Mary Helen Leonard, author of The Natural Beauty Solution and professionally trained culinary instructor, shares recipes, projects, tips, and stories about living a more natural, handmade, and creative life with her family in Austin, Texas.
Oh my goodness has this month flown by! I have been a busy little bee lately, but I finally have some news to share on my second book. The Natural Mama & Baby Solution is having its first photo shoot with the amazingly talented Kimberly Davis NEXT WEEK!!
OMG, right?! I have been working my tail off testing recipes and making plans for next week's shoot and preparing to hand in the first half of the book (with all of the food recipes and bath and body projects) to my publisher. The next phase will be all about working on sewing projects, collecting contributor content, and writing all of technical information to beef up the first two chapters.
Y'all, this is a HUGE book. It's massive! Many times over the past year I have wondered just what I was thinking when I put together this behemoth.
It will all be worth it though when it's out there helping kinda-crunchy moms like me make it through their pregnancies and first years of motherhood with a little extra creativity and natural living know-how on their sides.
Did I mention I would be illustrating the tutorials and editorials as well? WHAT? I know. I'm a crazy woman.
Meanwhile, Kimberly took our very first book photo with her own lovely bathing beauty. This here is just a little taste of what's to come. To stay in the loop for book number two make sure and sign up for the book's mailing list. The list will get first dibs on signed copies, testing samples, and other amazing goodies so get on there quick before it fills up! (Just kidding. It's an email list. It can't fill up.)
By the way, if you are a writer, blogger, yoga maven, doula, pediatrician, early childhood educator, or any other kind of professional tied to the world of pregnancy and babies please hit me up! I am looking for folks to contribute short pieces (ranging from 2-3 sentence to 2-3 paragraph blurbs) for my new book. I am including as much expert input as I can and I need YOUR help to do so.
If you aren't one of these lovely people but you happen to know one I would be grateful for an introduction! Please send all inquiries to my email at email@example.com.
I am going to be completely immersed in this whole book-writing thing for the next two weeks so you may not hear from me much. I'll be back soon - and with some pretty banging fall recipes with goodies like sweet potato, apple, sriracha... you know, all the traditional things for fall.
Before I go I just wanted to give a big shout-out to Central Market's cooking school and culinary instructor, Sahar Arafat-Ray. Central Market generously invited me to attend a cooking class and I took the opportunity to beef up my dumpling skills. Sahar's Asian Dumpling Class was great! I learned how to make Yaki Mandoo (Korean Beef Dumplings), Bun Rieu (Vietnamese Crab Dumpling Soup), and Har Gow (Cellophane Shrimp Dumplings). I even got a little refresher on Gyoza (Japanese Pot Stickers).
A school bus that has been purchased by a private owner and converted for some purpose other than hauling people around, such as RVing. Can be a very economical, cost-efficient means of obtaining an RV. Example: I bought an old school bus and turned it into an RV! Now, it is a skoolie!
Welcome to my latest obsession, school bus conversion blogs.
My tendency to daydream is no secret. It's a habit I've indulged in as long as I can remember. When life gets a little too heavy my imagination has a way of stepping in and taking the reigns - steering my attention away from whatever is bringing me down and pointing it to a more appealing fantasy.
Right now that fantasy involves packing my family up for an indefinite road trip. Picture this: a tiny house on wheels roaming from one national park to another. No mortgage to pay. No lawn to mow. Just Scott, CC, and I on the open road. (Well, just Scott, CC, and I, two cats, and an elderly collie-mix. Hehe.)
Sounds perfect, right? And maybe just a little bit crazy.
At least I thought it was crazy until I started poking around on the internet. It turns out that there are a ton of families out there living the dream. Just type #skoolie into Instagram and you'll find a flood of photos and stories from folks out there living on the road.
In fact, I personally know two families that live full-time in RVs.
While I work on convincing hubby to go along with my schemes (I'd say he's a good 10% on board at this point) I'm living vicariously through the following Skoolie blogs. The following blogs are written by people who are out there doing this thing RIGHT NOW. It's almost too much fuel for my skoolie fantasy to handle.