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News from the Retreat

Easy to Make Natural Mosquito Repellent – Chemical Free

lavender-733874_1280

Lavender is My Favorite Essential Oil

Do you ever wonder exactly what kind of poisons you’re putting on your skin – just to enjoy the outdoors without being eaten alive? Do you really want to smell like a chemical factory?  Due to a very rainy spring season, most of us are having to fend off even more mosquitoes than usual this summer.

Here’s an easy recipe to keep the mosquitoes at bay:

You’ll need:

  • 4 oz spray bottle
  • 30 drops of citronella essential oil*
  • 15 drops of tea tree essential oil*
  • 25 drops of peppermint essential oil*
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil*

* Use therapeutic grade oil only.

  1. Fill 1/2 way with distilled or boiled water.
  2. Add essential oils.
  3. Add witch hazel to fill.

Test a small amount on skin first to make sure there’s no irritability.

Find Inner Peace – Guided Meditation

Begin the meditation. Sit in a comfortable spot, close your eyes and find your inner peace.

Guided Meditation – Rain from Theresa Polley on Vimeo.

This guided meditation is from our Sunday morning meditation practice at a recent yoga retreat. It was another rainy morning in the Pines. Usually we meditate on our Yoga Platform, but the rain kept us inside.

Meditation isn’t so much about clearing your mind, but simply training the “monkey mind” to stay in the moment. You can meditate while walking, eating, drinking your morning cup of coffee or simply sitting in a comfortable seated position. Meditation can relieve stress and depression, help you relax and find more joy with family and friends and allow you to get a better night’s sleep.

For more information on how how to meditate on your own, see our recent blog.

Spend a weekend learning how to be mindful in your life and begin your own meditation practice at our Mindfulness & Meditation Retreat. 

Celebrating You!

We’d like to honor ALL women. Regardless of roles, labels, accomplishments or setbacks… one thing we know for sure: YOU are an incredible woman. Enjoy time in a community of encouraging and supportive women at one of our retreats. Book here.

Yoga RetreatAs women, we’ve enjoyed the good times. The joy of getting together with friends laughing so intensely we’re snorting, the exhilaration of a new haircut and getting dressed up for a night out, the empowerment of using our gifts and talents, the rush of doing what we love – playing sports, writing, practicing yoga, building, teaching – whatever feeds our souls.

And we’ve endured the bad times. Starting our period at the most inopportune time, a bad hair day or a giant pimple on the day we see our crush, an outfit we just knew we were rocking that, in retrospect, was a clothing faux pas, finding toilet paper stuck to our super cute shoes. You know those moments.

Through the good times and the bad, being a woman can be so freeing. No need to worry about adjusting our parts (unlike some men who even adjust in public), no judgement for finding blessed silence in bathroom breaks (from children, work, spouse!), no awkwardness in crying, hugging or discussing our feelings. This is what we do!

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Jalapeño-Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

jalapeno-blueberry cornmeal pancakesHello, love at first bite!

So, this recipe sounds a little weird but I promise it’s amazing if you love sweet and savory combos. This idea came one morning when I had a lot of random things on hand, and no idea what to make. I’d recently visited a local brunch spot that served a pecan waffle with blue cheese-cayenne butter (and moonshine syrup which I actually ate with my spoon at some point during the meal) – it was amazing to say the least – and somehow I ended up with one of my favorite kitchen creations: the jalapeño-blueberry cornmeal pancake.

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Spring is Blooming in the Pines – Photo Tour

As the days are getting longer, the weather warmer, my heart yearns to be outside.

Walking through the pine trees, enjoying a glass of wine on the deck, spending a lazy day in the hammock. What about you?

Join me on my recent journey.

Plan your getaway to one of our upcoming retreats.

The Sun Rise through the Pines

Sun Rise through the Pines

Trees Bloom to Life

Trees Bloom to Life

View From the Hammock

View From the Hammock

Spring Beauty - Dogwood

Spring Beauty – Dogwood

Moth

Moth outside Yoga Studio

Spring Everywhere

Spring Everywhere

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Zesty LemonBerry Coffee Cake

lemonberry coffee cake 2A few weeks ago my roommate and I decided that it would be fun to host a housewarming brunch. Being the procrastinator that I am, of course I didn’t think about how much work it would be… until about four days prior. As I was preparing, I shared with mom what I was making: her amazing sausage gravy, that simple apple crisp I love, and my favorite kitchen sink frittata… and of course something new!

