Releasing Weight and Food Issues (guest post)

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Do you all remember my dear friend Aleka?  She’s been a guest blogger here several times… if you missed it, check out her previous posts here and here.

I just love her.  She sees things with such a powerful clarity that it can take your breath away.  She has popped on over here again this time to share some very exciting news… about a new on-line support course for food and weight issues that is very intensive and healing… combining daily emails, a private on-line chat room, and personal sessions one-on-one with Aleka directly.

Aleka has a background in nutrition and years of experience being a head nutritional counselor at a recovery center in Hawaii… she then takes her clinical knowledge beyond food facts and translates them into an emotional recovery system that has nothing to do with what you eat, but everything to do with what is eating you.

She gets to the root of what your food and weight issues symbolize for you, and how to heal.

In her own words:

“The following program is based on much of the work I have done with clients over the last 10 years as well as my own personal journey. This program is not another diet. We won’t be talking about calories, fat grams, exercise in the way you may be used to. I have no diet pills, shakes, or bars to sell you. This is not about managing food but uncovering the parts of you that believe you need to be managed. The parts of you that don’t trust yourself. The parts of you that  seeks comfort, peace, love and is mistakenly using food to do it. This program is about identifying the barriers you have erected, the errors in perception you have about yourself, the beliefs  you wrongly perpetuate that keep you from the true expression of who you are.”

“The purpose of life is not to be safe. It is to be open. To be dedicated to the truth, to the joy as it streams through your life. Because if you are not, then no matter what you have, you will always want more, you will be forever hungry. And if you are, than no matter what happens, you will one day discover that it is you who you have been hungering for. It has been you, not the food you eat, the clothes you buy, the people you love, the money you make. For lifetimes, for eons, for as long as it takes for a mountain to become a mountain, it has always been you. You are the feast. You.” ~Geneen Roth

“There is a language we can begin to decipher  as we  listen to our inner selves speaking to us, telling us what we must do to feel whole. And it is speaking through our relationship with food. Together we will find the blocks, the weight on your heart that echoes the weight on your body, that is  keeping you from your natural hunger. We can shed our layers of pain, getting back in touch with our inner wisdom and innate guidance system. Because our birthright is  freedom and peace in our minds and our bodies. We are already perfect. We have just forgotten.  Now it’s time to remember.”

“So I ask you…

What would you do if food were not an issue in your life? If you didn’t plan, deny, crave, and judge yourself around food?
What would you have time for?
What it would feel like to be free?

The Program..Food and Feelings Phase 1:
This is a completely online 6 week course that you can complete on your own time and on your own terms. Every week there will be a main theme and everyday a bit of insight, a  exercise, an affirmation etc. to help you go further into that weeks theme. Each week will build on itself as we go deeper into our process of healing. This course is private, confidential,  and enlightening. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of eating or body image issues you can find healing.

The Details:
I will use a mixture of media to reveal our lessons. Video, Audio, and writing. All will be sent directly to you via email.  The Private chat room- All members will have access to process through emotions, share personal insights and reflections, give feedback on others, ask questions, and generally support each other in the process of recovery. I will also be commenting, answering questions, and giving feedback as necessary throughout the day.  Private sessions- Included in the full session are 4 private sessions with me in person, via skype or phone to help you go deeper into your personal process.  I will also be available by email or additional private sessions as needed.

There are three choices of participation depending on what works best for you. Click here to find out more information.”

“The more you identify with the light of your being, the lighter you will feel. You will materialize a lighter body when you have a more light filled mind. Fear literally weighs you down, but love enlightens you”~ Marianne Williamson

Aleka has graciously offered to give one lucky reader 50% off the course, which begins January 10th.  The perfect way to start off a new year… anyone with weight issues or food dynamics that they wish to get to the root of would benefit from this course immensely.  Leave a comment below and I will announce both the winner of Aleka’s food issues eCourse, as well as the winner of my Health Connection Reset eCourse, this Friday!  There is still time to enter to win both of these eCourses, so get your comments in and meet us back here in two days!  See you there!

