Sunday Serenity: Indulgence

April 18, 2010

It feels so good to be back here for Sunday Serenity. Perhaps it was just me, but I have been feeling out of kilter lately, and I needed some true “me” time over this weekend.

Our weekends lately have been taken up with soccer games for the boys. I really enjoy watching them play, and coming into their own by not playing on the same team for the first time since they began. Their games are normally hours apart, so after Elwood’s game in the morning, I snuck home to spend the afternoon with myself.

The rain began mid-morning, and with the temps only in the high 40’s (um, hello Spring, where did you go?), I decided some bath spa time was in order.


Years ago I had a chance to visit an amazing aruvedic center in New Mexico. The experience was intense, but very purifying as well, and one thing that I fell in love with was detoxifying scrubs. While I was there, I learned that the traditional scrubs were used in place of soap, and were created to try and draw toxins from the body. They were also used as full body masks for even deeper purification. I asked one of the aruvedic practitioners what was in it, and all she could tell me was vegetable protein and spices. While that was not a ton to go on, I tried to recreate the smells when I returned home, and I think that I have it pretty close.
I tend to use the scrub as a body soap as well, and always at the beginning of the shower.

As I think that I have mentioned in the past, I love blending nourishing oils for my family, and finding different ways to nurture our skin. I have recently fallen in love with the amazing properties of avocado oil, and since my boys can not live without their chocolate oil smell, I knew we needed to add that in for them. From that, a simple oil was born of melted cocoa butter and avocado oil, along with a few drops of lavender essential oil. It is so hydrating for the skin, and the perfect way to seal the pours after a detoxifying scrub.

Detoxifying Scrub

3/4 cup of gluten free vegetable protein
1/4 cup milk powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander

Mix together with a fork or whisk, and store in a cool dry place for up to 2 months.

Hydrating Oil

8 oz organic avocado oil
4 oz cocoa butter
2-4 drops lavender essential oil

Melt together in a double broiler, and bottle when cooled.
This is a very rich and intense oil, perfect for dry or sunned skin.


I am coming to realize that it is important to have a spot that no matter what is happening, is comfortable and relaxing. For me, that spot has become my own bed. I have co-slept with two beautiful souls, breast fed, read, dreamed, loved, dried tears, and been granted a ton of snuggles in my bed, and I feel that it is the most sacred place that I have in my home. For me, it is now a symbol of all that I have become as a mom and a woman, and a place where I can feel free to get lost in myself. My journal, a great book, these are the types of things that I like to curl into my spot with, on a cozy weekend afternoon, and enjoy.


Sitting in my bed, reading a great book, and drinking a pot of tea. That is an afternoon well spent.

I love a great cup of coffee in the morning, there is no denying that. I did not begin to drink coffee until my youngest child was two, but since that time, I have enjoyed it each and every morning. Having said that, there is nothing that I like better than a good cup of tea. My mom was great at introducing tea to me young, and I loved all the varieties of fruits and herbs that were available. Oh how I remember going out to dinner with my parents, as a pretty young girl, and how grown up I felt with my pot of water and wooden tea box at the end of the meal.

Today, I have a blast taking the boys to a fun tea shop, and letting them pick out something really indulgent. Tea time in our house has always been a part of our days, and since we can never go out for pastries or breads, it is nice to create that in our daily lives. Two of my current favorites; Chocolate orange roobios, and apple cinnamon. A friend of mine sent them from a small tea store in New York that she lives around the corner from, and I only ever drink them on special occasions. Hey, some people save special bottles of wine, or brandy. I save tea.

A special blend that the boys and I have been working on is dried mint, orange peel, and a cinnamon stick. So warm and uplifting

With the rain still falling, I (almost reluctantly), dragged myself from my warm spot to go and watch Jacob play his game. Those boys work so darn hard, and after a grueling hour in the harsh weather, my baby was in need of some serious energy. Jake and I have been talking a lot recently about the Green Smoothie Challenge, and some recipes that we might want to try. I think that one of the incredible positives about Jacob having celiac disease, and being faced with some health challenges early, is that he knows how EVERYTHING makes him feel. He knows that when he eats well, when he takes his supplements, when he gets outside and exercises, he feels good. I think that he spent so much time feeling horrible, that he is very attentive to keeping himself in a balanced place.

