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Here at The Dabblist, our philosophy is that everyone is a maker.

We all have a creative side – an inner artist – that, when given the opportunity to be expressed, will flourish and thrive. As someone who has been working to identify my artistic side for years now, I can attest to this being totally true.

We are all makers.

And what keeps me motivated and inspired is the work from the talented makers and artisans  around the world who have boldly chosen to present their art to the world.

So today, I’d like to take a moment to celebrate the makers and share with you my current favorite makers and their amazing pieces and works.

Celebrating the Makers

{From right to left. Top Row: Chelsea Petaja, Brigitte May, Dori Midnight. Second Row: Morgan Botanicals, While Odin Sleeps, Heath Ceramics. Third Row: Forest Feast, Herriott Grace, Katie Daisy. Bottom Row: Fat and the Moon, Love Birds LA, Holy Sponge}

My 2 favorite artist illustrators are Chelsea Petaja (her handwriting is mesmerizing) and Aussie Brigitte May. I have prints from both these talented ladies in my cottage home.

Dori Midnight makes these enchanting herbal charmed honeys, infused with organic herbs, flower and gem essences and a spell to support or sweeten your desires, wishes, and dreams. She sources her honey from a beekeeper that harvests honey using flower essences instead of smoke (meaning the bees are in flower ecstasy as opposed to smoke-induced trauma). She has honeys for fertility, abundance, hot sex, and love.

Jessica Morgan is a Colorado-based herbalist that runs Morgan Botanicals. I am a member of her herbal CSA. Each month, I get a package of herbal remedies to my doorstep along with a love note from her.

Austin-based Lauren makes gorgeous jewelry under the name While Odin Sleeps. Her work is stunning and one-of-a-kind.

Heath Ceramics started as a homegrown company in my neighboring town of Sausalito in 1948, and is uber popular with the design crowd. I love browsing their factory store and snatching up little bud vases and tiles that didn’t quite come out perfect from the kiln.

Erin from the gorgeous blog Forest Feast is a super talented photographer and illustrator (her cookbook is a work of art!). She just came out with lovely paper meal planners and placemats.

The father-daughter story behind Herriott Grace is so endearing and inspirational. He crafts hand-carves and hand-turned wooden objects in his Victoria, BC studio and she helps market it to us beauty-craving folk.

Katie Daisy’s illustrations are a whimsical, nature-loving girl’s dream. The first etsy print I ever bought was her rendition of the Thorough quote, “All good things are wild and free.”

Rachel Budde of Fat and the Moon is an herbal witchy goddess lady who lives by the ocean and crafts incredible products that my skin adores. I’m a big fan of her deodorant cream and pimple mud.

Love Birds LA crafts some of the most beautiful handbags I’ve ever seen from textiles gathered from Peru, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The women behind Holy Sponge are inspiring and lovely. They introduced me to the world of sea sponges for your menstrual cycle. They also make lovely cramp balms (presented in a sea shell!) and moon calendars to track your cycle.

What about you? Do you have any favorite etsy shops, designers, or artists? I want to know about them! Share them in the comments below.



Tea of the Redwood

We live near the forest now – a forest of redwood trees.

We step out our front door and out the green gated entrance to our cottage, walk about 200 feet and we are under a canopy of beautiful, old trees with soft gentle bark and deep, grounded roots.

Tea of the Redwood


I recently went on an herb walk with some herbalist elders, and they taught me about making tea with the freshly foraged green needle tips of the Redwood. As soon as I heard this, I felt a shudder of excitement and knowing run through my bones. Drinking a tea of the redwoods felt like a healing and sacred thing.

Let me tell you why.

When you think of the Redwood tree, what qualities come to mind?

For me, it’s perseverance and endurance. Redwood trees are fire and insect resistant and can last through years of drought and forces of nature like fierce floods and high winds.

There’s also a sense of being grounded, as the roots of the Redwood can extend out wide up to 100 feet from the trunk.

And then there’s community and connection.  One root can sprout many trees, often in a circle forming what is often called a “fairy ring.” And (I find this to be most beautiful), if a tree falls, it will generate a new rings of trees around the stump – honoring the fallen and strengthening the tribe.

When you make a tea of the fresh, green needles of a redwood tree, you are drinking in all those qualities of the tree – allowing them to flow through your body and permeate your being. Calling in strength, endurance, connection, and community.

Tea of the Redwood

Tea of the Redwood

  • 2 tbsp fresh green redwood needle tips
  • 1 cup hot water

Pluck the needles off the main stem to release their oils and aroma. Pour hot water over the needles and let steep for at least 10 mins (placing a plate over your cup to keep it warm). Remove the needles and sip slowly to savor the flavor and energy of the redwood tree.