In the meantime, check out Aleka’s blog here… her Facebook fan page here… and her website.  I know Aleka personally and I can tell you she is the real deal.  Nothing but pure honest rock-solid wisdom and strength and beauty pours out of this woman.   Much love to you, Aleka, as you launch this exciting new program!  xoxo


Spiritual Give-a-way… a dynamic pairing that will blow you away!

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I love the Internet.  It’s connected me with so many amazing souls who I never would have otherwise met… at least, I think.  I wonder if Jorie and I would have crossed paths at some other point on our paths… I certainly hope so.  Because she is an amazing person with so much love and joy to give and I’ve deeply enjoyed our on-line friendship.

Jorie found my artwork on day a while back, and we have struck up an easy and inspiring friendship over art, children’s books (she’s got one in the works right now, and it’s amazing!) and soul stuff.  One day, she surprised me with a fun and amazingly accurate gift, a Michael chart reading by Lin.  It came into my inbox and I was hooked instantly.

Love Is Everywhere, the painting that brought Jorie and I together!

Here is what Lin has to say about the work she does:

The Michael Chart helps you understand where your soul is on its journey.  Just as you do as a living being, a soul grows from an infant to an elder; from inexperienced to wise.  In order to gain experience, your soul chooses a set of traits and goals for each lifetime.   You create experience or karma in the early stages and you pay it back in the later lifetimes.  Every lifetime moves your soul closer to karmic balance and spiritual enlightenment.

To help us understand where we are on this karmic journey, an entity composed of 1,050 souls who call themselves collectively “Michael” has made itself available to you in order to help you understand where your soul is on its journey.

I have been given the gift of channeling the Michael Entity so that you may learn where your soul is on its journey.   Please visit my site at www.linsdomain.com

Soul Dance, a painting about the interaction of our Earthly experience

with the souls who surround us, guide us, love us.

Jorie herself also does Numerology readings, and she gifted me a numerology reading as well.

I have to say that the numerology reading really blew me away the most… I just can’t grasp how numbers would provide any accurate *soul* information at all, and yet I can say without a doubt that her reading was dead on accurate… and continues to be, as she has told me what to expect this month, next year, the number energy of my house address, so many different things that she can instantly translate into a vibrational energy, and I’ll be damned if it isn’t totally accurate every single time!

Jorie has this to say about Numerology:

Hi, I’m Jorie!  From the moment I was first introduced to the power of Numerology, I was hooked!  I knew I had to learn everything I possibly could about this fascinating subject!  The more I read, the more my jaw would drop; as I read pages and pages describing who I was down to the smallest of details!!!

Next thing I knew, I was laying in bed every night, calculating the life path’s of everyone’s birthdays that I could think of–I was truly obsessed!!!  Time and time again, the numbers would prove themselves as they continually dished out the intricate characteristics of my friends and family members!  I was so hooked that I began asking random strangers–from store clerks to waitresses for their birthdays.  I loved seeing their faces light up as I enlightened them with this amazing knowledge…

Knowing  your Numerology is like unlocking a door to all that you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going!  It’s given me the comfort of knowing that our lives are not random by any means–we definitely come here with a “plan” and a goal…  (The Michael Chart reveals that as well!)

Numerology reveals your life’s “blueprint”.  Understanding who you are  can be extremely helpful and healing.  Each numerology chart reveals your life’s theme, your hidden desires, and your personality traits.  The numbers enlighten us to our personal strengths and weaknesses, identify our possible challenges, and help us get to know ourselves on an in-depth level.

The insight you receive from a numerology reading can help you to discover, accept, and celebrate your truest self.  The charts also include a “where you are now” component that sheds light on what the current year holds for you.  Numerology’s accuracy is awe-inspiring…be prepared to say, “Wow!” 🙂  I look forward to sharing the wonderful world of numbers with you!!!