I found a recipe for sticky lemon rolls that just looked and sounded so delicious, but being the wise woman that mom is she gently encouraged me to refrain from making anything that might stress me out. Which led to the discovery of my new favorite kitchen creation: LemonBerry Coffee Cake. I discovered this recipe, and made some tweaks (like decreasing the amount of sugar, swapping coconut oil for butter, and adding more zest) and it’s a huge hit at retreats.

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How to Meditate: Find Your New Beginning

Suffering quote

Suffering. While it is something that we all must endure as human beings, there is something so baffling about the way we hold onto, and create, suffering that is familiar. I don’t like to think that I’ve created suffering for myself, but if I’m being completely honest I realize that I have. Maybe you’ve done this… gone over and over something in your head, trying to figure out what went wrong, what you could have done differently, wishing you could go back in time and fix it. By worrying, we needlessly create suffering for ourselves. We know there is no going back, only the here and now, and only the hope of another day to go forward… yet we continue to allow the mind to worry, giving the only thing that we actually possess – the present moment – away to the power of fear.

Thoughts and feelings are complex parts of our human makeup, and we can easily make the mistake of taking them as truth or being consumed by them. But the truth is, you can control your thoughts and you don’t have to let them control you. Meditation can help.

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Breakfast Frittata

Frittata

Oh, the incredible edible egg. Eggs are, by far, my favorite way to start the day. They make a nutrient-rich, protein-packed breakfast that keeps me satisfied well until lunch, plus they’re one of those “brain foods” that are just really good for you. I know there’s a lot of confusion around whether eggs are “good” or “bad” for you, but this article does a great job of breaking it down and explaining it.

When I’m cooking for others the “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” Breakfast Frittata is always my go-to. It works great because you can put anything you want in the frittata and it tastes good. Kaycee or Heather prepare this deliciousness for Sunday Brunch for every retreat.

Get creative! I always love using leftovers in my kitchen creation: fajita veggies from last night, sausage from that BBQ place yesterday, sautéed mushrooms from dinner on the other day. Don’t underestimate the power of leftovers!

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Give More Than You Take

Nina and I on our Favorite Deck

Last year Nina treated me to the Give More Than You Take art exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art as a Christmas gift. While I loved the exhibit (it was one of the most unique and interesting installations I’ve ever seen), what really struck me was the concept: “give more than you take.” While it might seem contradictory to one of my favorite topics, self-care, I believe they’re quite complementary.

Jim Hodges, the artist, transforms everyday items, often overlooked, into breathtaking pieces of art. I came across a quote that describes the installation perfectly: “Delicate art that conveys a sense that everything is precariousness, everything is fleeting, so embrace this lovely moment.” ~ WBUR The ARTery

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Discover Your Detox

Focus on the new quote

Sometimes (ok a lot of times) there’s something I need to do, but I just don’t feel like it. Like detoxing (getting rid of anything that doesn’t add joy to my life)… it’s something I don’t feel like doing, but I recognize how GOOD I will feel once I begin. It seems easier to let the junk pile higher, the unhealthy habits continue, the toxic relationships suck the life out of us. But it only seems easier.

If you need help getting your detox started, check out one of our Detox & Yoga Retreats – all levels are welcome and we offer several per year.

Detoxing is an important aspect of wellness and finding peace. Don’t worry, I’m not referring to one of those detox fad diets where you only drink a disgusting “detox” formula for two weeks… those are dangerously unhealthy. For a delicious and healthy”Detox” drink, try our Ginger Detox Tea. I believe that a healthy detox is an ongoing practice of ridding ourselves of the things that are toxic to our lives. When talking about detoxing, most people immediately relate it to food – but toxins go far beyond food. Anything with an inherent property that “tends to destroy life or impair health” could be considered toxic. This means that negative self talk, harmful relationships, unhealthy habits, faulty coping mechanisms, stress, unnecessary clutter – emotional, physical and mental – are all forms of toxins… and the list goes on. With 2015 upon us, it’s the perfect time to make a positive change in our lives.

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