29 intentions in my 29th year

Today is my 29th birthday! The final year of my 20s has begun and I could not be more in love with the existence I am creating for myself. I am a work in progress, and I am okay with that. I am passionate about so many things and everyday I am astonished at my own thirst for personal growth. I am so very thankful for every opportunity this life has granted me.

It seems fitting that I wrapped up an 8 week Mindfulness Meditation course today. I had tons of clarity in my reflections and it felt like the perfect way to begin a year (and lifetime) of intentional living.

My 29th year will be a year of authenticity and intention. I will be mindful in the way I live. I will be loving in my daily actions. Here is my list of 29 intention for my 29th year:

  1. Be intentional with my time and energy.
  2. Continue to cut down on plastic use.
  3. Become a full-time pescatarian.
  4. Maintain a regular mindfulness meditation practice.
  5. Attend yoga classes regularly with Will.
  6. Make quality time with family a priority.
  7. Buy less.
  8. Write more.
  9. Practice gratitude regularly.
  10. Be resilient.
  11. Pursue zero-waste and circular living.
  12. Only purchase ethically made and sourced clothing.
  13. Breathe.
  14. Walk.
  15. Stretch.
  16. Create a better system of organization at home.
  17. Designate a special spot in the house for meditation.
  18. Be more patient with my littles.
  19. Spend more time in the kitchen.
  20. Practice self-compassion.
  21. Spend more time with the people I love.
  22. Extract joy from every day.
  23. Explore more.
  24. Ask questions.
  25. Make things.
  26. Get to know me better.
  27. Dream far and wide.
  28. Show kindness and compassion everyday.
  29. Be courageous.

This is my list. It covers so much while still leaving such a great deal to seek and explore. I want my 29th year to be a year of curiosity, risk-taking, and growth. I want to spend my time diving deep and falling in love with who I am and the life I am leading.

What are your intentions for the year ahead? Have you thought about it? What would be the first thing you would put on your list?

love & light

Lena

Garlic Mint Garden Pest Spray

**This is a review of the recipe created by Jami over at An Oregon Cottage  that I am using as a regular part of my garden routine now!**

As you saw in my earlier post this week, I have been slightly obsessed with my garden this spring and summer. I simply love the magic of making things grow. We planted a patch of sunflower seeds on earth day together and just this week they are finally starting to blossom, I am so excited to see how they look this fall!

Early on this spring I was having a little trouble though, every morning I would find big holes in my sunflowers. Something was having a pretty hearty midnight snack on my flowers every night and I was worried they wouldn’t make it! I knew it was time to find a solution to try and rescue my sunflowers from this snack-attack!

Because we try our best to pursue a green, toxin and waste-free lifestyle – I was not interested in using any kind of pesticide in my garden. I spent days researching if there was an all-natural way of deterring the pests without causing any harm, and after a few different attempts I finally found something that works wonders!

When I stumbled upon this recipe of Jami’s I was so relieved! I had tried so many recipes and watched my plants disappear more and more each morning until I finally found this beauty!

before using any spray

This spray is made of 4 ingredients (+ water) and is very effective! So far this summer I have only had to spray it on my plants twice. The spray doesn’t smell great and is spicy so any little critters who take a nibble will not be interested in eating anymore.. although the smell alone should be enough to send them packing! I still have lots of bees zipping around the plants even though they have been sprayed so it won’t harm them either!

3 weeks after first application

The recipe is stinky while making it but a bottle of this will last a really long time! Make sure you aren’t expecting company the next day after making it because the smell is pretty potent – I moved my essential oil diffuser to the kitchen to help get things smelling nice again! Here is the original recipe that I followed.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • fresh mint
  • dry cayenne pepper
  • biodegradable soap (I used Dr. Bronners)
  • water

For complete instructions head over to the original recipe by clicking here!

When using the spray, make sure to put it on after 4pm or on an overcast day so it doesn’t burn the plant. Spray all of the plant, even the base and undersides of leaves when you apply it! After spraying the first time, I waited about 3 and a half weeks between applications.

flowers blooming after 5 weeks of first application

What do you think? What kinds of organic gardening tips do you have? I’m learning as I go, but this will definitely be a recipe I keep on hand for years to come!

love & light,

Lena

Flower boxes make this feel like home…

When we first moved into our house last August I was in love with the homemade flower boxes hanging under a few of the windows on the east side of the house. But sadly after the year passed they were beginning to rot out and no longer had that beautiful raw wood look. They were untreated so the elements broke them down very quickly.

