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January 2010 - Shivaya Naturals

January 2010

Sunday Serenity

January 31, 2010

My Journal

Today begins a new series that I am excited to share, Sunday Serenity.

Sunday Serenity is a continuation of the We Deserve This series from a few weeks back, and it is just a place to gather for a little peace for the week ahead. There is something about writing on this subject that makes me happy, and I am looking forward to sharing part of each weekend with all of you.

As life gets busier, and the boys get older, I find myself requesting a few hours each weekend to rejuvenate, and find serenity. My husband, who travels an awful lot, is very in tune with the fact that I spend most of my week raising two children on my own, and he is generous enough to give me the time that I need to reconnect with myself before the week starts again. A warm bath, a face mask, or an extra hour to sleep in feels like heaven, and it helps tremendously to get my mind into the right place.

This weekend I was in desperate need of a good face exfoliation, and I recently discovered that you can use a small amount of baking soda to remove dead skin. Now, I have to tell you, I think that there is little else that is better than baking soda. We use it as a deodorant (rub a small amount on the underarm, and you are all set), and it works so well I could never wear anything but. We use it to clean our bathrooms and kitchen, just simply cut a lemon in half, pour baking soda over the surface that you want to clean, and rub the lemon over it. Works like a charm.
I grind oatmeal and baking soda together, and add it to my bath to both soothe the dry itch, and soften my skin.
Now I can add one more use; exfoliation

photo by Joel

After my shower, I wet my face, took about a quarter size of baking soda and rubbed gently in clockwise circles. My face feels so yummy soft, and it feels heavenly to get all that icky winter skin off.

I am one of those silly people who love anything gooey and sticky, so face masks with ingredients from my kitchen are always a lot of fun. The kids will some times jump in and enjoy a little face mask time with me, but for the most part, this is a once a week treat that I just savor

Both plain yogurt and honey are two incredibly hydrating ingredients that soothe my dry skin. Yogurt has a mild bleaching effect to the face, so it can even out skin tone, and honey draws moisture in, and then helps to retain it the longer you keep it on. I was curious to see what happens when you mix the two together, and I liked the results. It is a mess to wear a mask like this, but rather fun to just sit back and relax with a towel covering my hair, and some Tori Amos on my iPod. To make: Mix 1 tbsp. of honey to 1 tsp. of yogurt. Apply and rest 15-20 minutes

My weekend yoga practice is always my longest of the week, and I let my body guide me to the areas that are in need of extra time. I am almost always in need of hip, thigh and groin openers, and I found myself staying for a long period of time in Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose) over the past few days.

To begin, sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Draw the heels of your feet in towards your pelvis. Sitting straight, grip your feet firmly, and begin to open the feet like a book.

Only to the point of comfort, begin to press your knees towards the floor.

Press your elbows to your thighs, and taking a big exhale, fold forward, sinking into a deep stretch. Never allow yourself to go beyond the point of your comfort.
Take a few minutes here to let the body relax deeply into the pose. When ready, inhale and rise back to a seated position. Stretch your legs out in front of you, and continue with the rest of your practice (or simply lie back and take a few deep breaths before continuing with your day).

One of my favorite parts of my weekend is my alone time with my husband. A few minutes reading a book together, talking about something that is on our minds, or just sitting silently helps us to connect. We have recently rediscovered the joys of a good cup of tea, and we find ourselves refilling the kettle all through the weekend.

Joel’s 35th birthday was this past Wednesday, and this was really the first year of our marriage that we took some very special time together to celebrate. One thing that I gifted him with was this amazing chai concentrate from Amy’s blog. It was funny because on Friday, I was visiting one of my daily reads, and saw that I was not the only wife gifting her husband with this jar of yumminess.

If you are a lover of chai, this recipe is not to be missed.

Before my weekend ends, I try to spend just a few minutes writing in my journal. I sometimes need to give myself small reminders, things that I can look to, about what I need to keep myself grounded. I am determined to keep the joy in each of my days, no matter how trying, and this time in my journal is a way to put down on paper what I need, what I can reach for, in order to do so. This weekend, a reminder of five things that make ME feel nurtured.

