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Inspiration

Friday Favorites

web.Friday Favorites. Trees

Late May in western North Carolina is part summer – part blackberry winter. The days are getting longer, afternoons warmer, gardens spilling over with blooms but the evenings can still be quite cool. (Insert a shout out to my friend and fellow blogger, Julie Wunder, of Running in a Skirt. Her Fashion Friday post this morning got me thinking…)  With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to dedicate my Friday Favorites to 10 must-have summer essentials. Grab a seat and let’s get ready to play! Continue reading…

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Inspiration

Mojo Monday

(PC Tina Masciarelli) Haywood Community College, campus arboreatum & dahlia garden. Mill Pond 1

The second installment of my Mojo Monday series is inspired by On Being and a recent blog post about sacred texts published in celebration of Earth Day. John Muir wrote, “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” This felt like a really big long magnificent breaking storm of a week where stars were colliding rather than shining together. Big highs (Earth Day 2016) and heartbreaking lows (death of a music legend, x2). This week I’m reflecting on places to play and places to pray—and why we need them both.
Continue reading…

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#GetOutandExplore: Corneille Bryan Native Garden

web. cropLemon Trillium

It’s Earth Day. For lovers of the natural world, Earth Day is kind of like our Super Bowl, March Madness and the World Series all rolled into one. There’s a lot at stake. Except in our version of “the big game,” we all win. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 and marks the birth of the modern environmental movement. That was not a particularly bright time in American history. Yet this big burst of light shot out across the globe giving voice to an emerging consciousness that social, political and environmental change was called for—no demanded. In 1970, over 20 million Americans “took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies.” To celebrate Earth Day 2016, my family and I spent some quiet time meandering through the Corneille Bryan Native Garden. Inside the spiritual retreat of Lake Junaluska, Appalachia’s most threatened plant species find a place of refuge. The sanctuary is tucked in a ravine that overlooks the lake, naturally forested by mature trees, where a variety of ecosystems thrive shoulder to shoulder. What better way to honor my brothers and sisters, past and present, who have worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between environmental public awareness, ideas and action than to seek sanctuary in this beautiful preserve. Continue reading…

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Food

Blueberry-Avocado Smoothie

Set Up

Sunny skies, 70 degree afternoons, birds singing around the garden and another hour of daylightwelcome spring! This time of year, my family gets pretty excited to enjoy that extra hour outside. What better way to fuel the active hours before dinner time than a cool and delicious smoothie! Over the years we’ve created quite a long list of favorite recipes featuring seasonal fruit from our own garden and local farms. Between growing seasons, my year round go to favorite has to be Blueberry-Avocado made with Greek yogurt and flax milk. It is loaded with flavor and packs quite a punch of health benefits. I hope this becomes one of your favorites as well! Continue reading…

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#GetOutandExplore: Purchase Knob

The view from the Science Education Center.

There are a number of well worn quotes about the joy of getting outside and exploring nature—Abbey, Keats, Thoreau, Whitman, Blake, Madame Curie, the Book of Jeremiah (6:16) and even Yogi Berra. Perhaps my favorite was penned by John Muir when he mused, “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are dirt.” Like my grandfather, Muir knew that getting into the wild was essential to a life well lived. Spending time outdoors in nature keeps us grounded, gives us perspective, and rejuvenates the soul. In an era of increased sedentary lifestyles and hobbies, even doctors are touting the benefits of unplugging and taking the road less traveled. One of my favorite paths, in any season, leads to Purchase Knob. Continue reading…

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You say it’s your birthday?

Downtown Asheville

I turned 44 this year—cue the music. Unlike some women my age, I love birthdays. More than just another year older, my birth day is a celebration of where I’ve been and presents the opportunity to re-focus my intentions on where I’m going. A reset. I lean toward celebrations that are meaningful and reflective of where I want to go in the coming year over big parties and gifts. Not being much of a “stuff” girl, planning my birthday requires creativity. This year my husband and daughters surprised me with an Urban Crawl in downtown Asheville filled with amazing local food, art, architecture, culture and spirits. Looking for some out-of-the box ideas to celebrate the birthday of someone special? Here’s how I spent mine.

Continue reading…

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