Dynamic Universe

Both Lin and Jorie were gracious enough to offer a free reading to one lucky reader.  Two ways to examine your life and glean useful information in a private and fun format.  The numerology chart reveals information on what your soul has chosen to experience in *this* particular life, while the Michael Chart focuses on things from a “soul perspective”, and includes life goals and obstacles as well as other tools to understand yourself on a soul level.

One lucky person will get a free Michael chart *and* a free Numerology reading from Lin and Jorie.  Beyond that, I must say that the readings are very reasonably priced and I can’t think of a more fun or cool gift to give someone this holiday season!

Check out their website… past lives, angel cards, animal totems… tons of fascinating things… and tell a friend too!  Just leave a comment below to be entered to win the free readings, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday.  xoxo

Thoughts on Health FAQ… Healthy Cooking and Joyful Eating

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My morning coffee… in a mug that my son painted for me

Every single thing that goes into my body right now has to bring me joy, or I’m not putting it in my mouth.

I’ve always lived by this philosophy… eating only the foods I *love* and feel great about… and I’ve always had a healthy relationship with my weight and my body.  If I don’t like it, no matter how healthy I think it is… it doesn’t go in my mouth.  And if I love it, really love it, feeling no guilt what-so-ever associated with it, I eat it!  Endless amounts of it!  In whatever quantities I want, how ever often I want.

That’s it.  That’s the criteria.  Does it bring me joy?  That’s all I want to know.

You may think that if you let yourself eat ONLY foods that bring you complete joy, you’d be lost in a diet of fast food, fats, and artificial dye #5.

I really don’t think so.  Because if you sit with it for a moment, you’ll *feel* that most of us eat these foods with a bit of guilty pleasure… a feeling of “well… I’ll only eat half…” or “I’ll regret this tomorrow but I’m going for it now!”  Those foods wouldn’t even make it on to my plate.  If I have a bad feeling about it, feel that I *shouldn’t* eat it, feel that it is unhealthy for me… I’d rather throw it in the trash or compost it then eat it.

I love butter, love it to the point that I’ve eaten an entire stick of it… love candy… and I eat butter and candy with absolutely no hesitation and no little voice inside my head telling me it is bad for me.  I have unwavering faith in the body’s miraculous ability to take the nutrition it wants from what I eat when I eat with joy and discard the rest.

It is our vibrational relationship with food which affects what we can handle and how it is processed.

Knowing we are pure energy, knowing food is pure energy… it is the interaction between the two that allows for the exchange of nutrition.

I eat what I want when it pleases me, and I don’t eat when I don’t want to… never making myself eat anything no matter what the current health fads are… and as a result, food is not weighty to me and does not have the power to dictate my weight.

As a physician, I can tell you for a fact that most folks who struggle with weight view food as a *weighty* issue.  Food is very serious.  Important.  Heavy.  They look at food and the food has control, strength, and power.  As a result, there is simply almost nothing that someone struggling with weight can put in their mouth that won’t contribute to the weight issue.

The solution to this, to every single thing in life it seems, is joy.

Love, fun and joy.  If food is no longer weighty to you, if it is no longer so serious and so heavy… guess what food becomes?  Food becomes fun.  A choice.  A delightful joyful party that we get to have every single time we decide to put something into our bodies.  It is no longer a struggle.  It has no control over you.

You simply decide if you love what you are wanting to put into your mouth — do you love it freely and with no strings attached?  If you have a feeling that it is not good for you, it has to much fat, it has too many preservatives, blah blah blah… put it down.  Throw it out.  Better to eat nothing and have a drink of water then put something into your precious, lovable, amazing, wondrous body that you do not love.  Why would you?  Why would you put something inside of you that you do not love?

