Enchantment Learning & Living Blog

Welcome to Enchantment Learning & Living, inspirational blog about the simple pleasures, radical self-care, and everyday magic that make life delicious.

A Year of Sacred Simple Pleasures

Last summer, I wrote about the importance of sacred simple pleasures, those ephemeral soul-filling things that make life delicious. What followed was a season spent nourishing and prioritizing the daily joys that rejuvenated and refreshed.  I returned to teaching that fall excited and enthusiastic.  The experience made me realize how important it is to cultivate a wellness practice that emphasizes simple pleasures.

It also renewed my belief that simple pleasures are integral to conjuring everyday magic.  They are, in fact, sacred. Pleasure is significantly undervalued in our society.  If it feels good, it must not be important.  If it brings you joy, it’s not to be taken seriously…how many times have you heard or seen these ideas reinforced?  The way people turn their noses up at romance novels is  good example of this.  These books have sexytimes! All the feels! People having multiple orgasms! And a Happily Ever After! So…why are these bad things?

I blame this fear of pleasure on religion and a society that is still afraid of the sacred feminine.  Instead of nurturing this Eros energy as an important part of our day-to-day lives, we treat is transgressive, a deviant pursuit stuffed into weekends, vacations, and any place else that doesn’t fall into the seriously business of our daily routine. It’s kind of like Dry January: people binge drink on December and then repent with virtuous abstinence come January. Why not just enjoy moderate drinking year round? Even worse, we often ignore the simple pleasures right in front of us, and thus, an important part of enjoying our day: the morning sunrise, the unexpected blood oranges at the market, the delicious cup of oolong. When we deny ourselves these simple pleasures, we deny an important part of our identity.

In reality, pleasure tells us a lot about ourselves. It’s easy to identify a toxic situation because they make us feel so bad.  But once we address negative issues, how do we then cultivate joy?  It takes a lot to conjure and maintain happiness.  We have to get used to what pleasure feels like and perhaps more time to unabashedly court its presence in our lives. Like any good reader of romance knows, the iconic Happily Ever After takes a lot of grit and hard work to achieve.  We have to ask ourselves hard questions: What makes me happy? What do I want in my life? What doesn’t bring me pleasures? Seemingly simple questions, sure, but how often are we honest with ourselves about what we enjoy versus what society tells us we should be doing?

I also found that prioritizing simple pleasures allows me let go of the things that complicate or otherwise being negative energy to my life. During my year of buying, using, and wasting less, I found a direct correlation between moving too fast and being less mindful, less eco-conscious, less in-tune with myself. When I paused to indulge in simple pleasures, I was able to unplug from the frantic energy of our fast paced world. Same goes for toxic people situations. Learning what brings me joy helped me better understand what throws me out of whack.

Recently, I found myself in a social situation that I committed to not because I necessarily wanted to but because I thought I should be doing it. It seemed like a good idea, but my gut feeling was telling me it wasn’t my vibe. The energy was too groupie, too demanding on my time, and too draining. In the space of a week, I went from being happy and full of life, to tired, anxious, and without inspiration for my writing. Those feelings told me a lot. And in talking with loved ones, I was finally able to trace these feeling back to stepping into a zone that wasn’t right for me. Once I had that revelation, my energy returned. I felt happy again—albeit tired from this strange emotional journey. I could write again. I looked forward to my work day. And I felt joy in the littlest things. The energetic shift was shocking and made me realized how much I took my inner joy for granted. In reality, I had been so happy because I nourished the sacred art of pleasure and eschewed anything that didn’t enhance the quality of my life. It made me feel like I could do anything and everything—until I stepped into that dead zone and realized that wasn’t the case. My energy had been abundant because I cultivated abundance—and ruthlessly cut out anything from my life that didn’t enhance my overall wellness.

Lesson learned. Pleasure is an integral part of my day-to-day. It helps me understand why certain things make me anxious and unhappy—and that it is okay to let those things go in favor of radical joy. Now, I feel like I have to say that this isn’t about never having stereotypically “negative” feelings or never allowing yourself to engage with things that make you uncomfortable. Rather, this is about meaningfully allowing yourself to feel what you need to feel and listen to what those feelings are telling you. We find out a lot about ourselves from painful situations, true. But it is equally important to listen to what our pleasurable experiences have to teach us.

So how will I go about this year long exploration of sacred simple pleasures? I don’t have a set of rules to gauge how I indulge in this, mostly because I absolutely adore unstructured time and a lack of schedules when I’m not teaching. You could say it’s my number one sacred simple pleasure. I want to be open to synchronicity and spontaneity. Cooking and dreaming. Knitting and lolly-gagging.  Adventuring and magic-making.  I’ll only measure it by how nourished by soul feels. How balanced my life is.  How much magic I feel in the everyday. I’ll examine how slowly—intentionally—I’m living. How often I’m comfortable in asserting my needs and desires. How delicious each day tastes.

What simple pleasures are sacred to you? Why? Here’s to a year of cultivating pleasure! 

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Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

A Summer of New Literacies

The glories of summer are fading into the delicious settledness of fall.  School is starting.  The harvest season is upon us.  A regular routine is taking the place of those seemingly long unstructured hours of summer (though granted, my summer hours were still fairly structured since I happily taught for most of it).  Yet I still feel pretty adventurous and ready to ease into a full course load while continuing to carve out time for fun, play, and the little things that make life, well, lively!

