School, the Germ Factory

So, it is common knowledge that schools have kids in them (seriously! They do!) And I think that we all know that kids have germs. Put those two things together and suddenly, you have mass produced illnesses. But, for these illnesses to take hold, you need something to carry it around. THE KIDS! It is a vicious cycle, folks.

Sending Hank to school was a scary prospect for us. We had seen his brother come home with everything under the sun during the first year and in turn, infect us like he was being paid to do it. And he was healthy! Hank’s compromised immune system has seen him more sick than healthy this year. We had never had the croup in the house until this year and now we’re up to three times. The flu once, cold after cold after cold. Right now, we have – what we think – is the stomach flu. Sleepless night and nothing staying in (and I stopped drinking caffeine?!? What is wrong with me?) coupled with being warm and floppy means another few days of sitting on the couch with the puke bucket.

Nesting with the Flu

Yes, I said it, the puke bucket. A trusty friend to flare ups, colds and whatever we are currently dealing with. I saw once, on one of my social media support group boards, that one common theme was the puke bucket. Nearly everyone had one. And I thought that we were so clever.

It is a glamorous life, the mother of an allergy kid. I would say and EOE kid, but, hey I think that everyone could use a puke bucket in their lives. OK, that was mean.

How do you avoid bringing these germs into the haven that is your home? This is what we do;

    • We enjoy a multitude of soaps at every sink. Take your pick! We have antibacterial liquid and foams, fancy homemade bar soaps and even a few tiny hotel styles from the Husband’s many adventures. I have noticed that sometimes a kid won’t wash their hands after the bathroom if you just have a plain container or a plain boring bar. Seriously. We’re finding fun here through the buffet of soaps.
      (A fave? These earth friendly soaps from ECOS)

  • We also utilize a complete housekeeping service here in our household. They come every day and focus on the entire house. Ok, it is me. I clean daily. When I first left my job, I experimented with making my own cleaning products. But now, I fall back on the convenient and premade manufactured brands that jam enough bleach into every wipe that they eliminate everything. I hate to think of all the illnesses that we are not getting because I walk around wiping everything down a few times a week.
  • Changing out furnace filters monthly is a basic household necessity, but it also allows for better air flow which help eliminate mold and dust.
  • Vacuuming everything. I hate this chore. HATE it. I hate lugging the vacuum through the house, but that feeling when I dump the canister is one breeching on victory.
  • Oh dear. Laundry. It is a never-ending cycle, but staying on top of sheets, shirts and those rando socks all over the house helps keep germs and sickness at bay.

Seriously, I am chuckling to myself right now. I am talking about all the cleaning and care that we do just to avoid illness when we have SOMETHING almost weekly.

Honestly, the best way to make it through the illnesses is to invest in a quality thermometer, many “trash” towels to clean up the never-ending puke and a beverage that helps rehydrate your sickos. For recipes on making your own, head over to Pinterest and see what you can find. For us, we’re lucky to be able to use Gatorade.

Do you have any suggestions that I haven’t thought of? Please, share them! Remember, you are a part of the family now.




Dream Big. Act Accordingly

It’s not enough to think about what you want. That kind of wishful thinking misses the magic entirely.


A friend of mine likes to argue with me about the merits of “thoughts become things.” I see the value of clear, focused intention, and the things I intend often appear seemingly magically. He doesn’t think it’s that “easy.”

I get his objections; things just don’t appear out of nowhere, at least in his world. I believe he’s missing the point, as do many of the folks who poo-poo the idea of intentional thinking and its role in your life.

No, I can’t just close my eyes, dream of a cheeseburger and it shows up in my hand. I can, however, dream of that cheeseburger, and make the focused effort to research the best cheeseburger joints in my county, and then book a table.

Voila. Epic cheeseburger in hand.

The difference is taking inspired action. I don’t just run out and get a fast food burger (although, yeah, sometimes that’s the dream). I imagine what I want, and set about finding just that; not shallow substitutes.

Sometimes this kind of thinking really can be magical. On our honeymoon trip a few years ago, we had a long drive through the Austrian Alps one day. At breakfast, my husband said “I think we should find a place around 3 o’clock to have a beer and drink in the view.”

We talked about the perfect kind of place we hoped to find…a little Swiss chalet nestled between peaks, with some outdoor tables and a friendly barkeep, and barely any other customers (we were deep inside our honeymoon bubble).

