Back to Basics: Life Begins with Life

Many people I’ve met have the wrong assumption, taking it at face value that their life will be over when they start having children. They see these little munchkins as the end of their career, their dreams and goals. What they worked so hard towards will now be threatened or dismantled by a little bundle of joy and thus, they secretly may resent this gift of life, never really facing this belief system because it is just too harsh and too scary to deal with.

Some people contemplate abortion because they feel so inconvenienced by this surprise, afraid that their climb up the ladder may be forever perched on that “neither here nor there” step. And so, they decide to eliminate the threat, as if a baby can be so easily dismissed.

But, don’t get me wrong. I don’t judge these women, or men. They are victims, too. Victims of choices made that are often brought out by wrong beliefs perpetuated by our society’s accepted norms.

Instead of sharing positive, life giving ideals, the society at large infects the lives and perceptions of every participant with the negativity that keeps on spreading.

What if I told you, that giving life, will only give back more to you and when we place the before and after on the scales, you would end up the winner, not a loser? More will be added rather than taken away?

That you don’t have to be stuck in the victim mentality, just because it is easier to do so?

What if I challenged you to fight this belief system?

How can I speak about this topic with such passion? Because it happened to me. I believed like most of the people that with bringing a child into this world would begin the gradual decline of my dreams and ambitions, that my talents would be buried in perpetuity under diapers and princess dresses, and later old age. Never getting anywhere, never known by anyone. So, I resigned myself and thought I was ok with giving it all up. I thought I could train myself to be a happy stay-at-home mama, and a dutiful, appreciative wife, with all the trappings of the 50’s.

That’s how I grew up. That’s what my momma did. Raising eight children left her nothing of herself. She never fought against her confinement, rather, she accepted her duty as something between birth and death, something she had to do until she could do it no more. She was taught to scratch off her dreams and wants in service to her husband and children.

I saw nothing in her that would give me hope regarding my own future, except for her strong faith, without which she would’ve been lost. It was her only hope, mechanism of survival.

So, that is how I grew up and that is what I thought would happen to me, even though I was always aware of that something special within me, that little bit of greatness that never dimmed even though I tried, hoping it would make it a bit easier for me to accept my path.

But it all changed one day, or rather, one night, when the light of my world shined even brighter than any previous perceived ambition or desire. My child, my daughter came into the world. I was forever changed. I was forever inspired and empowered. That most powerful and sacred moment of birth, filled with beauty and mystery, travail and immeasurable joy, birthed a new me.

I didn’t only give birth to my daughter, but a new version of me. I couldn’t sleep, all I did was stare at her peaceful face and hold her in my arms for hours on end. The content surpassed all of my exhaustion and I felt like a superhero. Nothing could stop me. No mountain could be too treacherous for me to climb.

maya owlette

Mama’s little superhero


It took me a bit of time to process the majesty of that moment, the power in me that I never knew I had. Months passed and with the transition becoming more manageable, that transformation once again caught up with me.

I lived now, a more vibrant, more transparent life. Everything I ever wanted to be, I wanted to be so even more. The passions I had were now even more pronounced as I discovered the confidence and fearlessness I never knew I possessed. Life became more meaningful.

I lived for my daughter. I didn’t want to sell myself short because I didn’t want her to settle in her own life. I wanted with all my heart to leave her a legacy of courage, strength, passion and joy. I wanted her to truly live. I couldn’t teach her with words that meant nothing, so I picked myself up, dusted off my own weakened misconceptions, examined them and threw them out of the nearest window.

I will now lead my daughter by example, not wishful thinking.

Did she take my life? Yes, she took my old life but gave me something so much more extraordinary. A new life filled with vibrancy, adventure and expectation.

She woke me up. And now that I am awake, nothing is impossible, too improbable. I live in the realm of possibility. Why? Because that is how I want her to live, no limitations!

And yes, you can, too, experience this transformation. Just change your thinking and believe in the possibility that only greater glory awaits you with each life that you bring into this world.

It will be harder to go after some of those goals with children, but knowing the value of every minute, you will now know the value of every moment, and you will know that little efforts add up to great things.

If you cannot do it for yourself, do it for the little ones around your knees.

Lead by example, show them a life well lived: passionate, fearless, authentic.

Be truly you. That is the greatest freedom you will give them in this world; freedom to be them.

Life is an adventure, explore it together.

So, yes, Life begins with Life. Or so it did in my case. If I stayed in my old ways of thinking, I wouldn’t have my books written. Scratch that, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

And with this second child, cocooned in my womb, I am excited to see what facets of me are still lying dormant. I cannot wait to awaken the power within me that will come through as I experience another magical moment of bringing a fresh-faced bundle of joy into this beautiful world.