We stopped off at the natural food store on our way home and picked up some seasonal fruit, as well as some Kale, and headed home to give us both a little bit of energy.


I LOVE cooking with my kids, and I know that is one reason that Jacob going to school is painfully hard for me. Waking up in the mornings, cooking, reading, and just being together has been so amazing. I know that times like these, when he and I are sharing space, making something for the rest of the family to enjoy, that it is going to become sacred time for both of us.

I let Jacob take the reins on our smoothie for the day, and I must say that he did a great job of picking out some yummy ingredients for all of us to enjoy. It was just what we needed


Jacob’s Green Smoothie
2 Tbsp 3-6-9 oil
1 Tbsp flax meal
1 Tbsp probiotic powder
1 Tbsp Spirulina powder
1 Tbsp honey
1 chopped apple, skin on
2 roughly cut bananas
1 box of organic strawberries
1 small bunch of kale
1 cucumber, skin on and chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 Tbsp of chopped fresh mint
The juice of one orange

Place everything into the blender, and liquefy.
Drink immediately and enjoy


And the perfect way to end a simple but wonderful day? Movie night


Friends of ours from Denver came up to stay last night, and brought a copy of the movie Earth for the kids to watch. After some thought, we decided that we all wanted to see it, and we popped some popcorn and got ready to head downstairs (our only TV is in our basement, which is SO nice). As only my Jake could do, he went outside to the garage and came back with individual Chinese take out containers that he knew I had from a party last summer.
Having kids has taught me something that I think I had forgotten; that life is supposed to be pretty and fun, and even something as simple as popcorn should be eaten in a beautiful container.

Indulgence has become such a bad word in our society, and yet, indulging in time to take care of ourselves, time to read and find comfort, time to spend with our amazing children, is what makes us whole. It is what makes us wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to fight hard for our kids safety, security and well being. Fight hard for our work, for our marriage, and for our community. Indulgence is essential, and it is a way for us to take some time away and say that we are worth doing something nice for as well. “Me” time can be hard to come by, but when it comes, it is always transforming.

Happy Sunday everyone

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

AdirondackMama April 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Oh Heather, what a great post. I have been feeling so OFF lately. I am in search of any serenity, so thank you for this. Chocolate Orange Roobios?!?!?! YUM.

Your last paragraph really hit the nail on the head. BINGO.

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childhood magic April 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm

You are so wonderful! Thank you for such a thoughtful and inspiring post. I would love to try the detox scrub, and avocado cocoa oil sounds so perfect!

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Kiran April 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I love this!

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Brooke April 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm

sounds like you know exactly what you need. I still need to realize my own bodies cues… I tend to forget when I need me time! Thanks for the reminder. I love the recipes… I am starting my green smoothie challenge tomorrow, so I need to go to the store and pick up some ingredients… what is the 3-6-9 oil? probably something you mentioned before, but I forgot :) Have a great Sunday, Heather!

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Sheryl Paul April 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Happy Sunday, to you, too! Me-time is so essential, especially as a mom when me-time so easily falls by the wayside. My sacred Sunday ritual is a yoga class: 2 hours away from the house with my husband in charge of my two boys. And my favorite spot is also our giant family bed – when baby is asleep in the other room and big boy is with daddy…

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jessica April 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Indulgence! I was just talking with a co-worker on Friday about how I am good at taking care of others and I (very) often forget to take care of myself. No good. Your Sunday Serenity series really helps me take out some time for myself and really slow down. Me-time is so important and it looks like you had a lovely afternoon. I started drinking tea as a very young girl and now whenever I am in need of comfort I turn to a warm pot of tea (though, like you, I love a good cup of coffee in the morning!)

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samthehamsmom April 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm

NOW I AM OFF TO THE TUB! THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL WORDS, AND THE BEAUTIFUL PICTURES. HAPPY SUNDAY SERENITY! I KNEW I GOT THE DAY OFF FOR SOME REASON~LAURA

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GinnySheller April 18, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Thanks for these words-it is so hard for me to find time for myself other than a couple of minutes here and there (unless I stay up really late.) I have always been a tea drinker as well, but in the last couple of months I am started having a cup of coffee everyday too. I really look forward to that cup!
I know this has nothing to do with your post, but your dog is really cute!