Why?  I'll let you in on a little secret: this summer was my summer of new literacies.  Spring was the season of epiphanies, as it so often is.  An extra-full workload made me realize that there is such a thing as loving your routine too much.  I know!  This coming from the woman who champions her routines as rituals, but hear me out.  

I had a short break from springs semester before diving into summer and in that space, I realized something: all the adventures I wanted to have and all the things I wanted to try ended up getting shoved aside in an attempt to get stuff done.  And when I did have down time, I devoted it to the introverted hobbies that nourished me--not a bad thing in and of itself, mind you, it's just that my comfort zone became...too, well, comfortable to the point of feeling suffocating.  I needed to dust off the stagnant energy and remember what it was like to play.

And so I played.  I was inspired by Shonda Rhimes's Year of Yes which tracks the year she said yes to everything that scared her.  I, too, took the summer to say yes to things outside my comfort zone, with one caveat: they had to bring me joy, pleasure, excitement--all the things we think of when we think of summer.  Now that didn't mean I wasn't afraid or nervous when I tried new things; it just meant that my interest in them outweighed my skittishness.  I also allowed myself to say no to things that did not inspire me.  I'm a woman who loves the power of her no as much as her yes.  Saying no to one thing allows you the space to say yes to another, often something you are far more excited about.  And if something didn't end up being as fun as I'd hoped, that was okay too.  What was important was that I tried something new and allowed myself to experience life outside of my work.

I'd come to think of this experiment as developing new literacies.  I was fluent in books and stories, family life and introvert life.  But what other languages might I learn?  What other ways to communicate?  It was hard at first. So. So. Hard.  Like trying to rebuild shoulder strength after an injury when you can barely remember you have shoulder muscles (this was part of my summer plan too: heal thy shoulder, heal thyself). Or like when I studied French and could never quite wrap my mouth around nasaly consonants and reedy vowels, let alone remember how to spell the words that didn't always pronounce certain letters.  But even in the midst of the struggle, I also found myself looking forward to saying yes and yes and yes to more and more things. 

The results: I found myself dreaming more and acting on those dreams.  I took different dance classes and tried new workouts, I went on weekly adventures and challenged myself to shake up my routine.  I took better care of myself and found that in making time for fun things, I felt happier, healthier, and surprisingly more productive when I wasn't just teaching and writing all the time.  An important revelation during my year of radical self-care.

I also had to become more aware of how I think of myself.  Let's face it: words are my safe space. I'm a writer and a teacher and an introvert, confident in those identities.  But who was I beyond that?  A dancer, as it turns out.  And a lover of cucumber beer after yoga with friends and a farmers' market lush who has to have her shot of freshly pressed wheatgrass before she can even think about filling her bag with produce.  I'd found I was someone who liked TRX (although, let's be real, is still very much learning how to do it!).  And I was someone who looked forward to dancing to the gods and goddesses in her Afro-Cuban Folkloric class and spending Sunday night at a baseball game.  

I even dusted off my bike--in storage for over ten years--and started riding it again.  It was like remembering an old part of myself, reviving that dormant piece, fearless in her joy, with a little bit of light and air and relaxation--and a super sore body after that first trip out!  I painted and drank wine.  I took mini road trips so that I could remember what it was like to cruise across open land. I allowed myself to take in theater performances and nourish the relationships that make my life richer.  I let myself relearn the pleasure of not being an expert, not know what I'm doing, letting go of the need to always be productive.

I even found grace and enjoyment from the uncertainty and inevitable social anxiety that comes from exposing yourself to new things.  It meant I was outside my comfort zone and that was a very, very good thing.  Most of all, I found how important it is for me to cultivate the daily adventures that shake up my routine and relish the company of other wild and wonderful dreamers, livers, and adventurers.  Now that the summer is almost over, I find I have developed a new literacy: bravery.  I am no longer afraid to taste new things, to learn new languages, to experience the world one yes at a time.  And the cucumber beer? Trust me.  It's a thing.  And it's delicious. 

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Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Homemade Bug Repellent ~ Just Say No to DEET

A couple weeks ago, I was enjoying a glorious summer evening in the backyard with my family. We indulged in a luxurious meal on the patio and then played with my little niece long after the sun went down.  It was the perfect embodiment of the season...

...then I got home and found that I was covered in mosquito bites!  It seems like there are more of these pesky insects this summer than in previous ones.  Yuck!  It was time arm myself with my Homemade Bug Repellent.  This all-natural, non-toxic spray is perfect for stashing in your picnic tote or spritzing on before some late-night stargazing...or any other time you want to frolic in the wilderness.  Why do I prefer to make my own bug repellent?  The answer is two-fold: I have all the ingredients readily on hand (many of them are also used for my homemade body butters and other goodies) and I've long since given up on the toxic DEET (see what Wellness Mama has to say about how this chemical spray negatively impacts the environment and your body).

I whipped up a pretty basic recipe after looking at others from Scratch Mommy, Thank Your Body, and Wellness Mama.  I used vegetable glycerin to as a binding agent rather than oil and mixed it with what essential oils I had on hand.  The glycerin binds the water and oils together and ensures that the spray sticks to your clothes and skin.  The key factor here in keeping away bugs is the strong scents of the essential oils so you will want to reapply every hour or so to keep the scents strong.  I used citronella--a common ingredient in natural bug sprays--and lemongrass. (Both of these plants can also be grown in your garden as a natural herbal repellent FYI.)  I love the citrusy scent!  You can also add in other essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender.  The measurements here are for a 4oz spray bottle.