I am not afraid to lose my life with this addition, as I know full well now, that it will be forever changed but so much richer, stronger, with new adventures and new mountains, new travails and joys.

It is up to you to define your success and your life. Don’t fall into the groupthink and accept the mediocrity, the false assumptions.

Open up your mind, hold your head high and redefine your life according to what is right for you and your family.

YOU are the Queen in your family. YOU make the rules alongside your King. Live a life well lived with your princes and princesses. It is a life worth living.



By Olga Pyshnyak-Lawrence

Forever Hopeful, Always Believing, Perpetual Dreamer and Doer


Special Spring Activities For Children

With Spring bringing the warmer weather, it is a good time to bring our children outside and enjoy some activities while creating beautiful memories!

Here are 5 Activities that are fun for the whole family:


1. Terrariums- Very easy to make and can bring nature inside to enjoy.
 Here is a cute one to make, found at The Magic Onions – Handmade for the Natural Home.


2. Building Fairy Houses- Collect bark, twigs, small pine cones, feathers while you are on a walk.  At home you can all build a home to welcome the fairies.


Our Own Little Fairy

Please visit The Magic Onions for some beautiful ideas!

3. Visit a Local Farmers Market- It is fun to meet the farmers with your whole family!There is usually music and children activities. Buying fresh local food to bring home and cook a meal together as a family will be a treat.

4. It is a great time to save egg cartons to start seeds. Create and keep a Garden Journal with your little ones.

5. May 1st is May Day- Time to find a May Day Festival near you or get together with other families and have fun! Make dandelion crowns, have fun with bubbles! Also, check to see if any Waldorf Schools are nearby. They celebrate many festivals.


Here is my list of fun ways to share nature and plants with our children. Remember to keep it simple and ~Have Lots of Fun~!!!



By Michelle Reid

Supermom and Activist Extraordinaire

Back to Basics: Nurturing your own greatness

If you don’t plant your seeds and then continuously water them, they will not take root, nor will they ever grow into a beautiful, lively plant. So it is the same with you and your dreams, they must be planted inside of you and then continuously nurtured and looked after, day in and day out.

It may be a solitary job, you being the only gardener of your own greatness, but it can be done as long as you make that strong choice to continue believing  in your own self no matter what may come, no matter the storms that threaten to engulf you in these turbulent waters of life.

Dreams may have to be planted but your greatness has always been there. By nature of being children of God, we are great, period. It doesn’t matter if you realize it or not, nothing can take away your greatness or the potential that comes with it being expressed for the world to see.

I only pray that your greatness doesn’t stay dormant, wake it up! Revive it!

Don’t shun it. Don’t be embarrassed by it.

Don’t be surprised if people don’t understand you, they are usually in the dormant stage, either by choice due to fear or through ignorance. The ones that will resonate with you will be the ones that are also on their own journey of discovery and nurturing the seeds that have been placed within them at birth.

People may laugh at you, but one day you will have the last laugh by virtue of living a life worth living, a life of self-discovery and self-expression. Not many people can claim this… not many people are as brave as you are.

If you have read thus far, then you know this truth- you are not average, never been, never will be. You cannot settle for the things and standards that most of the people succumb to around you.

That is simply not you.

You believe that there is more to life, and there truly is! No greater gift has been bestowed upon you. Life.

What will you do with it? Ultimately, it is all up to you. Will you follow the call and walk the path towards destiny or will you believe the lies that we decided to take as truth and live them out?


Maternal Movement shelf at Hip Vintage and Handmade shop in Athens, GA

You are here on Earth because you were created with purpose, for a purpose. Isn’t it worth it to discover what that calling may be?

Even if no one sees what you see, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps they were never meant to see what you see. They may not understand and believe in your dream because it is not their job to understand and believe in YOUR dream. It is not their calling. Not their destiny.

It takes courage to stand up and give voice to what is on the inside of you. Boldness… Determination.

You will be tested, I guarantee you that. Big matters are not for the faint of heart. Greatness would not be great if it were so easy to express and attain.

On the other hand, look at how many people were able to scale their mountains of influence! If they can do it, so can you. So can I.

They are only special because they were open to believing in the possibility that one day there will be a breakthrough. That one day, the doors would open. That one day, a day that they decide to continue to keep moving, that shift would come.

And one day, it did. They never quit. They had faith in something that wasn’t visible on many days, but one day… became visible and tangible.

I pray that day comes to you sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, keep nurturing your greatness. Protect it from the wild birds and unruly beasts. Create boundaries and a safe space for your greatness to come through.