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Stop Doing List

It’s February. 2015 is happening.

The trees are blossoming and we are counting down to the days of sweet springtime, which will lead into sunny summer, and then into crispy crunchy fall, and then the holidays will be here.

As our awareness of time’s passing becomes more intense with each passing moment, an urge arises. The urge to fill that precious time with as much as humanly possible.

I know this all too well.

I can take action with the best of them. I can fill my to-do list with a slew of items and actions and meetings and calls.

But knowing how to stop is just as important as knowing how to do.

That’s why I’ve recently enacted the Stop Doing List. Because knowing what isn’t serving you is just as important as knowing what you want to get done.

Here is some of what’s on my Stop Doing List for 2015:

– Going through my Facebook feed on my phone as a distraction from what I should be doing

– Skipping lunch

– Doing my reading exclusively online {physical books are calling my name}

– Forcing myself to stay up later when my eyelids clearly want something differently

– Treating coffee as hydration

– Saying yes when I really mean no

What about you? What are you committing to stop doing this year? Let me know in the comments below.


lemon elderflower vanilla wine

My latest obsession has been putting flowers in anything. Flowers in my salad, flowers in my hair, flowers in my water, and flowers in my cocktails.

And while I was planning to do this post with fresh flowers, I’m not willing to wait a few more weeks to gather dandelions and violets for what I was envisioning (but I will, I will!). So today’s planned post ended up morphing into a completely different, yet oh so delightful creation that I’m so pleased to share.

Lemon elderflower vanilla wine

Elderflower, whose floral scent is so uniquely lovely, combined with fresh lemon and vanilla bean…all infused into a riesling wine. Oh my goodness, it’s so good! Fresh, feminine, elegant, and not the same old cocktail for your next dinner party.

Lemon elderflower vanilla wine

Lemon, Elderflower, & Vanilla Infused Wine Spritzer

  • 1 cup elderflower (fresh or dried)
  • 1 organic lemon, zested
  • 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
  • 1 32oz bottle of Riesling (or other white wine of your choice)
  • 1 32 oz mason jar (or other sealable container to infuse in)

Dump the elderflowers, lemon zest and vanilla bean in your glass jar. Pour the wine over it and seal tightly. Let infuse for 1 weeks, occasionally shaking it every few days.

Once infused, strain the mixture through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Pour your wine into a bottle and store for use.

To make it a spritzer, combine 3 parts wine with 1 part sparkling water in a champagne saucer or wine glass. Sip and enjoy, love!

Lemon elderflower vanilla wine



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Immunity to Overwhelm

Today I want to talk to you about those times when you get so overwhelmed with your to-do lists, your responsibilities, your desires, and your fears that you completely freeze up and become paralyzed.

Know the feeling?

I used to know it all too well.

I was the girl who infamously attempted to do it all. I had a lot on my plate at any one time: high level responsibilities at work, a calendar packed with social dates I would usually always say yes to, a relationship I was trying to be present in, a blog I was writing and trying to grow on the side, trying to cook healthy, budget-friendly meals at home, and elements of my self care (gym, medical appointments, haircuts, hair removal, mani/pedis, shopping, etc) that I would try to fit in as well. You know, just trying to live the life of a normal, ambitious metropolitan woman.

And, because I was constantly trying to do all-the-things at any one time, the overwhelm and paralysis gremlins moved in and made permanent residents in my head.

The result was an attempt to numb out of my experience with food, booze, overspending, and flaking out on those I loved most.

Not cool.

Over time, I’ve made some very conscious shifts in my daily habits and choices to keep overwhelm at bay. And while I can’t say it’s completely out of my life, I can say that it has way less power over me than it used to. I’m feeling more productive and more intentional in my life than ever before.

Here are some the strategies I’ve used to overcome overwhelm and paralysis:

1.  Get it Out

I prefer to do this with a physical pen and paper, but opening up a Word or Evernote document on your computer works as well.

When your mind is racing, just start writing freely. Don’t edit and don’t judge. The point of this exercise is to empty your mind of everything that’s racing through it in a place where you know it is being captured and won’t be lost. When I do these brain dumps, I jump around from shopping lists to emotional reactions to emails to ideas for dabbles in the future. But once my writing slows down and I feel complete in the emptying out process, I can feel the space I’ve opened up and I feel amazing.  It’s a deep breath and back to business.

2.  The Most Important Question

Each morning, after I wake up and meditate, I break out my desire map journal and ask myself “What are the most important things I need get done today?”.

