Tag Archives: book reviews

Gratitude for the Complete Organic Pregnancy

I walked through the doors of a bookstore that was not my own; One where people didn’t know me.  This idea, this person who I wanted to be, was pulling at me, and I wanted to be prepared, but I wanted privacy.

I went to the pregnancy section, knowing just where to find it, and I picked up a book that I had discreetly looked at many times before, as I shelved books in the section while working in a bookstore. Holding it now, I knew that this was the guide that would help me to become the best first home for my baby.

I don’t know why, perhaps it was my earliest mothering instinct, but I knew that I wanted to prepare myself, my body, for a healthy pregnancy before I got pregnant.  This made sense to me, and it allowed me to step into the role of mama right then, without having to wait for the when the timing was right for us to start our family.

preparing for nontoxic pregnancyI dove into The Complete Organic Pregnancy and quickly discovered that it was actually the book I’d been looking for to serve as a guide for healthy and non-toxic living.  In all the books I had come across (and I discovered new ones daily at my job), I had yet to find such a comprehensive and easy to read book that could help me reduce toxins in my life.

To some, the information in this book might be overwhelming to ingest all at once – there’s a lot of information to take in, and if you can’t make all of the changes, or you feel like you’re supposed to make them all at once, it could increase your anxiety.

For me, it was perfect for where I was on my journey – learning about what to avoid in my bathroom, in my kitchen, around the home, and even in the workplace.  Alexandra Zissu and Dierdre Dolan did a wonderful job compiling lists of ingredients to avoid, with explanations of what they are and why they are cause for concern.

Zissu and Dolan take the reader through three sections: Transforming, Growing, and Living.  In each section, they talk about food, home and work environments, fitness, wellness, and beauty.  Information interjected with stories makes it hard to put down if it is the information you’ve been searching for, as I was.

I am so grateful to have found this book for many reasons:

It jump started my shift to healthier living in a way that was easier than starting with food

It made me feel in control from the start

It awakened my passion for toxins and specifically the role they play during the childbearing years

It was the beginning of my journey to a career that fills me with joy as I support other women

If this books sounds like what you’ve been looking for, you can get your copy here *.

If you’re interested in detoxifying your home, but this book feels overwhelming, or you’d like the opportunity to explore within a community, click here.

I’d love to know what books you’re grateful to have read – please share in the comments below!

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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*This is an affiliate link and I receive a small percentage from items purchased through this link.



If You Stop Breathing,You Stop Living

I’ve been making space for reading again in my life recently.  For as long as I can remember, reading has been like breathing to me; and if you stop breathing, you stop living.


I’ve still been reading but it had shifted from allowing myself to get lost between the covers of a great book to finding myself lost amidst emails, and Facebook posts.  As I pull books from my shelves again and dive in, one after another, I find myself feeling more centered.


I always have a book with me.  On the few occasions I’ve found myself without, I’ve vowed never again.  You never know what life is going to bring, and I like to be prepared with a book.


I read whatever calls out to me in the moment.  If I find I’m not feeling it, I put it down and try again.


the alchemist

The right books have been finding me.  The ones that I settle in with and quickly feel a sense of ease, of belonging, and that I’m learning exactly what I need to know right now.


Since reading is such a big part of my life, I’m going to be dedicating some space on the blog for sharing my favorites with you.  Some will be about pregnancy, motherhood and healthy living, and some may be just fun.  I’m keeping it loose and we’ll see where it leads. I just know that it feels right.



For today, I want to tell you about The Alchemist.


My journey with The Alchemist began years ago, back when I was working in a bookstore.  I loved working in that environment, but I developed an aversion to the books that became insanely popular.  Maybe it was because I just got sick of hearing the titles, or maybe I thought it was just a fad and I wanted to save myself for the books that were hiding out on the shelves, waiting to be found by me.


I don’t know if I would have picked it up anyway, but The Alchemist fell into this category and therefore off my reading list.  Since then, I have heard mention of it, with many people whose opinions I trust holding it in high regard.


I was recently at my mom’s house helping her clear out some old books and organize the ones she wanted to keep, and my eyes fell upon this book again.  Maybe it was the different cover (she has the 10th anniversary edition, not the paperback that my eyes were so accustomed to), maybe it was the fact that I had distanced myself enough from those thoughts of aversion, or maybe, as seems to be happening often these days, this book was just what I needed in this moment.

love of books


I took it home, and within 36 hours I had found my way to the end.  “This is a book I could read over and over and over again,” I found myself thinking. It’s true.  It may become my book to kick off November with every year.  I’m curious to see how revisiting these pages will change for me as I grow on my own journey, just as the boy in the story did.


It is a story of dreams, of losing it all to gain what is most important, of trust in oneself, and in courage in the face of adversity.  It is about what Paulo Coelho calls the Personal Legend – that which we are here to do, our purpose in life, our calling.  This is not to be confused with what we do in our day to day to get by and pay the bills.  This is our soul song, the passion that burns brightest for us.  This is a tale that opened me up to pieces of me that the world has tried to shut down, but I will no longer let them hide.


In The Alchemist, Paul Coehlo writes, “When you want something, the whole Universe conspires to help you realize your desire.”


When we listen, deeply listen, we find ourselves on the path to our desires, our dreams, even if they weren’t what we once imagined.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes time, it takes work, it takes thought and effort.  When you know you are on this path, the world opens up and it’s a beautiful thing.


What is like breathing for you in your life?  How can you honor it and give it more presence?


If you’d like to read The Alchemist, you can find it here. (Note: I get a small percentage from sales made via this link)


Peace, Love, and Wellness,

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