May those seeds bloom forth, surprising you with their ability to produce abundance. Astonishing you with their beauty, resilience, glory and wealth.

Your greatness is YOUR responsibility. Take hold of it today.



by Olga Pyshnyak-Lawrence



There’s Meaning to Your Color Choice

Aren’t you glad your life is in color? I sure am. I can’t imagine a black and white world. It’s amazing how color calms the soul, infuses life, or energizes your body. This phenomenon has led to scientific studies and that’s why we have such a term as “color psychology”. Color psychology is the study of hues as the determinant of human behavior and the impact it has on our feelings and senses.

It’s no mystery that marketing and branding relies heavily on how a certain color or hue affects a customer’s impulse to buy or experience. One may view this as an abuse of that power, but color choices are also important for spas where we go to relax, the amusement parks for fun, and the homes we want to enjoy.IMG_5382

Have you wondered why you are drawn to specific colors or why you even have a favorite color (s)? Upon seeing that particular color there’s something magical that happens in your brain that stirs up your feel-good senses. At other times you can even get an adverse reaction to certain colors… interesting, right?

When it comes to your home, consider what color(s) are right for each room’s function. Allow me to elaborate with the main colors:


Red is often recognized by your brain as powerful, but warm, passionate, stimulating, and energetic. That is why you can often see red in living rooms or entertainment areas. One of the best uses of red would be in areas of high activity or where you would like to raise the energy level. It doesn’t mean you have to paint the whole wall red, but using red in accent chairs, pillows, and various décor is just as effective.


Hues of blue are fantastic for bedrooms and bathrooms. There’s something about blue that conveys that calming and freeing feeling. Blue is meditative, relaxing, and serene. No wonder we stare up at the sky and daydream as children. I myself personally am highly drawn to blues as it also reminds me of the ocean, a place where I feel the most carefree and at peace.


The grass, plants, and trees give green that “earthy” tone. We feel safe and grounded around green. It is also relaxing and is a “feel good” color. It signifies nature and the great expanse of the outdoors. Hues of green are suitable for any room in the house.


Yellow energizes your brain and makes you feel more optimistic. That is why smiley faces are yellow and the sun shines its yellow rays to awaken us to start the day. As the sunshine is life affirming, so is the yellow hue a symbol of cheerfulness and liveliness. This color captures joy and happiness and is a great choice for kitchens, breakfast rooms, and bathrooms as well.


Throughout the ages royalty has worn purple robes due to how expensive it was to dye the fabric that color. So it’s no wonder our brains associate this color with power and royalty. Various hues and tints of purple are considered refined and sophisticated. Purple when used properly can spark creativity and bring depth to a room. Variations of purple can be used to create a luxurious effect in bedrooms and a VIP feeling in dining rooms.


There’s a sweet nature to pink. It’s no wonder this color gives off a feminine flair. It is soothing, gentle, and comforting. We often find little girl rooms in pink, but various hues of pink can also be quite effective in parlors, lounge areas, bedrooms, and dressing rooms.


Orange is the warmest color. It’s sensuous and stimulating, energetic and vibrant, and fun! It is great for exercise rooms or an office. In my area there is a franchise of gyms actually called Orange Theory. I’m thinking they knew what they were doing when they named it.


The earth is brown, so it’s natural for our brain to attribute earthy and “down to earth” traits to this color. There is something reassuring and stabilizing about this color. It also conveys yummy, like chocolate, and a sense of hominess. This color can be very neutral but is also great for capturing the cozy feeling for the den or a natural/rustic look in any room.


Black is sophisticated like the little black dress or elegant like a ball gown. It is also bold and defiant. Black is great for drawing attention to a specific feature of the room and can be used as an accent wall or to “tighten” the space of a large room.
However, be careful, as too much black can be overbearing. But when used properly this color can be very dramatic.


Grey is a special color that is subtle and conservative when it comes to keeping a space fresh and airy. It also has a calming factor and is understated in its elegance, not too bold and neutral enough to tie multiple spaces together in a seamless flow. This color can be combined with whites and neutrals, but it also brings any pop of color to life.


And let’s not forget the color white. It is clean. It is pristine. It is airy… we also see it as pure and serene and crisp. It has the unique power of making any room feel larger. Variations of warmer and cooler tones of white can be used throughout the home. However, be careful. Too much white can make a space feel sterile like a hospital or cold like the North Pole.