Your MITs (or Most Important Things) are needle-moving projects or tasks. In other words, they are the things that will get you closer to what you truly desire. Often times when we overwhelmed, we avoid the important or hard tasks in favor of the easier ones that don’t have as much of an impact (or worse, we procrastinate on Facebook or Pinterest).

I have found that there are just 3 or 4 MITs on any given day that I write down in priority order. If there are any more than 4, I make note of them but know that it’s likely they’ll be completed on the following day so I’m not setting up unrealistic expectations of myself.

By asking yourself what’s most important, you are streamlining your focus for the day. And this way you are experiencing the feeling of completion, when your task is finished and you can officially cross it off the list. This powerful feeling will contribute to more ease and calm at the end of your day, effectively making you immune to being overwhelmed.

3.  Make a Pleasure List

This may seem counterintuitive, but adding more pleasurable experiences (ie. things that make you feel happy and content) into your daily life helps build immunity to overwhelm while also increasing productivity. Countless studies have been coming out in the past few years linking taking breaks and stimulating pleasure sensors in your brain, to productivity and high levels of happiness in humans. And I can vouch for that, because the more I infuse pleasure into my day, the more resourced I am to complete my MITs and feel amazing at the end of the day.

Not sure where to start? I recommend making a pleasure list (borrowed from my friend Melissa Cassera). A pleasure list is comprised of things you know make you feel amazing when you do them. Only you can make your own list, but here are a few of mine to get the juices flowing:

– Watch upcoming movie trailers
– Take an online class
- Buy a beautiful card and stamps, then write a letter to a friend
– Buy a beautiful, glossy mag at the bookstore and read it cover to cover
– Browse travel websites and create fantasy itineraries for future adventure
– Schedule an hour to gab and catch up with a girlfriend
– Catching an afternoon matinee movie
– Go outside and walk barefoot in the grass and hug a tree
– Make a playlist of your favorite bands and singers as a teenager

4.  Delete or Delegate

If you’ve got a long list of to-dos that is haunting you in your sleep, then take a seriously look at it. With a red and blue sharpie, go through each of your items and put a red dot next to the tasks that you can delete and a blue dot next to the items you can delegate.

Now, I know this exercise can be tough at first but it gets easier (and more empowering) over time.

When looking at an item, you know you can delete or delegate the things you keep putting off, have no consequence if they don’t get done, or you really truly do not want to do them. Your intuition will be a good guide when doing this.

If you aren’t sure how to delegate, take a look at this post here. We live in a world where you can outsource so many items on your to-do list, and often for much less money than you think. Plus the peace of mind and time you get back is usually way more valuable than the amount you spent to delegate it in the first place.

5.  Move Your Body

Endorphins are no joke.

When I am in a place of indecision or overwhelm, one of my tried-and-true tactics is to put my pink tennis shoes on and get moving. Sometimes, it’s a walk around my neighborhood. Other times, it’s a yoga or cross-fit class. The point is, when I get my blood pumping and glowy sweat on, I’m clearing the cobwebs in my brain and movement of ideas starts flowing again.

And I knowwwww it’s so hard to get out of the dang chair and get moving, but it gets easier every time you do it.

6.  Say No

No is the single most powerful phrase in your life. And, if you are a recovering people pleasing perfectionist like me, it can be a hard one to say.

But believe me when I tell you that saying no is a courageous, empowering act that has powerful ripple effects every time you do it. It is saying you love and value yourself. And, although you the invitation is flattering/sounds amazing/would be fun to participate in, you must say decline so you can stay fresh, focused, and healthy.

As someone who has been on the receiving end of this kind of “No”, I can tell you it is both inspiring and refreshing.

7.  Create Space for Dabbling

Dabbling is especially important for those of you who spend most of your days tap tapping away on a computer or smartphone.

Creating space in your calendar to follow your curiosities and play with your hands is a powerful way to drop back into your body and feel in control of your life, further building immunity to overwhelm and paralysis.

A dabble can be anything from buying fresh flowers and arranging them in bud vases around your home to busting out a mason jar and air plants to attempt at making a terrarium. If you are feeling less than inspired, I’ve got a whole bunch of dabbles right here.

And because you can tell a lot about a person by their calendar (and you are likely the kind of person who fills up her calendar to the point of overflow), I want you to create space once a week/month/day for dabbling and play. The results will make you a happier, more productive human being. The overwhelm and paralysis gremlins will pack up and leave.

What about you? How do you deal with feelings of overwhelm and paralysis? Have you tried any of these strategies yourself? Let me know in the comments below.


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