What five things do you need to feel nurtured this week?

Nicola has a wonderful list of posts from around our community that served as great reading yesterday morning over my coffee (thank you for including me Nicola!).
Lisa has a few face mask recipes that are really worth trying out for a little more nurturing this week.

Wishing you all a day filled with serenity


In talking about connection last week, Julia and Laura immediately came to my mind. They are twin sisters, best of friends, and constant companions. As we have been talking about what true relationships are based on, and how connection is created, their relationship stands out.

I adore both of these ladies, and I am so honored to call them friends. Their story inspires me to always believe in connections, and to seek them out whenever possible. Although we are not all lucky enough to have a mirror image to rely on, it is good to remember just how powerful a true soul connection can be

The circle opens. Welcome Julia and Laura

Tell us a little bit about yourselves, your families, and the work that you do.

We grew up on a Mountain in the Adirondacks. We were our parent’s only children and each other’s only playmate growing up since there were no other kids where we lived. Laura still lives on the mountain, along with the rest of our local relatives on our Dad’s side of the family. Julia lives in a neighboring town where her husband grew up. We both have a great love of this area and our families. We have the same friends and try to get together with them whenever possible. We love crafting and sewing together and began vending our Adirondack Mama’s Gifts goods at the local Farmer’s Markets this past year. It was really successful and led to us starting up an Etsy shop for the off season. www.samthehamsmom.etsy.com

Now a bit about our families.


Jay and I met online in 2001, and it was love at first sight (as cliche as that sounds.) We got engaged in late 2002. Married in 2003, We built and moved into a house down the mountain from where our parents’ live just 2 months before our son Sam Hayden was born. Sam is our little buddy, he loves to play games with Daddy and he LOVES to snuggle up with me. We are happiest when we stay home together, and have been known to spend an entire weekend at home without leaving the driveway.

Fran is four years older than I and . We both had eyes for each other in high school, but never even spoke, too shy on both fronts. Then one day when I was 19, I saw him in a store and we started talking. We exchanged numbers and went on our first date shortly after. That was that, we have been together 11 years,and married for 6 years. We are both very independent of each other, opposites attract in many ways, but it works for us. We have a five year old little boy named Eben. He is a mix of the best qualities of both of us. He is Daddy’s helper and Mama’s little love. He is magic.

You two have very similar lives, but what is different about each of you, things that you both notice.

It’s so funny to answer this question because if you had asked us this question 12 years ago when we graduated from High School the answer would have been “Nothing, we are completely alike!” But through the years, marriage, and the boys, our similarities have altered. If you look at our web logs, the differences are really apparent. Right down to our favorite colors and taste in style and writing. We are Mirror image twins which means that our hair spirals and fingerprints go in opposite directions and we write with opposite hands. The whole right brain(left handed)/left brain(right handed) theory seems to apply to us in our differences in personality and interests.


Julia likes to be out doing things, she loves to take a nap in the afternoon, she would be happy wearing jeans and t-shirts or sweaters with clogs every day and would much rather read or listen to music than watch TV. Julia is more lackadaisical, free spirited, and scatterbrained than I could ever be. She is more artistic than I though. She flits from one form of creativity to the next. Knitting, crochet, painting, sewing, making jewelry… you name it, I think she’s tried it!

Although she is only older by 55 seconds, Laura is the typical older sister. She has always looked out for me and is the Mother Hen to me- the chick. She is much more practical in thinking than I. She grounds me so much. This becomes very evident in our work environment. Laura is the more serious one, very Type A. She tells it like it is and I really respect that part of her. She is a perfectionist and very organized and in control. It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers and just one thing to ruffle Laura’s. She is more of a homebody than me, she wears dressier clothes, she likes TV more than I, and she doesn’t like to read very much. She is by far the funniest person that I know.