Ingredients:

Water

1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin 

30 drops citronella essential oil

30 drops lemongrass essential oil

Mix glycerine and essential oils in a 4oz spray bottle, then fill bottle to the top with water.  Shake well.  Apply regularly (at least once an hour) when you plan on being outdoors.  What more homemade bug repellent ideas?  Check out the Prairie Homestead's list of natural bug spray recipes.  

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Summer Solstice & the Strawberry Moon

I went moon bathing last night.  

I wanted to coat my skin in the rosy glow of June's strawberry moon on this of all days: the summer solstice.  You can love the light of the year's longest day.  You can enjoy the way the sun's rays stretch from dawn until the last whispers of dusk, straining to reach the farthest corners of waking experience.  You can admire the way the unabashed luster of the fading daylight makes the mountains blush deeply as if anticipating things best tasted at night.  But you must not forget the moon.  Or the stars. 

And that is why I moon bathed last night.  I wanted to honor how the full moon brought more light to this day of light, illuminating the thoughts and forgotten corners that would otherwise remain in shadow.  Better to know what lingers under the stardust and hides under the moon-kissed rocks.  It is bliss to find that half-forgotten memory buried amongst my herbs; catharsis to finally rid myself of the pests that take advantage of the cover darkness offers.  This is my chance to ask the moon for answers (it will not be this receptive again for another 70 years and then-- where will I be?).

So I asked my questions--and she gave me answers.  She filled my mouth with the full sweet taste of ripe strawberries until their seeds burst on my tongue.  She washed my hair in a waterfall of her silvery light and rubbed my skin in the promising perfume of rose petals.  She confided that now, midway through the year, is the ideal time to find my story within a map gifted to me by the constellations.  She asked the cicadas to sing so that I may dance.  And she told me--as the moon always does--to remember to dream. Deeply. Tenderly.  With wild abandon.  She bid me stain my fingers and thoughts and beating heart with her lunar liquid, tonight the color of berries pressed between lovers' lips.

Dream.  Always.  For the best things begin in moonlight.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Two-Ingredient Sunblock

I love the sun as much as I love the moon--especially during the summer.  I like longs walks in the sunshine and a lazy afternoon sunbathing.  It's practically part of my Land of Enchantment heritage after all!  Who could not love a gloriously open and sunny sky after growing up in this magical desert?

Alas, we've become pretty sun-phobic in many ways as we worry about sun damage and other hazards; that said, you can be sun-smart and still enjoy plenty of rays.  In fact, they're good for you as twenty minutes in the sun gives you your daily dose of vitamin D, something I really missed when I lived in Seattle!  If you want to learn more about how UVA and UVB rays affect us and how homemade sunscreens can help, check out what the Modern Hippy Housewife has to say.

I've always wanted to try making my own sunblock because I do believe in practicing "safe sun"--including using only organic sunscreens because non-organic have a host of chemicals that seem even worse for you than the rays they are supposed to protect you from.  That said, organic brands can be pretty pricey.  Naturally, the crafty life-hacker in me decided to see what she could figure out whipping up a batch of her own sunblock. 

I took cues from recipes via Wellness Mama and the above Modern Hippy Housewife, opting for an easier recipe with fewer ingredients (hey, a beautiful afternoon poolside was calling to me, and I needed my goods ASAP!).  I used my coconut body butter as my base because it was super easy to make and non-greasy when applied.  I then added non-nano zinc oxide powder, the primary substance that offers protection against harmful rays.  Make sure it is non-nano zinc oxide powder, as it is better for the body (you can read more about that from Goddess Garden Organics).

Coconut oil actually offers about SPF 4 and other natural oils, like shea butter, offer a similar amount of light coverage.  Pretty cool, huh?  But if you plan to be out in the sun for prolonged periods of time, it's a good idea to whip up a batch your own sunblock to boost your coverage.  This recipe here gives you about SPF 25.  As with any sunscreen, make sure to apply generously (at least a full ounce) and often (every two hours or so).  And be smart about your sun exposure.  It's never a good idea to bake for hours on end.  With this recipe, I can now feel good about my outdoor time, both under the sun's rays and with the ingredients on my sunblock (which costs about $3 a bottle when all is said and done!).

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut body butter

4 tablespoons non-nano zinc oxide powder

Stir zinc oxide into coconut body butter until thoroughly combined, making sure not to inhale the powder.  Store in a mason jar.  To use, simply apply your sunblock as you would your regular body butter half an hour before sun exposure.  Makes one cup.  Enjoy on a sunny day!

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Dancing in the Rain

Last night I danced in the rain. 

I sang with the wind.  I spread my hands high over my head and tried to touch the dark clouds weighing down the evening sky; and I called upon that storm to sweep away the cobwebs and dust from my mind, to let the fat rain drops fall upon my face, a soothing balm across the tender center between both eyes.

I let the distant rumble of thunder echo in my bones and the promise of lightning tickle my long wet hair.  I, I did this, making myself one with the rhythm of nature, allowing myself to understand the bigness of it, the fullness of this universe that goes beyond myself and within myself.  My bare feet rooted themselves in puddles as I twirled among the rain drops and clouds thick with cleansing desert magic. 

