Monday, January 30, 2023

Shake off Winter's Doldrums with Imbolc: Embracing the Light and Energy of the Upcoming Spring (with New Seasonal Journal Prompts)

Imbolc, also known as Brigid's Day, is the midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, when we welcome the return of light and the coming of spring. It begins the evening of February 1st and concludes the evening of February 2nd. 

The observance of Imbolc, (or St. Brigid's Day for Christians) is a lovely time to mentally transition from the darkness and indolence of deep winter to an energy of renewal and light. 

Here are some ideas for incorporating the spirit of Imbolc into your everyday, for when you're ready to shake off those winter doldrums.

1. Clean and declutter your home. Imbolc is a time of renewal and new beginnings, making it the perfect time to do a deep clean and declutter of your home. This will not only help clear out the old to make way for the new, but it will also create peaceful and harmonious energy in your home, hearth, and spirit.

2. Light candles. Imbolc is a time of returning light, so lighting candles is a simple way to welcome more light into your home. Consider using white or yellow candles to symbolize the return of the sun or choose candles in colors that align with your intentions for the season.

Enjoy a traditional candle-lit, Imbolc-inspired meal, like a hearty stew made with root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and turnip, which symbolize the emergence of new growth and renewal. Serve your stew with a side of crusty bread to represent the hearth and home and finish with warm, spiced apple or pear crisp to represent the return of the sun and the coming spring. 

3. Reflect on your goals and intentions. It's still winter and winter is a time of rest and reset; however, at Imbolc, you can begin to think about what you want to create or grow in the coming months. Take some time to think about your goals and intentions for the year ahead, and envision a plan for setting them into motion.  

4. Celebrate the natural world. Imbolc marks the gradual awakening of the natural world, the first signs of spring. Take a walk, observe the changes you see, and document those changes with photos, mental notes, or journaling as a way to connect with the season and the natural world. 

5. Practice self-care. Imbolc is a time of renewal and rejuvenation, so take this opportunity to practice self-care and nourish your mind, body, and spirit; whatever that looks like for you. 

Do you journal? Here are some Imbolc-themed prompts for you to consider.  

1. Think about the themes of Imbolc, such as new beginnings and rebirth. How do you want to grow and change in the coming year? What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

2. Consider the symbolism of the goddess (and Saint) Brigid and what she represents. Brigid is the goddess of fire, poetry and healing and Saint Brigid, the patron saint of poets, midwives, newborns, and smith crafts. How can you tap into her energy of creativity, inspiration, and healing in your own life? What kind of work or projects do you want to undertake in the coming year?

3. Take stock of your relationships and connections. Who are the people in your life who support and uplift you? How can you strengthen those connections and build new ones?

4. Think about the element of fire and how it relates to Imbolc. How can you use the energy of fire to ignite your passions, creativity, and motivation? What steps can you take to bring more fire and vitality into your life?

5. Consider the idea of balance and how it relates to your own life. Are there areas of your life where you feel out of balance? How can you bring more balance and harmony into your life?

Incorporating the energy of Imbolc into your everyday life can be a meaningful and fulfilling way to celebrate a season of renewal and new beginnings. Whether you reflect on the past year, set intentions for the future, or focus on relationships and balance, there are many ways to align yourself with the natural rhythms of the world around you. 

Imbolc is a time of transition, a time to honor the goddess Brigid and her energy of creativity, inspiration and healing. It is a time to take a deep breath and let go of what no longer serves you and to welcome in new beginnings. 

By taking the time to reflect and make intentional choices, you can make the most of the Imbolc season with renewed energy and peace of mind.

Monday, January 23, 2023

10 Ways to Declutter your Digital Life in 2023


As someone who uses my various devices for both my personal and professional life, you can imagine the files, programs, emails, and notifications that can build up over time, even for a self-proclaimed "zero-out" person like me. 

In the same way that we feel the seasonal itch to declutter our homes, it's important to declutter our digital spaces as well; at least it is for me. When I take the time to clean out unnecessary files, documents, and programs and properly file what I do need, it becomes easier to focus, find what I need easily, and stay on task with that I have to do. 

And it frees up valuable space, improving overall performance (both my devices and my own.)

It can seem like a daunting task to declutter your computer and digital life, but now's the perfect time!  Here are 10 easy ways to get started:

1. Uninstall unnecessary programs and apps. More space = faster, improved performance. 

2. Organize your email with folders and subfolders. File or delete everything. The goal is no-scroll. To delete what's already there, group your emails by sender and bulk delete what you don't need. 