So, for me, this means most of the time I prefer organic food.  There is something about pesticides and artifical ingredients that turns me off.  Many times I’d rather eat nothing or just have a carrot then the crap that is out there.  BUT almost as often, I enjoy eating candy when we watch a movie, driving through fast food when I have a craving, and having donuts for breakfast because I can truly and deeply say that I can eat these foods without the least little bit of guilt.  Deeply believing that my body will excrete (or not even absorb in the first place) the parts of those foods that it does not want.  If I can eat it with joyful abandon, then it passes my criteria for healthy.  Doesn’t matter what it is.

 

Miles enjoying a smore

For everybody, this will mean a different thing.  If you are a vegetarian, then putting meat in your body that does not feel ethically right would not serve your body well at all, no matter what kind of data they show about healthy animal fats… don’t eat it.  If you believe that dairy is bad for you, then don’t eat it.  You *know* what foods feel right to you.  You *know* what foods you are a vibrational match to and which foods you are not.  You know this by how you feel when you think about how that food was produced, how it was prepared, and the ingredients in it.  You *know* how you feel about that food, and you know if you feel joyful at the thought of consuming it.

Watch this Abraham You Tube video, that goes a bit more into detail about this idea of eating foods that bring you joy.  The second half really gets into some good stuff.  The last minute or two of the video is amazing.

So, beyond only putting into my body the foods I feel good about… how do I decide what to make for dinner?

My favorite cookbook on earth is Food To Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook. It’s my cooking bible.  I love every single recipe I’ve ever tried in it.  The organic spin on this cookbook matches my belief system about food in general.  These are the types of foods I feel best about preparing.

My other favorite cookbook is The Pioneer Woman Cooks — I absolutely love her style (comfort foods) and the recipes and pictures in the book make this the easiest to follow cookbook that I’ve ever used.  I tend to substitute organic foods whenever possible when I follow her recipes, and I love everything I’ve ever made from this cookbook as well.

A shelf in my pantry, stocked with garlic grown in our backyard and homemade apple pie filling, applesauce, strawberry and blueberry jam that I made from fruit we’ve picked

In general, I feel very turned off by pre-packaged mixes.  I do not use cake mixes, cookie or muffin mixes, pancake mixes, hot chocolate powders, etc… it just doesn’t *feel* good to me.

When I have made foods with these mixes in the past, I’ve learned that while they turn out looking amazing, as I bring these foods up to my lips… I feel yucky.  I feel like they are pretend fake foods.  Yes, my homemade pancakes (made from a recipe in the Food To Live By cookbook) are much flatter and less fluffy then ones made from a mix… but when I eat my pancakes, slathered in tons of organic butter and with a million handfuls of chocolate chips thrown in… now those pancakes just *feel good* to me to eat.

So… this is NOT to say that I don’t think our bodies can eat pre-packaged brownies and cakes made from mixes… I do think we can vibrationally dismiss anything in those that don’t serve us well… but I don’t think that *I* can, because I can’t eat those items joyfully… at least when I make them.  If someone else makes them… heck yeah, I can dig on in.  But when I make them… I don’t feel right.   So I’ve learned that when I’m home and the kids want hot chocolate, I feel good about heating up some milk on the stove and melting in a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, instead of reaching for the instant powder.

It’s been a process that has taken me all of my adulthood to figure out… what types of foods I like to make and how I like to make them… and it continues to be a process, unfolding eternally.  I expect that the foods I choose and cook two decades from now will be quite different then the ones I reach for time and time again today.

But that’s okay, because it is very very simple for me to figure out.  It’s just:  do I love this completely?  Do I deeply enjoy eating this?

If I can eat it with no strings attached… if I *want* to eat it… then I do.  And even if this changes for me mid-bite… I have been known on many an occasion to spit the food right out of my mouth (discretely, into a napkin… or okay, directly into the trashcan) if I don’t feel good about swallowing it.  I never feel that I *have* to finish the food on my plate.  If I change my vibrational relationship with the food I am wanting to consume, that is the most important thing to me.  Not finishing my plate.  Not eating what I should.  The most important thing is that I feel good about the foods that go into my body.

