Searching for Cozy.

It’s so cold here. Rainy. Dark. Gloomy. A big gray bucket of suck (thanks, Heather!). It’s a snowless January, filled with fog that looks like it is rising up from the ground; it is the perfect backdrop for a thriller movie. Only the scariest part is that the kids have all this energy because it is too muddy for recess. The HORROR.

The gray is affecting my mood. Sunlight generally fills my soul and January is leaving it less than joyful. I took Facebook off my phone a few times this week-my brain is so tired and my hands hurt so badly that I needed a break from so much social interaction (and bickering. No more bickering.) So when my hands subconsciously went to the non-existent Facebook app this morning, I scrolled up to my old friend Pinterest. After pinning a few recipes, and a couple quotes, a post captured my attention…HARD.

I loved that it was pronounced “hooga’ (like “HOOGA BOOGA”, thanks, Brian!) and this definition really spoke to me, so I searched for more. I came across this pin, too:

I have been reflecting about this meaning of Hygge all day, and I am thinking about focusing on something like this to get rid of the January BLAHS. Anybody else up for this? Obviously Christmas is over, but you get the point. How can we realistically incorporate some of these cozy acts into our lives?

I’m all for warm socks, coffee, and chocolate…

Krista Brings More SOUL to Little Bird Soul

Happy 2017, sweet friends. I hope all of you had wonderful holidays and are back to bringing peace and love to your everyday routines.

I have been meaning to do this for a while now, but I want to introduce you to our friend, Krista. Krista has been helping bead many of the mala bracelets that you find at trunk shows and studios. Although she is away at college, we work together on style ideas and I send her all of the same high-quality stones and crystals that you expect from Little Bird Soul. Krista has IT; she has the soul, the love, and the positive energy that has always been an important component in this business. I am so appreciative of her and all of her work; it allows me to spend my time on custom orders, full and wrapped malas, and jewelry. Having Krista also helps give me the balance I need in life with business, yoga, family, friends, and travel.

So I put together a fun little questionnaire…

MEET KRISTA!

Who are you and what do you do? -I am a 21 year old college student, currently attending Grand Valley State University studying Natural Resource Management. I am also a farmer, plant and herb nerd, environmentalist, christian, animal lover, vegan, and total goofball!

What work do you most enjoy doing? -I love being hands on! So as a farmer, I 100% love to get my hands dirty by cultivating and creating new things.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist? -I’ve been a nanny, a waitress, after school program coordinator, a file clerk, all in one food service team member for a gourmet sandwich and pizza shop, along with working at a juice and smoothie bar, and at a natural body and house care/apothecary shop known as Dirty Girl Farm!

What food, drink, song inspires you? -Food: I really love toast! More specifically toast with sunflower seed butter currently! Drink: coffee with cinnamon and medicinal adaptogenic herbs. The plant and herb nerd in me comes out at all times, even when drinking coffee. Song: U2’s City of Blinding Lights. Hands down, forever and always!

What do you like about your work? -The creative outlet it gives me. I love being able to sit and create something new, beautiful, unique, and totally one of a kind. To know that the pieces are able to bless someone is so so cool!

What superpower would you have and why? -To be able to touch a book and instantly know all of it’s contents. I love to learn so if I could be a super book information soaker that would be awesome!

Name something you love and why. -Nature. It’s where I feel the most grounded, at peace, beautiful, and closer in my faith. It’s incredibly meditative for me to just step outside and be immersed on a farm or even in the woods. It acts like a reset button for me.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? -To stop putting coins into my own butt kicking machine! I think sometimes we are our own worst enemies and worst critics. I was probably 10 when I was given that piece of advice. It was from my childhood best friends grandma and I still remember it and remind myself of that to this day! She was and is one special lady to me 🙂

What wouldn’t you do without? -Music. It’s able to translate things that some words just can’t. Whether it be a feeling or words itself that you just couldn’t find before, it bridges the gap.

Why do you like working for Little Bird Soul? -As a current college student who commutes, it is 100% a blessing that I am able to work from home. Not only does it help with my school schedule, but it allows me to design and ground myself by giving me a creative outlet! I love that I am a part of spreading love and peace in such a beautiful and simple way by creating such intentional pieces for people. It is such an amazing opportunity and privilege to be a part of that!

A Quiet Reminder

Oh friends, it sounds so cliche that I type this, but please remember that during the hustle and bustle of this season:

You MUST take care of yourself first.

There are so many expectations, obligations, and traditions that we feel that we must fulfill in order to give a proper holiday. And yes, traditions and such are so important, but at what expense? Stress? Financial strain? Sickness?

I thought I was doing pretty well by giving myself a six-week deadline for custom orders and well-spaced out trunk shows. I even have sweet Krista (you’ll meet her soon!) helping me bead for trunk shows and even with her wonderful help, I couldn’t keep up. I got knocked on my butt with the stomach flu. And when you own your own business that thrives on this holiday season, you can’t afford to give up two days of work (or yoga, sigh). I am so thankful for my husband and his flexible schedule and his talents with the laundry. Did I mention that during all of this, my children also came down with two sets of ear infections, the stomach flu, and pink eye? It doesn’t end.

Sleep. Yoga. Eat well. Rest. Stop for a moment. At some point in our lives, BUSY became the new normal. The word that makes us feel important, valuable, worthy. But nobody is sitting there taking note of your schedule and your accomplishments. What they are doing is worrying about you and whether or not you are burning out. Or getting sick.

So please, this holiday season:

Be good to yourself.

Be kind.

Breathe.

Be LOVE.

amanda-open

Breathe.

Whoa. These last couple weeks have been intense in Little Bird Soul Land.

For those of you that don’t know, I’m married with three children (aka The Pickies) and I have two silly bulldogs. The Pickies are a lot of wonderful, crazy, and hilarious work, but I think they are turning out pretty ok. 🙂

family

Teaching the kids to advocate for themselves is a wild ride. Whether it be encouraging them to not be afraid to ask for what they want in life, to standing up for themselves, to researching choices and making the best decisions, it is so important to model these scenarios for the kids because let’s face it: THEY ARE WATCHING.

We like the democratic process in our family. We like the politics and the possibility of change. We put signs in our yard and we advocate. And sometimes, it just doesn’t go our way. And we breathe.

Little Bird Soul is such a blessing because the whole idea behind the product is to carry reminders of peace with you wherever you go. Reminders that breathing through the good times will help through the bad times. That if you pause for that one hot moment and take a few deep breaths, things MAY just be ok.

Each mala I sell has a large stone or a bead next to the tassel. That is the prayer/guru bead. Much like your yoga practice, that is where you close your eyes, touch the stone, and set the intention of your meditation or breath. Take a deep breath and when you exhale, touch the bead next to the prayer bead. Breathe in again and touch the next bead. Continue until you make your way around the mala.

Some days we may only have four breaths to give. And some days we may have 108. Just close your eyes and breathe. When your monkey mind wanders and the grocery list seems way long and the kids start wrestling, go back to your breath. Inhale. Exhale. Sometimes I will use a mantra for each bead. Breathe in. “I AM ENOUGH” as you breathe out. Any mantra this is significant to you. Anything that empowers you.

wrapped-amethyst

When life is unkind, breathe. It may just get you through anything.

Even the Pickies’ homework, dinner requests, and sporting events.