You are twins, you are both nurses in the same hospital, you own a business together, you have children very close in age, you both live closely, and you even have the same basic house. How does this work with your family life

We both have a love of nursing and we followed our hearts to live and work where we grew up. We work on the same floor of a small hospital. Up until we had our boys five years ago, we worked the same days together. The boys are three months apart. When they were born.. our lives became a complete whirlwind….With our 12 hour shifts at the hospital it was impossible to find daycare for our boys for those hours. We ended up sacrificing our time working together (which we really enjoyed) so that we could trade off watching the boys with each other by working opposite days. It was very taxing on our relationship since the only time that we spent together was trading off kids…but the boys were always with family and that was very important to us. Even now that they are in Kindergarten, the four of us basically co-parent our boys. They both have 2 moms and 2 dads for all intents and purposes. Just like raising TWINS! Luckily, we have very supportive parents.

What do you feel makes your relationship unique

We know that we are not an average set of twins, but a lot of that has to do with our upbringing. Our closeness is ingrained in us. The thing that people have the hardest time understanding is our bond. It is indescribable. We anticipate the other ones needs and can finish each other’s sentences. We talk on the phone 2-3 times a day just to see what is going on. We support each other in absolutely everything that we do. We run to each other before anyone else when things in life get tough. We can just sit in a room together without doing or saying a thing and be perfectly fine with it. The complete and utter comfortableness of it. It is so hard to explain to people; even our husband’s don’t understand it as much as we wish they would.

We do have many similar interests, We inspire each other to be better people….like a walking conscience, and we don’t hold grudges…if we argue, it‘s resolved within 15 minutes or so. We are the absolute only ones that we feel we can be 100% ourselves around. Uncensored.

Are your husbands close? On average, how much time do you spend together

Our husbands only see each other at family get-togethers. They really share no interests other than their tolerance of our relationship and the love that they have for our boys. Our husbands are complete opposites. They are both tall, and handsome without looking a thing alike!

Jay is not originally from the Adirondacks, so he is a bit of a fish out of water to this area. But he is a good sport and recently took up skiing so that he could go with Sam and I. He is a homebody. He is very playful and sweet. He is super funny and very thoughtful. He loves sports and is a genius when it comes to anything electronic. He is always up for trying something new.

Fran is a Adirondack redneck in the truest sense of the word. He fishes and hunts, he loves to be outdoors, and loves nature in general. He has the greenest of thumbs. Even before our house was completed, he had set out where the perennial, annual and vegetable gardens were going to go. Every inch of out little acre has been landscaped under his eye. He is the most handy person that I know. He wears Carhartts and keeps a full beard for half of the year to keep warm when he works outside.

What is important in maintaining a relationship that has such constant contact

Recognizing when the SPACE IS NEEDED!!!!! We both definitely have a wall that we hit when we just need to be alone….even from our twin. Being honest and supportive. Spurring on each other and pulling in the reigns whenever it is needed.

Have you ever spent a significant amount of time apart?

The most time that we have ever been apart is last summer when Julia went to Maine (one week) and when Laura and Jay had their honeymoon (1 ½ weeks). We really don‘t like being apart..

How do you see your relationship in 20 years? What are you doing, living, where are your kids

We both talked about this and both had the same feelings. We hope that nothing changes. We hope that we are still nursing, still married, that the boys are out on their own, hopefully around this area doing a job that they love, and that we are still living where we do, spending the days with our favorite people!!!!

What is the quality you value the most in the other

Julia’s free spirit.

Laura’s complete understanding and support.

Julia and Laura

What do you value in yourselves that makes your relationship with the other strong

I try to be very trustworthy.

I try to be a good listener.

What is your favorite thing to do together

Just being together is usually a blast. Some of our best times have been just talking. Those times when we both find the same thing so funny that we end up with tears stream down our faces. Those are the best times. We have more inside jokes than you could possibly imagine.

Thank you so much to Laura and Julia for being here today. Your story warms my heart, and I hope that my boys will be half as lucky as you two are with finding a genuine connection

Honestly, Thank you for this…you really got us thinking. It’s nice to hear what each other thinks.

Julia and Laura can be found on their own individual blogs, as well as at their store. You can visit Julia here, and Laura here.

I will be back on Sunday for a new series on serenity. Have a very happy weekend