If that is one bite of my meal, so be it.  There are always hungry pets and a lovely compost bin eagerly and joyfully ready to consume the rest, and the process begins again.   Many times I’d rather put my fork down in the middle of a bite and just drink a glass of water than finish eating something that has lost it’s appeal to me.

So it seems sort of silly for me to be telling you about what feels vibrationally *right* for me to be eating, as I’m sure it is completely different from what feels vibrationally *right* for you to eat.   So I’m going to end this post here… two cookbook recommendations and a you tube video that nails everything down that I’m trying to say.

What do you think?  Have you found that the *weightier* you feel about food the more *weighty* it’s become in your life?  Do you feel free to change your mind in the middle of eating a food that you realize you do not love?  Do you eat foods that may not seem nutritious, but that you love love love and never seem to suffer bad consequences from?  xoxo

My New Head of Hair!

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Okay, so it isn’t that much different.  But do you remember when I was in a funk with my hair and begged you fine folks for some ideas?  I loved the feedback and thought about it long and hard.  And the one thing I hadn’t done yet was Henna — thanks for the suggestion, Aleka!

So I went for it.  And I love it.  I can definitely give henna a double thumbs up.

I don’t know why I had never tried it before… it’s seems like a no-brainer for someone who loves to keep things natural… basically it’s like a mud mask for hair.  My hair felt stronger and healthier and shinier immediately… it’s been about 2 weeks, and it’s still feeling that way.

I tried the “light red” henna… next time, I’m going to go with the plain old “red” version, or maybe the auburn (what the heck is the difference between red and auburn any way?  If you know, please hook me up with the 411!) to get a bit of a deeper warmth to it.  It mostly came out orange, not red, but I really love it anyway.  I left it on my hair about 2 1/2 hours… next time I’m going for 3 +.  I think it is the perfect winter treat for me…. and for my hair!

This picture shows the difference that the henna made.  My hair color used to be the exact same color as my son’s hair… it’s about the same shade, but with a warm glow to it.  (Aren’t his eyes just gorgeous?  Thank goodness our eye color still matches!)  This shows you how subtle henna can be… I imagine it’s hard to go wrong with henna… because it was on my hair for 2 + hours and only changed it by that much.  So really… you’ve got a lot of room to play around with how long to keep it on and how far to go with the color.

I wish it lasted longer… it says it washes out within 4 weeks… but heck, knowing me I’ll want something different next month anyway.  So hip hip hooray for henna!   xoxo

Thoughts On Health… FAQ — Parenting Books

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My second in my FAQ series, I’m going to continue with book recommendations.  Last week I reviewed some great easy to read books that gently introduce an organic lifestyle overview to folks who are interested in learning more about living naturally.

This week, I’d like to list some of the parenting books that have helped us develop our particular parenting path.  Craig and I both feel like we are here to support our children in any way possible.  We feel very much like equals… our parenting style is one of connection to our children… we do not want anything to do with an authoritarian parenting style or one of intimidation.

It was hard to walk this path in the beginning… there is less support in our society for this parenting style… sleeping in a family bed, extended nursing, open communication and compromise, homeschooling… in a world full of rules and parenting strategies that encourage babies to cry it out, children to submit to parent’s demands, daycares being called “school” so that it feels easier to leave them behind, and boundaries boundaries boundaries everywhere… parenting with compassion and equality has felt like a risk at times.

At least, it used to… until we started seeing the fruits of our efforts.  An now we enjoy the easy trusting sleep of a child that has been held constantly as a sleeping baby.  The deep love between siblings who have never had to compete for anything.   The natural respect our children have for our advice… I’ve never had to give more then a gentle word or a nod to have my kids listen to my requests… my children ask my advice on things because they really want to *know* what I think, and because they know I won’t force it on them if it does not resonate with their own heartsong.