3. Clean out your downloads folder. Free up space by deleting what you don't need. Then, create a system for your downloads to go directly to your desktop.  Delete what you don't need at the end of each day. 

4. Clean up your desktop of unnecessary icons and files. Try out a desktop organization tool to help keep folders and files organized and prioritized according to your to-do list or goals. Canva has lovely options based on your own unique vibe or aesthetic goals. Similarly, remove icons from the task bar or dock that you're not using regularly.

5. Clean up your browser. Delete your cookies, cache and history, as well as any unused plug-ins and extensions. Create a bookmark system for the websites you need to access regularly.

6. Use cloud storage. Free up space on your devices with Google Drive or iCloud. If you're a Microsoft person, OneNote is a great tool for keeping your files in their own digital binder. This makes my Gen-X, Trapper-Keeper loving brain very happy. And, you can access your files from any device. 

7. Unsubscribe from emails and newsletters you no longer read. Scroll to the bottom for the unsubscribe link or use the tools built into your email operating systems to help you. You also can use an app like or the to manage your subscriptions.

8. Clean up your social media accounts and unfollow accounts that you no longer engage with or that no longer serve a purpose in your life. This will help declutter your feed and make it easier to see the accounts from friends, family, and organizations that matter most to you.

9. Delete screenshots you no longer need or move images from your device to an external hard drive. More space = faster, improved performance.  

10. This is not one and done. Set a goal to declutter monthly or quarterly. 

What are your best tips for decluttering your digital life? Share in the comments. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

January Read-Watch-Do


Say what you will about winter, but I love the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate. 

It's the season when I have time to read and catch up on things I like to watch. And it's the perfect time to try a new hobby or plan for future activities, like summer travel. 

Here are our offerings for this month's read-watch-do. 


In January, the A Lovely Life, Indeed Facebook community is reading The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

From Amazon: 

In The Light We Carry, Michelle Obama opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: 

  • How do we build enduring and honest relationships? 
  • How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? 
  • What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? 
  • What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?

Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. 
“When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. 

Our book club will meet to chat about this book on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at 7:00pm ET. Join our online community here for access to this and future events. 


I recently had the opportunity to see Stutz, a documentary made by the actor, Jonah Hill, about his psychiatrist, Phil Stutz. Through candid conversations about Hill's life, Stutz shares some of his visual models of therapy, which he has used throughout his 40+ year practice. 

Early on in the film, Hill shares that his intent is to spread Stutz's ideas and tools to as many people as possible and based on reviews, his ideas seem to resonate. The visual tools, which Stutz sketches on index cards, are easy to understand and remember. Here's the official trailer from Netflix. 

Have you seen Stutz? What were your key takeaways?


I'm not a resolution setter, but I do set intentions for the new year. I love to cook and I often look for new recipes to try and hopefully, work in to our monthly rotation. As someone who is interested in health and longevity, I tend to gravitate towards Mediterranean (pescatarian) and vegetarian meals, so my DO for this month is to try 3 new recipes:

  • One new fish-based meal
  • One new vegetarian meal
  • One new soup or stew

What would you like to add to your weekly or monthly meal rotation? Are you trying to eat more plant-based meals or meals that fit within your chosen parameters? I'd love to hear more in the comments. 

So that's it for January!

Read: The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama and then join us for book club on February 23rd in our Facebook community

Watch: Stutz on Netlix

Do: Try 3 new recipes this month to mix up your meal rotation. 

Monday, January 9, 2023

Book Club Night! Are you in?


Over in our A Lovely Life, Indeed Facebook community, we do various Zoom events for our members to chat in real time and connect face to face, as well as what we do in our daily conversation posts. 

Our latest book club offering is The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama. We'll be meeting on Zoom to discuss this book on February 23, 2023 at 7:00pm ET and we'd love to have you join us!

Here's a summary from Goodreads
In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed, #1 bestselling memoir "Becoming," former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.
There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In "The Light We Carry," she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?
Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.
“When we are able to recognize our own light, we become empowered to use it,” writes Michelle Obama. A rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation, "The Light We Carry" inspires readers to examine their own lives, identify their sources of gladness, and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.

Want to join us or join the community created exclusively for women in midlife (and those approaching midlife)? 

We're only a click away. Join here and we'll see you inside. 


Friday, December 30, 2022

Welcome Back! Let's Get Reacquainted.


Happy New Year...almost. 

I have my coffee and if you're new here, welcome. 