I was a spirit dancing among other spirits--trees, grass, mountains, and their guardians.  I was a raindrop covering the earth with my love.  I was the quiet in the storm, the stillness in the dance, the held breath between one clap of thunder and another.  I was the whisper of the earth's smile.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

5 Tips for a Magical Staycation

This year I decided to forgo distant travels and enjoy my hometown for vacation.  There is something sort of romantic about seeing your city through the rose colored glasses of a visitor--no day-to-day worries, just pure unadulterated fun!  I'll admit that one of the draws of a staycation is the idea of sleeping in my own bed and never having to worry about whether or not I packed the right wardrobe (picture me freezing in my summer dress in still wintery Rome!).  You have all the fun of traveling with none of the hassle. 

A staycation is a great way to indulge in the simple pleasures you can't always enjoy when you travel--like sleeping in or spending an afternoon dallying on the porch.  When you travel, you want to maximize your time enjoying the magic of the destination you find yourself in--getting the most out of museums, restaurants, nature walks...and so forth.  Of course, the excitement of being in a new place and saturating your senses with new experiences is awesome, but sometimes what you really need out of a vacation is a little R&R.  A staycation allows you to truly rest and enjoy the comfort of your own home. 

I also love that it encourages you to see your city in a new light--and hopefully take some of that carefree magic into your everyday life.  After my staycation, I felt more motivated to enjoy the events and places of my town on a weekly basis.  So if you want to try a staycation this year--or just add a little more fun to your summer, check out my tips for a magical staycation below.

1.  No schedules! While it's true you'll want to make sure you catch that museum show or work in that trip to the mountains, you want to avoid penciling in all your free time.  In fact, you should start each day with no real plans, only a handful of suggestions of what you might do.  I learned this from one of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies, Roman Holiday, in which the heroine insists on no schedules while she takes a day out of her princess-ing duties to simply enjoy herself--just one of the few travel tips I've learned from Miss Hepburn

2.  Sleep in.  Have a lazy breakfast.  Linger over your cup of coffee.  This will help you avoid the temptation to over-schedule yourself.  It's also pretty delicious to sleep in on a weekday when you know the rest of the world is at work. 

3.  Indulge.  You know if you were on vacation, you'd be having that glass of wine with lunch or that afternoon gelato...so why not do it while you're staycationing?  Have your ice cream cone.  Savor that decadent lunch.  Splurge on that dress.  Go out to your favorite restaurant dressed to the nines.  Take a long nap under a shady tree.   

4.  Make time for the things you love--but don't always have the energy for.  I personally love looking at art, going to festivals, and yes, dancing (as you well know).  That said, I don't always feel like doing any of these things after a busy work week (the allure of wearing pajamas all day is just too much to resist).  During my staycation, I went to a local wine festival, several dance events, and even a film screening (after a martini at my favorite bar). 

5.  Be a tourist in your own city--minus the fanny pack and frumpy tennis shoes.  I know this might sound super obvious, but it's important to point out that a staycation is a time to see the important stuff in your city that you wouldn't otherwise check out, like that historical monument or gorgeous nature reserve--or the host of seasonal activities and events that you say you will go to each year but never do. 

What do you enjoy most about staycationing?

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

My Summer Fun List

Summer is *finally* here (goodbye windy stormy May)!  While I appreciated last month's rain, I found myself longing for sunshine and flip flops and polka dot dresses.  It was hard to feel like it was officially that carefree time for teachers when I spent most of my time indoors away from the wind, hail, and thunder. 

Now that the skies have cleared and the temperatures are up, it finally feels like sweet, sweet summertime!  Oddly enough, this stormy May made me appreciate all the things I love about summer--and in all honesty, sometimes neglect to enjoy when I slip into my daily routine. When fall rolls around, I wistfully look back at the time I could have spent picnicking, stargazing, or generally goofing around instead of getting locked into a set schedule (that dreadful little thing!). 

This year I have decided not to let that happen and this summer fun list is going to help me make sure I indulge in all the simple pleasures of the season.  After all, summer, at its best, reminds us of the power of play.

So here is my list, in no particular order, and that will no doubt continue to grow:

1. Enjoy more summer cookouts.  One of best things about summer is cooking outside and lingering over a refreshing drink and good conversation.  Oh, and eating smores.

2. Visit the Farmers market A lot.  To feast on all those delicious local fruits and veggies!

3. Go to a baseball game.  Summer isn't summer without at least one ball game.

4. Walk barefoot.  Who needs shoes when the temperature is up?

5. Have more picnics.  I absolutely love throwing down a blanket in the grass to enjoy a simple feast, a good book, and a sunny day.

6. Dance.  Dance.  Dance.  Salsa dancing in my case.  Summer is the perfect time to do all the things you don't always get to do when you're in the daily grind of your regular routine--like going out dancing without having to worry about being up early the next day.

7. Go swimming There's something about diving into a pool and splashing around that makes me feel like a kid again. 

8.  Stargaze.  New Mexico is such a perfect place to look at the stars--which, I admit, I don't do enough of--but when I do, I feel like I could drink up those stars forever.

9.  Sunbathe.  Right up there with stargazing, I love (safe) sun-soaking.  It feels great to shed the extra layers of clothes in favor of a bathing suit and a pair of sunglasses.

10. Drink frilly cocktails.  On the porch.  Sprawled on the grass.  In some shaded garden nook.  Poolside--wherever I can!  With the bounty of the season, it's fun to mix up fruit and herb concoctions to quench your thirst. Hello, gin fizz...