I think in short, we’ve tried our best to raise our kids to find their own heartsong.  Follow their own advice.  Find their own *knowing*.  It is a very peaceful and fun-filled world.

How did we get here?  These books are some of my favorite reads, that supported us along the way:

1.  Everyday Blessings, The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Kabat-Zim — great book that touches a little bit on everything… with the goal of parenting compassionately.

2.  Playful Parenting, by Lawrence Cohen, PhD (thanks Gigi!)  Love this one… a GREAT reminder that the *work* of childhood is play, and that it is soooo important…. and why.  A book to read over and over.

3.  Natural Childhood, by John Tomson  Just an old-fashioned overview on different natural parenting styles… an idea book of sorts.

4.  Simplicity Parenting,  by Kim Payne, M. Ed.  Great for when all the *stuff* of our lives feels like too much… presents a good game plan for simplifying your child’s life, which in turn provides security and comfort for children in an often hectic world.

5.  Buddhism for Mothers, by Sarah Napthali  Honestly I don’t remember much about this book, having read it so long ago, except to know that I loved it!

6.  Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, by Meg Meeker (thanks Andrea!)  No doubt a must read for all the fathers out there.  A book my husband reads and re-reads every single year as Clara’s daddy… a book that remains important all through the tween and teen years and beyond…

There are a million other books that helped me develop our homeschooling style — what I like to call interest-led learning — and I’ll recommend those in my Homeschooling FAQ in a few weeks!

I’ve just ordered Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves as an Xmas present, anyone read that yet?  Please feel free to add your favorites to the comments section for us all to enjoy… I’d love to find some new favorites!  xoxo

My Favorite Thing… about Fall

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By far my favorite thing about fall is getting outside more.

I do love the summertime and it’s heat driving us to seek out water… the ocean more times then not, pools and sprinklers are wonderful too… but there is something magical about the cooler temps and the golden leaves that seem to draw us out into our front yard more and more.

I love to literally just lay on the grass for an hour, watching the kids mill around with the hose, or chalk on our sidewalk, or… like today… play Frisbee (and yes, as usual… in pajamas).

Seems we just want to soak all this in before the weather turns cold and we run for shelter again.  It’s these precious rare days (in between the buggy-mosquito-infested-hot-as-hell summer air and the way-too-cold-for-me-I-hate-this-I-want-warmth-that’s-why-I-moved-to-the-South-in-the-first-place air of winter) that we are loving right now.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll meet you back here on Monday for another FAQ and for a very shallow, completely vain hair update on Wednesday.  Remember my hair dilemma?  I did something about it, and I’ve got pics for you!!!  xoxo

How to Celebrate Running Your Car Into the Ground… (and a lovely surprise sale from a special guest!)

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Hi folks!  We are celebrating finally paying off both of our cars… yippee!  My husband’s vehicle is a wonderful hybrid truck that we love and is the car we choose whenever we are all together, going on family trips and around town and such.  But my car… that’s another story.

It’s a beat up minivan that we got when our first child was born.  It has taken us across the country, taken us through our life… taken me to the hospital to deliver my son… taken us from our starter home to our lovely permanent home in the woods… it’s a piece of us.  It takes us to the beach and camping, and it’s great because its the kind of car you don’t care if you track mud and sand into it… it’s totally filthy at all times, with crumbs and gunk in every nook and cranny.

So… do we invest in a new car or run this one into the ground?  Visions of a new car, one with a sun roof… one that we would likely be teaching our kids to drive in, one day, years from now… one with a GPS system… one that is hybrid… all so tempting.  Tempting.

Yet.  Not only does this car feel like part of the family, it just makes so much more financial sense to run it into the ground.  Why not drive a free car?  With this new goal in mind… we wanted to push all thoughts of a new car out of our mind, and embrace this lovable minivan once again.