A little about me...

  • I'm Kelly (she/her.) I'm a happily married Gen-Xer and dog-mom to our (now senior) pup named Gracie. 
  • I'm an INFJ and a HSP. 
  • I'm politically liberal.
  • I gravitate toward nature-based spirituality and I embrace the hippie-crone qualities of my personality and this stage of life. If I attend services, it's at our local UU church.
  • I'm an educator, a copywriter and a community builder

Some of my favorite things...
  • travel and exploration
  • spring and fall
  • being outside in nature
  • cooking (and some baking)
  • early mornings and sunset's golden hour
  • face time with friends and family (and video calls with those far away)
  • local farms and fresh local produce
  • videos of animals, like a panda enjoying a delicious piece of squash
  • reading and writing
  • winter solstice and the rest and stillness of winter
  • fresh sheets and flannel sheets in the winter
  • time by the sea
  • village life
  • my denim overalls, great graphic tees, long cardigans, a warm beanie, pajamas and slippers, my Birks and Bean boots
  • John Denver, Abba, Jimmy Buffett, Michael Franti, acoustic guitar, 60s/70s folk, 70s/80s rock, and 90s alt-rock
  • experiences over stuff
  • dates with my husband
  • Les Miserables, Wicked, Mama Mia
  • Starbucks "medicine balls" (which I make at home)
  • my morning routine
  • Buddha bowls and poke bowls
  • haircut day...very important for maintaining my pixie
  • opening the windows to air out the house
  • afternoon walks with Gracie
  • shoulder-season travel
  • fireplaces and fairy lights
  • decluttering 

I will always say no to...

Haricot verts, offal, clutter, smoking, dishonesty, mean-spiritedness, food waste...any waste, apathy, injustice, intolerance. 

Where to now?

I'm not sure, but it feels good to be writing again. 

Tell me more about you. What do we have in common? From where in the world are you reading? What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Big News!

Hello friends!

I am so excited to let you know that we now have a lovely little Facebook group for our online community and I'm over the moon excited to get started on this fun passion project!

A Lovely Life, Indeed is a FREE Facebook group where you can connect with other seekers of all things lovely. 

You still can expect the same travel, wellness, food, and inspiration that you’ve come to expect, but there will be special shout-outs to my Xennial and Gen-X sisters who are taking on midlife with hope and genuine excitement for the opportunity that lies ahead. 

You see, I'm turning 50 next month and I couldn't be more excited. My 40s have been amazing and I plan to welcome the new decade with similar hopes, dreams, and intent.

I hope you'll join us. We'll see you inside. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

I was a podcast guest!

Hello friends.

I am popping out of hibernation to share a wonderful experience I had recently. 

I was blessed to be featured on the She Hit Refresh podcast to share my own career refresh and my ideas on the wonderful opportunity that midlife brings. 

According to co-founder, Cepee"She Hit Refresh is the only online community dedicated to helping women 30 years and older go from daydreaming about breaking free and starting a life of travel… to actually doing it!"

If you're over 30 and looking for your tribe, She Hit Refresh is a wonderful community to call home. 

I hope this holiday season finds you all happy and well. I'm excited to see what this new decade brings. 

What might your life look different in 10 years? What big dreams are simmering in your heart?

Consider giving this podcast a listen and see how you can turn up the burner on those dreams and make them happen. 

Happy holidays, friends! Much love to you in your corner of the world. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Kitchen Facelift

We're giving our kitchen a facelift. It's not a full blown remodel, although it feels like it. 

We replaced the countertops and backsplash, and the floor. 

We painted the ceiling, the walls and the cabinets, and we replaced the fixtures. 

We also changed the lighting.

Then, we we moved into the room adjacent to the kitchen and then the adjacent bathroom. 

It feels like a full remodel, sans dining room and family room...for now. 

Thing are out of place. There are boxes and barrels and paint supplies and clutter...everywhere. People are coming and going and there is construction noise all day, every day. 

There are decisions to make and sometimes, nightly trips to Lowe's as one project moves to another. 

It's productive and ultimately, it's adding value (and loveliness) to our day to day lives, but it has its challenges.

Before all of this began, we planned on adding a few ceiling fans in other rooms of the house, and adding a couple of outlets, but this turned into a complete rewire, updating the 1910 nob and tube wiring and bringing the house to code. It's safe now, and it brought peace of mind, but as you can imagine, it feels like we're hemorrhaging money. 

Like others who have updated their homes in one way or another, we have found that there are a few obvious realities.