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Allegra April 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm

thank you for writing these posts. i think i've already commented on a previous sunday serenity about how i never take any "me" time and it is so detrimental. today is a day off (much much needed) and although there is a house to clean (isn't there always?) and lists to accomplish, i think that satya and i will have a day of good indulgence–whatever that may mean to us today!

i can tell that you are in a bit of mourning about jacob going to school. we are sending satya to school in the fall (montessori preschool). part of me cannot believe i am already sending her and am a bit freaked out about it, but at the same time i know that she will love it and thrive in ways that i cannot provide for her. you have raised (and continue to raise) your boys so beautifully. that will never change and jacob will be able to share such wonderful things that he has learned from you with his classmates.

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Danielle April 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Me time. Something that is just starting to reenter my vocabulary. Right now it comes as a swimming class once a week. Gets me out. Gets me moving. Both very good things. Thanks for reminding us to take care of ourselves and indulge.

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becky April 19, 2010 at 1:57 am

Lovely day for you – and thank you for sharing it in a way that almost brings it home to the rest of us. Today was too busy for me to find a minute to myself – only now, I'm done. But I do get other times on my own, being retired and not in quite the same throws of family demands – though there still seem to be plenty. I love the idea of making some chocolate scented oil – know a couple of kiddos who'd enjoy that! And someone else already asked, but I, too, am wondering what the 3-6-9 oil is. I will make my smoothie tomorrow out of some very simple ingredients I have around – then go shopping and try some more adventurous recipes – this one looks interesting, though my last experience with spriulina wasn't encouraging.

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Ivy April 19, 2010 at 2:00 am

Oh, Heather I love this post. And I am so glad you got to take some time for yourself!!! I am going to bookmark this page and try that detox scrub and the oil for sure. I keep thinking that I really want to try my hand at making homemade bath and beauty products.

As for the me time, I really need to work that out!!!

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AG Ambroult April 19, 2010 at 2:51 am

interesting, what you said about the word "indulgence." It's true, and even as I read the word earlier in this same post, I was, without realizing it, feeling a little uncomfortable with the word. But then I read that last paragraph and realized that I have been subscribing to the definition with the BAD connotation. I'm glad to be reminded of the root of the meaning of that word.
ps- I love the though of your little guys picking out a special tea! (and thanks for those recipes)

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Francesca April 19, 2010 at 4:48 am

I love these posts Heather, and we need someone to remind us that some indulgence in something beautiful and nice equals some serenity in our day.

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Paige April 19, 2010 at 3:26 am

Fantastic post, Heather – my bed is my favorite place, too. Always has been, always will be! And I'm loving the Green Smoothie challenge, as well; I'm thinking about having my kids make their own tomorrow afternoon, because if they make it themselves, they'll be more likely to enjoy it for sure. Here's to a new week – best to you!

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Kelly April 19, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I love this. thanks for the recipes and reminder.

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Meryl April 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Just reading this made me relax a bit, so thank you! And your bed does look very cozy–the furry pillow warmer never hurts!

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Nancy / summer sky April 20, 2010 at 1:15 am

Wow–what a lot of goodness packed into one post.
I need to make our bedroom the haven it once was. Boxes of baby girl and boy clothes need to go.

Tea is my favorite. I love earl grey, and also enjoy Good Earth sweet & spicy (no sweetener needed!).
I have an obsession lately with unsweetened iced passion tea, it's my new lemonade.
Although now that it's nippy again, time to break out the earl grey.

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Adrie April 20, 2010 at 2:25 am

So glad you had some time today – and thanks for all the great ideas. Wanted to say also, belatedly, hugs to you on this new phase of your journey with Jacob going to school. I've been planning to homeschool my daughter, but am having to reconsider since she is already really taken with the idea of going to school. Who knows what the future holds for us? It is hard to set aside our own ideas of what is right and walk beside these people we are nurturing.

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Nicola @ Which Name? April 20, 2010 at 6:39 am

What a beautiful and full post! First, I just have to say "me too!" on the coffee/tea drinking. I am reverse…I have always been a tea drinker and must start the day with tea, but sometime mid morning, a cup of coffee (since the arrival of children…my second?), has added a little something to my day. But always, tea first. I love that Jacob joined you and made his own green concoction!
And ditto on the bed being a favorite spot.
Nicola

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