How to do that?  Well, this is how we did it.  Take one car, that you are sick of but which you are committed to re-loving… appreciating… enjoying.  Take two kids who you love more then anything in the world.  Take one AWESOME Etsy shop, run by an amazing mother and woman… and artist who creates car decals and helps bring smiles to folks all around the world.

I let each of my kids decorate their own *side* however they wanted… and I got the back of the car.  Miles wanted “Rock On” in that particular font, polkadots, and a red stripe!  He did put it together all by hisself… love it!

You get this: one grey afternoon turned into a party in the garage.  One grey dinged up and scratched up minivan turned into a canvas of fun and joy!  One chance to drive around your life and bring smiles to the kids in the backseat of your car… and the cars next to yours.  I can’t tell you how many parents drive right by, not noticing us… but how many of their kids are waving and smiling at me from the backseat, happy to see our polka dotted car trucking along.

Clara wanted a purple ragged panel, with the words “Fitting In is Out” over it, then polkadots and a kitty with crossbones in the window!  Awesome!

The decals come from Tonya’s Etsy shop called Tonyabug… you have to check out her lovely decals for cars.  The pictures will cheer you right up… lovely bugs and mini’s all fancied up and looking happy.  The decals were extremely high quality, stick very securely and were made in the exact colors we wanted.

I wanted “Reach For Joy”  with Tonya’s lovely flower design around the liscense plate.  Truth be told, the kids were better at applying the decals then I was… I accidently twisted some of the stems… but it still makes me smile!  And the happy flowers distract me from all the dings in the bumper!

Tonya was nice enough to write a guest post and offer a special promotional sale to my readers… so make sure if you feel inclined to spruce up your own ride, you mention you found her shop from Laura at Heartsong!   Here she is:


Hello! I am Tonya Bird Willow of Tonyabug, decals specially created for Volkswagen Beetles. I started fantasizing about making these decals in 1995, when New Beetles were truly new, and I was working in a sign shop. Cutting vinyl to make stickers is a fun instant gratification process (once the design is created). I actually started making them about 10 years later when thoughts of this business would keep me up at night. My first design was fields of daisies, of which I am the most proud. I drew, scanned, refined every single flower and stem, then fitted the fields of flowers perfectly to the VW Beetle.

(Clara’s finished side of the car)

My favorite thing about making these decals is the relationships I form with customers. There are some people I never would have met in this world if it were not for me selling them decals, and now they are truly friends of mine. (Like Laura!) I LOVE getting emails from customers whose words literally squeal with delight for this thing that I do. I am truly grateful for Etsy, and that community of artists (like Laura!) for giving me a venue to be creative and to sell my work.

(Miles’ finished side)

From a business standpoint, Etsy and Tonyabug has allowed me to learn and grow at my own pace about the process of creating for customers, building a business, selling online. Who knew that people in the UK would be a significant customer base for me?

I am also an art teacher, working part time at a private school. I teach classes at an art center, and sell jewelry and pottery I make at their gift shop. And I am back to  making signs, too. I am blessed to have so many creative outlets. My hope is that Tonyabug will hit a tipping point that would provide me the time and resources to dedicate more energy to it, developing and creating new design ideas.

I am also a mother to two beautiful, brilliant daughters.

(If you ever see this car, driving down the street… make sure you honk and wave at us!)

I am ever so grateful to Laura for giving space in her blog to Tonyabug! In expression of thanks, if any of you lovely people reading this would like to purchase some Tonyabug decals for Christmas, I will either refund you 10 percent of the purchase price, or throw in extra stickers of the variety you purchased, just for you mentioning this blog.
Namaste,
Tonya Bird Willow

The kids were so happy when we finished with the car.  I know the years will fly by and they will be driving this car before we know it.  And you know, I think we all win here, because they can finish running this particular crazy van into the ground, and *I’ll* get the new hybrid with a sunroof.  Perfect.  It all works out!    xoxo