Because I loved the flower so much though I knew I wanted to replace them so I bought some small cedar boxes and painted them a happy yellow to brighten up our house. I love the way they turned out! Such a simple little thing made this house feel so much more like our own!

We have a LOT left to learn about home owning but we are having fun figuring it out along the way! We planted sunflowers on earth day and a few of those are just starting to bloom and we are working on filling in our milkweed patch with wildflowers for the butterflies… Gardening and yard care are our official “stress relievers” of the summer. What a lovely way to enjoy the outdoorsand the first summer of home owning!

What about you? What are your favorite summertime stress relief activities to focus on? Do you love working in the garden as well or are there other things you enjoy this time of year? I hope everyone is getting the time they need to recharging at home and away!

love & light

Lena

My summer sun must-haves…

When it comes to summer, I don’t think there is a time of year that makes me any happier! With my fair and sensitive skin though, it is really important that I take care of my complexion so I can enjoy as much fun in the sun as I can.

Because this is one of the biggest outdoor barbecue and beaching weeks of the year I thought now would be a great time to share my summer skin must-have items! For me, it all comes down to keeping my skin safe from too much sun and keeping it hydrated. So here are some of my must-haves for healthy summer skin!

1. Suntegrity SPF 30 Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer – I wear this just about everyday under my mineral make-up. The SPF 30 was the big draw for me when I started using this primer but the orange citrus scent is pretty wonderful.

2. Suntegrity 5-in-1 Tinted Moisturizer – This is my go-to on the days I don’t feel like putting on makeup. The light tint makes me feel put together on days when I will be spending most of my time outdoors without having to worry about my makeup melting away.

3. Herbivore Botanicals Face Oils – I find it impossible to decide whether I like their Orchid Oil or Pheonix Oil more, they both smell amazing and give my skin great moisture! I use Orchid in the evening and Pheonix in the morning.

4. Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask – I love facial masks and I have really gotten into them this summer. There are a few that I use regularly but this new mask is the best hydration mask I have tried! I love putting it on and relaxing for 25 minutes while the mask does all of the work. I like that with this mask you can take it off with just a clean towel and not worry about scrubbing with water!

5. SPF 50+ Sunscreen – I know there is a lot of debate about whether wearing sunscreen is worth the health risks. After lots of talking it over with my doctor, she and I decided together that it was more important that I wear SPF 50 or higher sunscreen, my fair skin is considered high risk for skin cancer, but I love to be in the sun so it is really important to protect myself. Lately I have been using SunBum and I enjoy it!

6. Wide Brim Hat and Prescription Sunglasses – I’m a glasses everyday kind of girl, so having my prescription glasses on hand is always important! And I always wear a hat when I am out in the sun all day, I love this straw cloche hat that I found at Target a few years ago! My perscription sunglasses are from Bonlook.

These are my daily items that I just couldn’t enjoy this warm summer sunshine without but I would love to hear the must-haves on your list for the summer season… Please share!

love & light
Lena

It’s okay to not be perfect…

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“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there” – Rumi

In the winter I attended a 2 day Self-Compassion workshop with Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Chris Germer. After coming out of a beautiful meditation they shared this quote and I felt like my perspective was forever changed.

In our social-media-saturated world we are constantly bombarded with images that look so perfect I could cry. One of the big reasons I walked away from blogging a couple of years ago was because I felt my life wasn’t worth sharing because it wasn’t perfect. Not even close. And the few “perfect” photos I shared on my Instagram took me so long to style and to get just right that the magic of the moment really was gone. I didn’t like missing out on life because I wanted my Instagram to be flawless.

Then finally one day while deep in my Loving Kindness Meditation I realized, it’s okay to not be perfect. Comparison and striving for perfection had stolen my sense of self-worth and I let it happen without batting an eye. But the beauty is that now I am ready to reclaim my space here and enjoy sharing it in all of its imperfection.

If you are ever struggling with feelings of unworthiness because your life doesn’t seem as perfect as the blog and Instagram feeds you see everyday, you are not alone. The next time this happens…

Stop – comparison is the thief of joy, so let it go.
Breathe – you deserve compassion, breathe in courage, breathe out judgement.
Embrace – you are worthy of love and celebration, explore the reasons why.

Your imperfect world is perfect to me. My imperfect world is perfect to me. Embrace life for all it has to offer. Don’t miss out just because the lighting isn’t right… In the end it is the moments that matter most, so live them, love them, and rejoice in them.

love & light,
Lena