The drive was amazing; a new Mozart CD that I’d picked up in Strasbourg provided the perfect soundtrack to the mind-blowing scenery. At 2:59 p.m., we rounded the bend and there is was. THE perfect Alpine beer garden.

There was no wondering “is this the place we should stop?” We just looked at each other, laughed, and pulled in.

The point is this: If we had not put out that clear intention to find a place just like this around 3 p.m., we likely wouldn’t have stopped, instead forging ahead to get to the town where we hoped to find the perfect room for the night (which is another story of intention and manifestation of its own).

We intended to have this experience, and so we did.

Magic? Depends on how you define it.

The key is that you have to go out and make your dreams happen. You must decide what you want. Then you must take action to make it happen. If you dream about visiting the Caribbean, but then turn down your friend’s request to join her on a cruise, then you can curse your Magic 8 Ball for steering you wrong. Or you can say “YES” and end up on a sugar sand beach with your toes in the crystal waters.

Your choice.

Dream big, and act accordingly!

Mindfulness and the Creative Life


Some of you know me as Carol. Others know me as The Words Girl, or as the author of 10 Little Rules for a Blissy Life. I have several platforms online, because I speak to different audiences on different topics.

But today I read something that dissolved those boundaries.

“Without really thinking it through, most people separate the practical side of their lives from their spiritual beliefs,” wrote Deepak Chopra in “The Most Overlooked Secret About Spirituality.”

“This separation is actually not valid. No matter what kind of experience you are having, that experience occurs in awareness. Therefore, spirituality needs to be clarified in terms of consciousness, which is real and practical, instead of religious beliefs. Beliefs can be very important to someone and have a deep personal meaning. But the source of every spiritual experience is consciousness,” Deepak continued.

I immediately became aware of my thinking (the “second attention” to which Deepak refers) and realized that I do my best work – in life, as a partner, mom, business owner, writer, editor – when I am in this state of deep attention.

“Your two levels of attention are constantly at work. While the first level deals with events in the everyday world, the second level governs and controls how your personal reality unfolds; it contains the control switch that pulls your attention wherever it goes, and what you pay attention to is all-important. How much focus you place on these two levels makes an immense difference in how your life turns out.” Deepak Chopra

There is no separation of my being; any separation I see or feel is self-imposed. Sometimes this is done to stem the chaos (e.g. “I can’t shop for drapes right now, no matter how tempting that sale email is; I’m on a deadline.”).

Other times the separation comes from “good business practice.” We’ve been taught to deliver the right message at the right time to the right people…and I assume that my business clients will not be well served seeing photos of the amazing bread I just baked.

But what if they are?

What if the separation only exists in my mind and the truth of who I am shows through in each thing I do, no matter how I categorize that doing… as work, play, love, spiritual practice, gardening.

The last two days I’ve spent a lot of time in my garden in our new (to us) home in North Carolina. As I trimmed away stray branches and cut down the undergrowth in our pine-forested front yard, I realized why I like gardening so much. It’s like editing. Looking at the whole and deciding what stays and what goes, until you are left with something that makes much more sense.

In the same way, I realize that baking and cooking is a lot like writing. Starting from nothing, adding this here and that there, until you have a delicious finished product you can share with the world.

The lines of separation blur when the attention is clearly focused, and life gets immeasurably sweeter.


“It needs repeating that all of these are natural states of awareness that anyone can experience once they are pointed out,” Deepak continues.

“There is nothing mystical about first and second attention. Of what use are this information and the experiences that follow? Each person must decide individually, but in general, the value of being multi-dimensional is summarized by a New Testament promise: Knock and the door will be opened to you. This refers to doors of higher awareness, leading to greater creativity, intelligence, and love. A person also coordinates daily life better from a deeper level of awareness. Ultimately, the goal is to be so aware that all dimensions are in sync — in separation the mind gets out of joint with its true source, which is why worldly success isn’t the same as peace of mind or self-knowledge.”

The goal is to be so aware that all dimensions are in sync. As I move into that state of sync more and more often, I find my other “goals” – to grow the business, to serve my clients better, to publish and sell more books, to create a beautiful home space, to be a better friend, partner, mother, human being – become my reality.

Striving for financial success or social media acclaim seems rather hollow compared to this approach. My ego jumps up and says, “but don’t you want this post to be read and shared?”

I pause, reflect and answer, “Of course, by the people who need to see it. Only those people. The rest, it just doesn’t matter.”

It is enough that I am, that I exist in a space where mind, body and spirit dance this amazing tango each day. For this I am so grateful.