11.  Wear fun summer dresses.  So I love flouncy dresses.  Like, LOVE.  Especially if there are polka dots involved.  This playful season allows me to get even more cheeky with my wardrobe.

12.  Stay up late reading Okay, I've been pretty good with this one already.  It is such an indulgence to get lost in a good book, especially when you know you aren't ruled by the morning alarm clock.

13.  Garden. Who doesn't love fresh tomatoes from her own garden?

14.  Pickle everything! This is like preserving summer in a jar--and no lunch sandwich is complete without fresh pickles.

15.  Watch the sunrise.  Taking time in the morning to appreciate the cooler temps and watch the city slowly wake up is the ultimate luxury.

16.  Watch the sun set.  With a glass of wine in hand.  Too often I can come home with a to-do list (yoga, clean, eat) and lose track of those moments of stillness that allow me to savor the beauty of nature.

17.  Forget schedules.  Lose track of time.  Often.

18. Visit museums.  One of my favorite things to do, when I lived in Seattle was to visit museums, particularly one summer when the city experiences a record-breaking heat wave...and I had no air-conditioning in my apartment.  Yuck!  So instead of drowning in my own sweat (great for hot yoga, but not so much for getting through the day), I would go to a lovely air conditioned museum, look at art, and simply be.  It occurred me that I don't do that enough in Albuquerque, so now's the time to fix that.  

19.  Mid-week afternoon movie watching Who doesn't love an air conditioned almost empty theater?

20.  Daydream...

...the list could go on and on, but I figure if I can even tackle half of these and enjoy a popsicle or two, I've had a nice full summer.

What's on your summer fun list?

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On the Last Long Weekend of Summer

It is summer's final gift, a last tribute to a season of grilling and late-night reading and lazy mornings drinking coffee on your patio. Pure heavenly indulgence before you get swept up in the tide of the semester.

The week before was busy--perhaps too busy--as you flitted from one errand to the next while diving into the first week of school and the inevitable joys and chaos that come with it.  You are grateful for this last long weekend, then, to slow down, to turn inward, and to find your grounding once again.  In the slowly unfolding hours of these three days, you take the time to be deliberate about your actions and those of the days to come, weeding out unnecessary busyness, silencing mindless chatter.

For you are always at your strongest, your happiest, when you can embrace your solid daily routine that is built on your thirst for tranquillity and stability, of blissful quiet and gentle awareness.  And you found it again this weekend, in the birds singing on your patio as they feast on the seeds you put to for them; in the long afternoons spent reading; in the evenings in the kitchen playing with a new recipe.  You found it the rich moments of your everyday life, that inner joy that you will continue to nourish and take with you into the coming weeks.  You found it in the momentary pause from your regular labor, in your deliberate choice to not do much of anything this last long weekend of summer.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Grilled Artichokes

Artichokes are one of those wondrous garden plants that make both beautiful purple flowers when in bloom and if you are willing to forgo the pleasures of that bright blossom, a delicious appetizer.  These vegetables seem finicky to people who have never cooked them but don't be thrown off by their prickly tips and thistled center.  They are actually very easy to cook! 

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Typically, when we think of an artichoke appetizer, we think of a veggie that had been boiled until soft and then dipped in butter or another sauce.  In the summer, I love to grill these veggies as a nice alternative to this dipping appetizer because, after being marinated and grilled, the need for a sauce is eliminated and grilling gives the artichoke a nice smokey flavor.  This is also a great make-ahead recipe.  I like to boil and marinate my artichokes, then bring them ready to grill tofamily Sunday dinner.  This may seem like a high-maintenance recipe (Trim? Boil? Marinate? THEN grill?), but you only really spend about 20 minutes work time and the rest is in the waiting for the veggie to boil and marinate. 

An easy way to trim artichokes is to simply slice 1-2 inches off the top of the artichoke.  This will take care of most of the thorny parts.  Then, using scissors, clip any of the remaining thorns.  You'll notice I used smaller artichokes for this recipe--not quite the super tiny ones, but the size of a tennis ball.  You can feel free to adapt this recipe for a larger artichoke or several extra-small ones, just make sure to adjust the boiling time accordingly (the bigger the artichoke, the longer the boiling time).  The marinade quantity stays the same.

Ingredients:

4 small artichokes

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon rosemary

salt to taste

Trim artichokes and place in a pot of boiling water.  Boil for approximately 40 minutes or until the leaves of artichokes pull off easily; I use a pair of tongs to test their readiness.  Remove artichokes from water and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.  Then slice artichokes in half and remove the inedible inner thistle. 

Place halved artichokes in a container and drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, and salt.  Let sit for at least an hour.  For best results, let sit overnight in the fridge and bring to room temperature before grilling.

Heat grill (either indoor or outdoor).  Place artichoke halves face down and grill for approximately 5 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown.  Flip and cook rounded side for another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.  Serves 4-8.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

5 Ways to Make the Most of Summer's End

Summer is almost at an end.  School is starting.  The green chile is being harvested and roasted here in New Mexico and the mornings are just a teensy bit cooler.  If you're a teacher like me, you're working on lesson plans and course outlines in preparation for the coming semester.  In fact, August always seem to be a fine balance between enjoying the most of summer's end (blissfully unstructured time!) and preparing for my fall classes (aka getting sh** done).  While I am excited about fall--apples, freshly sharpened pencils, pumpkins, and crisp mornings--it can be easy to let the demands of work become so consuming that the last days of summer vanish before I can fully enjoy them.  So in an attempt to take advantage of these extra days before school starts, I've come up with a few tips to make the most of summer's end.

