountain Lion. They “say” we don’t have them in the Shire, but that’s nonsense. I watched it run past me chasing a dear. A short time later I heard something following me. I turned just in time to see it behind me. I knew it was there all the way home. I’m frequently reminded we have 300 pounds of dog for a reason. But it’s much nicer alone.

I wandered for about an hour and then ventured back home. Started some vanilla extract…

And sourdough starter.

Made two new batches of sauerkraut.

Look at this line up!

Now I have a ton of writing to do and you have a sneak peak at a few of the things to come. But I fear I may have to break my promise before the week is over. I can only keep this up for so long. Or perhaps I should add a couple more morning clients?

I hope your week has started as sweetly as mine! 

Live Well!
~S 

We’re Moving!
Come visit our new home….

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View the original post at A Life Enchanted

Whole Living With Stephanie has been gaining moment with gusto lately. New readers, new followers, site stats doubling and tripling almost daily. I’m overwhelmed, thrilled and even humbled from the experience.

So why wreck a good thing?

Well, because this was the plan for years. From the very beginning. No, not to destroy something. To GROW! I started the blog to get my feet wet. To be a stepping stone in the transition. But it was always my plan to take the blog further. To create a full site where I could share everything that I do and everything that I hope to do.

I have been dreaming of this adventure for as long as I can remember. As a small girl, before entering school, I would mix “herbs” in a bucket with a stick. At 8 I was buying magazines filled with muscled up men and a few women. As a teenager I made my own skin care products, sneaking things from the kitchen and hiding in the bathroom. As a very young new mom, I made my own baby food, fed my family only healthy things, worked out daily, taught my little guy to cook before he could walk. Sort of. Coty would sit on the counter next to me watching as I chopped and stirred, experimented and created. I would let him mix and add and I would talk to him about what I was doing as I went. And at 17 he can cook an amazing meal.  I still believe that it was eating clean, working out everyday and using the vitamin E oil creation I made that kept me from getting a single stretch mark from either pregnancy.

So, as you can see, this has been a journey. I have books filled with ideas and recipes, drawings and dreams from throughout my life. All leading up to this.
A Life Enchanted.

This is a mere fraction of the books and journals

There have been pauses and adventures that seemed to have led me in different directions. But those were part of the journey. They strengthened my resolve, taught me great lessons and showed me this is really where I was meant to be.

I didn’t do this overnight. I didn’t read someone’s blog and decide that making a few skin care products sounded like fun or a way to make a little money. In fact, I have made more products for family and friends at my own expense than ever making any for even my own cost. I do this out of a life long passion.

I had a fear of pursuing this dream for years. The biggest dreams can seem the most out of reach. I had a fear of telling anyone about this dream. A fear that my inspiration, my love would encourage someone else to pursue MY dream… and possibly succeed before I did. A selfish and silly fear. I know. Only a few choice friends can tell you how I have longed for this day for as long as they have known me and longer.

I must tell you that making this change is terrifying. The fear of losing momentum was nearly crippling. Many nights I lie awake wondering if changing everything so drastically would be a fatal decision. I put it off for quite some time. Long after I had chosen the name and even created the site.

But I need to thank so many of you for following me here. I’m surprised and honored at the results so far! 128 views in the first 4 hours yesterday. Thank you, thank you, thank you. For those that haven’t had a blog or website, you might not realize that every click has meaning. That every page viewed, every like, every comment helps.

See that follow button down there on the right?? (over at A Life Enchanted, of course)

Click it! And let me know you like the change. Your support means more than I could ever explain.

I know that adding another site, receiving another email, it can all be a giant pain. But we won’t be moving again. I swear.

And I will end the sappy stories for a time too!

Live Well!
~S 

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Happy May Day!

May Day is a festival of fertility, celebrated all over the world for centuries. Predating Christianity, May Day, often known as Beltane, the festival of Flora and Walpurgis Night, has been a time of revelry. Saying  a final good bye to Winter, hello to neighbors and honoring the Gods for a strong Summer bounty. People gather, they sing and dance, feast and have great fires.

Thanks to my sweet friend, Kesh, I was able to participate in a glorious celebration including a Maypole!