Truth #1. We have too much stuff. 

My Fix: Reduce, recycle, donate. 
As we emptied drawers and cabinets, a glaring truth stared me in the face. Why on earth do we have so much stuff? When households merge, the stuff doubles. Keep the best and donate the rest. Recycle what you can't donate. This includes duplicates of most things...extra pots and pans, skillets, single use kitchen appliances, and gadgets that a kitchen knife can handle. 

Truth #2We have a paper clutter issue.

My Fix: Sort, Opt Out, Shred
Sort paper into piles of unread magazines, newspapers for the animal shelter, junk mail and bills. Encourage my husband to opt out of paper notifications and set up auto payment with a credit card with points and miles wherever we can. Shred old notices and clear the clutter. 

Truth #3: Chaos Creates Anxiety

My Fix: Self Care is Critical
This downstairs facelift, although exciting and fun, is also overwhelming for me. My husband may be overwhelmed with the to-do list, but I am overwhelmed by the sensory disruption and the decisions to be made. I do better with more order and less choice, like pick A or B or, the blender goes here. 

With the house in a state of chaos, my retreat is upstairs, where things are as they were. My quiet time to recharge is necessary. And that's okay. If he wants to paint, I can prep the tape and then get out of the way. We make a good team. 

I also can focus on what I do best. For example, given the paper clutter issue we have, I have taken over the remodeling paperwork. Receipts, color swatches, contracts, and other papers have now been organized into a readily available "house folder." #teacherorganization Now, I know that even when I can't quickly access one thing, I can, at least, find the receipt for X when we have to go back to Lowe's again to return or exchange it. Yin and yang.

Another small win: With the stove currently in the dining room as we await the plumber (it's propane), I decided to try my never-used Instant Pot that I bought six months ago. I began with the water test, moved on to cook a dozen eggs, and then that evening, tried a seafood cioppino, all with great results. It's a new relationship, but I'm smitten. 

So what now?
Luckily, our current project will be wrapping up soon. And it looks great!

What's next? 

As with any long term project, it's time to revisit our long term goals. Where are we on timing? What action steps come next? What do we need to do to keep moving forward?

It's a big, exciting, occasionally overwhelming, ongoing critical conversation. Through it all, I've learned that we balance each other well. We understand and appreciate each other's strengths and challenges and we share a common vision for our future. 

It's exciting and occasionally overwhelming, but nonetheless, it's indeed, still lovely. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

We made it through another winter! Cheers to spring!

As a New Englander, most people assume that my favorite season is autumn or the much too brief season of summer, but they're wrong. Nothing is sweeter, for me, than the Spring.

I enjoy the fall, but it leads to winter and winter's lack of light, the added layers, and the biting cold batter me on every level. Through frosted car windows, icy walkways, and snowy cotton-ball covered tree branches, I try to see the beauty of winter for what it is. 

As I get older, I appreciate winter more for its power to slow things down, giving me time to reflect and rejuvenate myself with new goals and experiences that seem to lend themselves to sunnier, warmer days.

The eye-squinting warm spring sunlight makes me giddy like a toddler anticipating a surprise. Fewer layers lighten my body and my spirit. The budding trees that give way to full green foliage causes me to pause and admire in the same way I would stop to admire the changing of colors in the fall. The cooing of mourning doves when I take out Gracie in the early morning light and the buzzing of bees around our budding rhododendron remind me that we're all happy to see Spring arrive, allergy sniffles and all. 

We survived another winter. It's time to step out into the light, stretch, and give thanks for another opportunity to revive and thrive. 

Happy Spring to you!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Three on Thursday

1. Graphic Tees
I love graphic tees. I tend to use them to share my vibe. A second adolescence, maybe, but as Rachel Hollis said in Girl, Wash Your Face, "Other people's opinions of me are none of my business." Rock on!

2. Digital Nomad Cruise
This is an intriguing concept, whether you're an established digital nomad or just curious about the lifestyle. Here's a mini documentary about Digital Nomad Cruise and why it may appeal to you. 

3. Eggs Benedict
Nothing says brunch like runny egg goodness, Benedict style. I prefer savory foods to sweets when it comes to breakfast and brunch, so Eggs Benedict creates the perfect bite. I'm not a fan of the traditional style with Canadian bacon ham, so I seek out variations, like crab cakes or short rib or avocado to mix it up. Check out Buzzfeed's collection, from pulled pork to a corn bread base to elevate your benny to hipster level.

Thanks for Stephanie for the post idea.