1.  Schedule play time...and nap time.  Yes, the semester is infinitely easier if you can get your lesson plans in order before the first day of school, but that doesn't mean you have to say goodbye to goofing around.  If you want to enjoy an afternoon swimming or reading or napping, pencil it in to make sure you don't put it off.  You can thank me later!

2.  Take advantage of the farmers' market.  Nothing says summer like fresh produce.  Get out and enjoy local ingredients for a deliciously fresh dinner.  An ordinary meal turns into a culinary adventure when you go to the farmers' market to enjoy a summer feast.  Summer is all about spontaneity and spur-of-the-moment enjoyment.  Nothing says that more than biting into a ripe peach fresh from market stands or throwing an impromptu picnic. Seize the day!

3.  Get outside.  Enjoy nature by taking long walks, stargazing, tending your garden...all those outdoor things that make summer special.  With the changing of the seasons comes more time indoors, so enjoy the deliciousness of outside while you don't have to wear a jacket.

4.  Do less, not more.  This is a great rule of thumb for your life in general, but especially now that you might feel yourself gearing up for fall--yes even if you're not a teacher, the fall can signal a time of renewed industry.  Make a conscious effort to trim the fat out of your schedule (unnecessary errands, over-committing to social events) in favor of more time for self-care.  This way when you are busier, it is easy to stick to your self-care routine and gentle lifestyle rather than getting caught up in the frenzy of the new school year.

5.  Make the transition a celebration!  I love the changing seasons. In fact, I almost love these transitional moments between each full blown season more than the four seasons themselves.  There is something akin to possibility wafting in the air during this liminal time as if every day magic is fully exposed in nature as it shows off the bounty of summer harvest while preparing for the turning of leaves in fall.  All of which are worthy of a celebration and deep enjoyment.  Remember those farmers markets I was talking about?  Why not take all that juicy produce and have a summer harvest party?  Dance under the light of the moon, stay up late reading at night, wake up early to bask in the cool air, search for ladybugs in the grass...simply take the time to celebrate this gorgeous season change and last light of summer in any way you can.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Peaches

You were lured out of your home today with the promise of perfectly ripe peaches from your farmers' market.  They are like August, lush and full of summer sunlight, almost overripe after a season of sunbathing.

It is the soft fuzz on their skin that you first enjoy.  You roll your thumb over it as you grip a firm peach in your hand, the white fuzz a gentle contrast to the red and yellow blush of its skin.  You feel for firmness first, that tricky balance of ripe but not too ripe, a hefty weight in your hand that promises sweet juiciness without bruising or mush.  You look for a saturation of rose and mustard in their coloring, not the anemic green-butter wash and faded berry stains of a fruit plucked too soon from its tree.  No, you want your peach full of life and juice.

You add perhaps too many peaches to your basket at the market, telling yourself you can always make a cobbler or pie, knowing full well your edible jewels won't last that long.  You pile them carefully on top of one another so as to prevent bruising.  When you get home you just look at them for a bit, as if to take one out of the pile and sink your teeth into it would somehow break the spell, making you forever hungry for this fleshy fruit even after your happy pile dwindles to nothing under your voracious appetite. 

But the feeling doesn't last long; that mound of ripe fruit is too tempting to resist.  Eat one you must.  You take the peach on the top, the one with its green leaves still attached to it and, without any attempt to control yourself any longer, sink your teeth into it, feeling the fuzzy soft skin break under the weight of your bite.  Your mouth is flooded with the tangy sweet taste of its juices, your tongue rolling over the velvety softness of its flesh.  You don't really pause long enough to enjoy that first bite or any of the others, but simply keep taking one bite after another of the peach as juice dribbles down your chin and hand, until there is nothing left but the pit with only a few bits of yellow flesh sticking to it.

This--this feeling of ripe sunshine in your mouth and sticky hands: this is summer.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Aioli

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It's been all about the farmers' market for me lately.  My meals revolve around the perfection of summer produce.  During this time of year, I find that I don't like heavy duty meals, especially at night.  For me, a heavy duty meal is anything that involves too much time over the stove, rich foods like meat, or any ingredients that require more than a quick wash and sauté or slice to be ready.  So naturally I am always looking for ways to enjoy my farmers market produce as simply as possible.

Which is where this aioli recipe comes in.  It is the perfect pairing to crisp radishes and green beans from the markets, or any other fresh veggie you can lay your hands on.  It requires very little prep time and absolutely no stove time.  It's like a fancy mayonnaise but much better for you.  Made up primarily of eggs and olive oil, this condiment is rich with good for you fats and can also be used as a spread for sandwiches or a base for salad dressing.  But honesty I don't usually have enough left over after pairing it with radishes to make it to the sandwich spread phase of aioli use.

Mmmmmm...a perfect appetizer or light dinner of aioli, radishes, purple beans, cherry tomatoes, and okra chips.

Mmmmmm...a perfect appetizer or light dinner of aioli, radishes, purple beans, cherry tomatoes, and okra chips.

You can blend these ingredients whisking by hand or in a blender or food processor.  I've even seen recipes for making it using a mortar and pestle!  The benefit of whisking by hand is that you get to build your upper body strength, but your aioli might be a little thinner.  If you want a thicker consistency, go with the blender.

Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup olive oil

1 juiced lemon

Salt to taste

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, garlic, and salt.  Slowly whisk in olive oil to allow it to blend into mixture and thicken.  Once all the olive oil is mixed in, whisk for 1-2 minutes until sauce thickens even more and develops a pale yellow color.  Add lemon juice and whisk thoroughly for another 1-2 minutes.  Taste test and add more salt if needed.  Store in mason jar in fridge for up to one week. Makes about 1 cup.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

Earlier in the week, I posted my Cherry Tomato Summer Salad, an easy, refreshing dish that highlights that flavors of this perfect summer fruit.  Since you know my love for a good tomato borders on the pornographic (remember my effusions on the first tomatoes from my own garden?), I thought I'd offer you another tomato salad recipe, this one just as simple and delicious as the last. 

It makes a perfect light meal or a great side dish for an Italian dinner.  I love making this salad for Sunday pasta night with my family!  It has a big wow factor, both in taste and presentation, but takes only five minutes to prepare.  Unlike traditional tomato and mozzarella salads, I go easy on the cheese, using it more as an accent to the tomatoes rather than as a competing flavor.  Feel free to play with the types of tomatoes you use too.  I used more yellow pear, chocolate rose, and sun gold cherry tomatoes here, but the recipe can easily be tweaked to accommodate what you have on hand.

Ingredients:

4 cups cherry tomatoes

8oz small mozzarella balls (one container)

1/2 cup basil

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

salt & pepper to taste

Place washed cherry tomatoes in salad bowl.  Slice mozzarella balls (roughly the size of your cherry tomatoes) in half and add to your bowl.  Shred basil and add to salad, then stir until ingredients are combined.  Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.  Serves 4 as a light meal or 6 as a side dish.  Enjoy!

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Cherry Tomato Summer Salad

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What is summer without the delight of tomatoes fresh from the vine?  They taste like distilled sunshine and sweet, sweet earth...I could go on forever about these perfect summer jewels which is probably why I end up with piles of these delicious fruits in forms and varieties sitting on my kitchen counter ready to be devoured.  This especially true for cherry tomatoes that are like individually wrapped treats I can pop in my mouth like candy (only better because I don't really like candy, just clean, healthy food). 

One of my favorite ways to enjoy cherry tomatoes is to use them in this easy salad.  It celebrates the perfection of the heirloom cherry tomato with minimal ingredients to weight them down.  Think of it as a bread-less bruschetta.  The only real difference between my salad and a tomato bruschetta topping is the bitter dandelion greens I add to balance out the sweetness of the tomatoes.  Or you can almost think of it as a variation of my spicy cherry salad, minus the spice.

I like to use a variety of cherry tomatoes, here being yellow pear, chocolate rose, and sun gold (pictured below).  It doesn't matter what type of tomatoes--including larger varieties--you use as long as they are super fresh, either from your garden or the farmers market.  Store bought just won't give you the same taste.  Lastly, I keep the dressing light, just enough to coat the ingredients without overshadowing the tomatoes, and rarely use salt in my recipe since these fresh ingredients hardly need to coax out their flavor.  This dish makes a light summer dinner or a perfect side salad.

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Ingredients:

2 cups heirloom cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup dandelion greens

1/4 cup basil

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

salt to taste (optional)

Slice the heirloom tomatoes in half and place in a salad bowl.  Shred dandelion greens and basil and add to bowl, stirring until combined.  Mince garlic and add to bowl, stirring until combined.  Drizzle olive oil and vinegar to bowl and mix again.  Add salt of desired. Serves 2. Enjoy!

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

A Love Letter to Summer Monsoons

You quiet my mind as you feed the earth.  The strength of your thunder, the flash of your lightening all serving to soothe the storm inside me.  Your wet rain kisses my skin, filling the cracks and crinkles of my parched mind as it soaks into the dark soil grounding my plants, burrowing deep into their roots even as it brushes their upturned faces.

You send a hush over the city, making the land, the traffic, the day-to-day bustle slow down whether it wants to or not.  You wind your way to your fullest expression, clouds gathering in force behind you, a welcome promise of a calm, settled evening.  I watch those dark clouds race across the horizon punctuated by your low grumble that warns the city of your strength, inviting the day to bow before your might.  There will be no late night frolicking or even an afternoon reading on the porch; windows are securely fastened shut, door tightly closed.  Inward I must go. 

Your crackle and light sooth me to sleep late at night, the downpour of rain finding me in my dreams.  I would run out and dance in you, if I could, if it weren't for the thunder and lightning.  I content myself with listening to your wild symphony--the only noise that can draw me away from my book and my place on the couch to simply stare out my window and listen and drift on the song that is my summer monsoons, my healing balm that washes over my soul.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

Summer Lovin' Rose-Lavender Tea Blend

Ahhhh...summer.  The time for long afternoons reading on your patio over a cup of tea--hot or iced.  The time when flowers are blooming and the bees are happily tickling your lavender buds in an attempt to collect and distribute pollen.  The time of year when I start craving light floral teas that mimic the bounty of the season.

One of my favorite blends that perfectly captures the season is my Summer Lovin' Rose-Lavender Blend, a tisane, or herbal tea, that combines rose petals, lavender buds, and raspberry leaves for a lady-like tea that is delicious either hot or cold--and perfect for any occasion, from an afternoon tea with the ladies to an impromptu iced tea in the shade after tending your garden. 