My children are far too old for such things now. I was so happy to be invited to share in this event with so many babes running around. For most, this was their first ever May Day celebration. I love watching others learn of such traditions. Thank you, Kesh!

In honor of May Day, of fertility and great bounties, of new beginnings, I have a gift for you!

Many times you have heard me hint of such a gift, a new name, a new place. Well, today I would like for you to see what I have been working on!

A Life Enchanted   –   www.alifeenchanted.com

I have created a new site, filled with so much more than I have been able to offer here. It is certainly still a work in progress, however, I couldn’t wait any longer for you to be a part of it! Over the next few weeks you will continue to see changes and watch it grow.

I wanted to be able to combine the many things I do. Here, I have created a place for all the enchantments that make up my world and hopefully, yours. I chose A Life Enchanted, partially in honor of the botanical and apothecary line I have been perfecting over the last 16 years and am finally finding time to fully pursue. But also, because I really have found a sense of enchantment in this life I have laid out. The whimsy, the earthiness. It is truly enchanting. To feel healthy, to be happy, to be inspired and creative.

Whole Living With Stephanie will now become A Life Enchanted. But this site will stay up for a time. To allow everyone the chance to adjust. I hope you will find this move exciting and follow me on this journey into becoming bigger, better and far more inspiring. With this I will be able to offer so much more to my readers. I have big plans for you dear readers!

Please take the time to follow the page and don’t be shy! Come and let me know what you think. Ask me your questions and tell me your ideas. I look forward to sharing this with you.

I hope you are excited as I am!

Live Well!
~S 

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What a fabulous weekend here in The Shire.

Friday and Saturday were gloriously and unseasonably warm. Sunday was perfectly drizzly and stormy. I couldn’t have asked for more. There was some serious production and accomplishments. A bit of a visit with one of my favorite people, a stroll through a perfect cemetery (I’m jealous) and a spin in the orchard (ditto). And there was some serious relaxation too.

Some much needed relaxation, for big things are about to break. Months, of work – many, many years of planning and dreaming – are about to collide. Dreams realized. Fears faced. Worries, well, mostly conquered.

I have been working on something big for you all! And soon I will be able to deliver. But first I must make sure it’s perfect. This lovely weekend, was the calm before the storm.

Take a look…. 

I foraged and treasure hunted near the sea

And what a bounty to be had

I prepared another sweet gift for you dear readers

She bloomed while I was away

I dined on the porch

Botanicals were created, sealed and delivered

I lounged on the couch with the Mister and sipped Sauvignon Blanc

I played with the goats

The Mister did too. He is in love.

She wanted to come home with us

I fell in love with these babies

And remembered why I don’t want pigs

I hope your weekend was as lovely as my own! 

Live Well!
~S 

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I am fairly well versed in wild New England Edibles. I love to spend time, basket slung over my arm wandering the woods, fields and riverbanks of New Hampshire foraging for greens and berries and the like.

There is something inspiring, comforting and even exciting about making a meal from things found. Last year, while the Mister and Macala were fishing, I gathered berries. I made a lovely black raspberry crostada. Many Summer nights we enjoyed salads of wild greens found in my travels.

My thirty six years, though, have not been sufficient to leave me anywhere near an expert in such things.  Perhaps under other circumstances. Perhaps were we in a time when survival meant being so. Perhaps, no, certainly, then I would be schooled by a ten year old in the matter of wild edibles.

But I press on! I am determined to learn more.

So what will be next? 

I’m spending some time with my favorite guide this lovely, warm Spring afternoon in the Shire to pick.

My feeling, pick something and learn as much as you can about it before moving on to anything else.

I wonder what it will be this Spring? 

I’ll let you know as soon as I choose.

Live Well!
~S

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Good morning!

My favorties

An early morning stroll in the garden

I can sometimes be found outside with my sandbag when the sun is rising

Blog notes

Last minute hair ornament making before my first client

Almost forgot

A bit of shopping

Score!

My next project

Choosing paint colors

It’s Friday – Pizza and Vino Day!

Roasted asparagus and shittake mushroom with feta and mozzarella

It was a good day!

Live Well!
~S 

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