It’s not just wall colors but also the color of your furniture and accessories that work together to create that perfect space. It’s also the hue of the draperies and the tint of the polish. The color of the accent pieces, the vignettes, the light fixtures, and the rugs all culminate together to play on your senses. Explore and experiment with the vast array of color choices. Embrace the vibrancy and color of life and keep in mind what human behavior you want to encourage… wink, wink.


by Tatyana Pyshnyak, Voice Interiors

Back to Basics: Your Home, A Safe Haven

We speak of refugees as if they are so far away, in a different land, somewhere exotic, with a plight that is uncommon, untouched by so many around us, far removed from our everyday reality. In fact, that is not true.

Many of our family and friends are floundering around, searching far and wide for refuge, a place where they may rest their souls and replenish their spirit. Wind down their bodies after a long day.

You may be wondering why I seem to be ignoring the obvious; where is their home? Why am I not mentioning their home? Don’t we all, for the most part, have a place we can call our own?

We don’t.

Let’s start at the beginning. Remember your childhood? I hope it was a good one, filled with memories you long to relive, with a warm home and parents, warmer still. As for me, I’d rather stay in the present.

When you got home from school, did you feel a sigh of relief as you crossed the threshold of your household? Did you think, great, now I can be me! This is a place where I am accepted and loved unconditionally. I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to act. I don’t have to hide. I can simply, live… and thrive… Did you feel that fuzzy feeling? I hope you did. Most children don’t.

We are taught that we aren’t enough, that we must be someone else to be accepted and appreciated… to belong. We must be fast enough. Quick enough. Pretty enough. Compared to Billy next door and Susan on the other side of the street.

And off we go through life, lacking something, constantly searching and questing for that beautiful feeling of belonging. Discredited within our own authenticity.

How about now? As an adult, do you feel that your home is a place of rest, your day’s destination where you know you can completely let go and abandon yourself to yourself, knowing full well that you are accepted and allowed to be you?


Writing in bed with my favorite water bottle, drinking hot, rose petal tea. 

If not, WHERE do you find your haven? Are you filling that longing with something else? Are you ignoring the fact that not all is well with your soul, that some things must be set right in your life?

And if you are a parent, WHAT are you doing to MAKE SURE that your children can be liberated from the constraints of the world when they are home? Is it a priority for you to make them the delight of your eye, no matter what? Do they feel wanted? Do they feel they belong?

Let’s not repeat the patterns of the past, veiled in drudgery and lack of understanding.

The human race has time and time again proved that we can survive anything, but must we? We can be strong and carry on and put up a brave face, but should we?

Why can’t we just allow ourselves to express this basic need to belong to someone that values us, where we can be safe to express ourselves, even our silliest, most stupid sides? Why don’t we reciprocate and do the same for the ones that are closest to us?

So often we hide from the ones we love. Fear is a mighty opposition. Fear of a broken heart, misunderstanding, being laughed at.

What are we doing today to make our dwellings, homes where mothers and fathers rest in each other’s embrace, whispering their dreams one to another, with children laughing and playing, chatting, expressing themselves, strengthening their voices, all in a safe space, cocooned within the freedom of love?

How do we protect the boundaries of our havens; places of heaven on Earth? What rules must be put in place to make sure that the world’s intrusions do not permeate your home?

Perhaps a cell phone rule may be a great way to start. Perhaps a ban on video games? Cut down on TV time? Coming home on time?

It is time to start interacting with your husbands, wives, children, pets. Time to cook up a storm. Plant a garden. Kick that dusty ball around. Dance within the halls of your home.

Life is beautiful, together. Life is meaningful, together. Life is filled with abundance that can fill many voids, if we are within a group where we belong.

I am not calling you to fit in within this group. NO. Belong. Stand out. Be truly you. The pretty and the ugly. All of that, held together with love in a place you call home. A place where your heart can rest and confide. Your body may sleep well. Your dreams are the treasured possessions within the walls. Your home, a mighty fortress against the world.

It isn’t hard to thrive in life when you have a place where you can seek shelter, replenish and restore.

Please, seek first to fix your foundations, and then, whatever you do, will be firmly rooted, not swept away by the sea of life.

I call upon the husbands and wives, parents, grandparents, in some cases, even children; the authorities of their respective households, to be LIGHTHOUSES for the ones around you, the ones that matter most. Do not allow them to be lost in the darkness of the void that will never be satisfied, a void created by the world to distract us from what really matters most; LOVE.

Love your homes, respect them and look after them, as a sign of love for the inhabitants.

In all things, do your best.

It is never too late to start a new day. Never too early to put in the effort.

If you want something extraordinary, don’t fool yourself into thinking that your ordinary effort will be enough. If you want something new, don’t keep doing the same old, same old way.

I pray that you may hear the call to do something a bit differently today… tomorrow.

Whatever your dreams may be… it is easier to get them done, where you belong; together.