Yes, this tea is decidedly romantic with its fragrant rose and lavender perfume wafting from your cup.  The raspberry leaf binds these two flavors together with its own light black tea taste with floral undertones.  One cup of this is enough to make you see summer through rose colored glasses--if you aren't already!  As a bonus, these herbs are healing powerhouses--details below. 

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Ingredients:

1-part lavender

1-part rose petals

1-part raspberry leaf

Combine ingredients in a bowl and store in a mason jar.  To brew a perfect cup, use one tablespoon of blend per cup of boiling water.  Let soak for 5-7 minutes.  Enjoy!

Health properties of ingredients:

Lavender: a traditional nerve tonic and relaxant; antiseptic and antibacterial.

Raspberry leaf: rich in vitamins A, B, C, E, magnesium; tones uterus; relieves tension.

Rose petals: soothes skin; mild sedative and natural stress reliever; rich in vitamin C.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Summer Thunderstorms

It is one of the reasons you love your desert so much. It has no room for demure little trembles in its sky nor the constant damp of the drizzly northern climates. When it rains--truly rains--it does so with wild abandon.

You feel it in the air today, the way the wind slowly gathers the clouds together, fashioning them into a thick blanket to cover the sky, wraps itself around the sun until the desert brightness is dimmed for the afternoon.  Then as you tend your plants, the wind licking your hair and coiling itself around your body, you hear it: the thick rumble of thunder.

There will be rain soon, falling hard and fast and all at once from the sky just as it should in the summer; it will calm the city even as it continues to crack and groan and whip the air around street lamps, throw rain down from the sky to soak the earth.  But for now, the thunder teases you, making you hold out your open palm in anticipation, hoping for some fat drops to kiss it.  You sniff the air, searching for that ephemeral smell of clouds breaking, drops hitting dry land.

And when the rain does come, you will watch from your window even as you would rather be out dancing it in--if it weren't for the thunder and its companion lightning, never far behind it.  You will admire the way the rain hits your window, falls against your upturned plants, washes the city free of dust and heat.  You will curl up and fall asleep to the crackling of thunder, the wild patter of rain--and you will relish sneaking outside when the rain has subsided, the land hushed as if under some sort of spell. You will marvel at the puddles and sweet air, the quiet after the hard rain. 

Already it begins. You hear the first flutters of rain hitting the trees.  Another roar of thunder rolls through the clouds.  You head indoors, almost unwilling to leave your perfect perch for an afternoon rain, but another peel of thunder reminds you that it is time to close the windows--which you do, just as the rain being to fall in earnest.

This is your kind of thunderstorm.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!

On Summer Cookouts

The day is hotter than hot--but that's okay, it only makes your lemonade taste better.  You've spent another afternoon sunbathing and then snoozing in the shade of your favorite backyard tree.  Soon it'll be time to fire up the grill and prepare dinner.  It will be a lazy affair--entering the cool quiet of the kitchen to prepare a plate of burger fixings, slice some juicy watermelon, an assortment of easy appetizers. 

The real treat comes when you've prepared the burger meat--buffalo, with a pinch of seasoning and no fillers.  It is pure bliss to hear those patties sizzle on the grill alongside corn grilling in its own husk.  The heat rolls off the grill in waves--not that much different from the desert heat outside.  Still, you can keep to the shade, cool drink in hand, and enjoy watching your sister's dogs huff and sniff their way through the yard, roll in patches of mint, and finally finding peace inside the air-conditioned house.

Half the pleasure of your meal is in the making of it; taking the time it takes to stoke the grill and flip your burgers over conversation and sunshine.  Cookouts ignore the niceties of eating inside in favor of grass between your toes, sun on your back, and a good meal cooked over a hot flame.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational collection of musings touching on life’s simple pleasures, everyday enchantments, and delectable recipes that will guarantee to stir the kitchen witch in you.  If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe here.

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On 4th of July Sparklers

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The 4th of July will always be sparklers and cookouts, although it has been a long time since you have lit one of those little sticks and watched it light up the night with its crackling light. 

Yet you find your mind returning to those sparklers.  You loved them more than the big fireworks with their loud wheezing and banging, enough to scare your dogs and make you worry about their sparks catching on the tinder-dry trees--a hazard of celebrating the 4th in the desert.  No, the sparklers were safer, yet more whimsical.  They conjured stories of magic and secret wishes spelled out in the bright sizzle of their light.  As the night grew across the horizon, the stars yet to make an appearance in that dark cloak, you created your own stars. 

They were like fairy wands, meant for twirling like you loved to do, spinning round and round on the grass, blinded by their bright sparkle until you collapsed on the ground, you and the sparkler spent--until you lit the next one.  These sparklers were you and your sisters dancing in the night, running around the backyard, and thinking up the nonsense you so loved to think up; you were the wild ladies, barefoot and wearing comfy dresses, oblivious to everything but the warm air and the glitter of the sparklers. 

Now all you can think about is how much your future niece will love those little fairy wands and the secret wishes she will write in the sky with their magic.  You don't light sparklers anymore. But perhaps you should.

Enchantment Learning & Living is an inspirational blog celebrating life’s simple pleasures, everyday mysticism, and delectable recipes that are guaranteed to stir the kitchen witch in you. If you enjoyed what you just read and believe that true magic is in the everyday, subscribe to my newsletter below for regular doses of enchantment. Want even more inspiration? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Here’s to a magical life!