The Kitchen Dwellers 7 Layer Dip

I interviewed the band The Kitchen Dwellers where I told them that my favorite place to dwell when I’m at a house party was in the kitchen. Wondering if their music was something to be served at a pot luck, what would it be and why, so I asked them the question.
Their answer was, “A seven layer dip. We are mixing a whole lot of flavors into one bite and sometimes it can be hard to distinguish what you are tasting, but it all comes together to form some serious flavor.”
Here’s a recipe for the best healthy seven layer dip I’ve ever eaten. I may or may not have eaten the entire dip by myself in one sitting.

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A Sweet Ass Playlist for YOU from Me

Just in case you weren’t sure, one of my favorite things in the world besides my hubster, my friends, my family,  sparkly things, unicorns, sunsets and rainbows is MUSIC. Listening to live music is my preferred method, but when that’s not possible I rage it at home, when I’m cooking, in the car, walking about town and pretty much everywhere possible. A subscriber to this very blog asked something of me. She asked if I would share some of my favorite songs in this moment. I find that to be a very tall order because my favs are constantly changing and there are so many amazingly talented people out there putting out beautiful music.

Loving a good challenge, I did my best and created The Sweet Ass Playlist on Spotify.  You can listen to it here and if you love it, you can follow it to witness the ebbs and flows of my musical taste. I will be editing the list periodically adding new favorite songs on and removing ones that have served their purpose.

Are you obsessed with a song or artist that’s not on the list. Leave it in the comments below.

I hope this playlist brings a little love, light and magic into your life.

The magic in me sees the magic in you,

3 Ways to Bring the Festival to You

Me dancing to Marco Benevento at Frendly Gathering. Photo by Kate Asham

Most of my greatest ideas happen on the concert field. It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m obsessed with live music, and anywhere it’s happening is my happy place. When I’m at a show, I experience so much joy. I let loose and dance my heart out like everyone’s watching, but I don’t care. I surround myself with new and old friends. I can be found in the crowd yelling “Woo!” and fist pumping, spinning in circles, performing high kicks, busting out the running man, bopping my head, dressed head to toe in sparkles and feathers, while giving and receiving as many hugs as I possibly can. I smile so much my face muscles feel sore the next day.

In the past, the only time I felt comfortable in my skin was when I was knee deep in a live music experience. The moment the band plays their first note, I exhale out all of the stresses that I carried with me. All judgement instantly evaporates into the patchouli-filled air as I start to notice other weirdos just like me. No one attempts to hide their weird, because why would you? Everyone’s uniqueness is celebrated and honored there.

The hubster and I raging it at Dead & Company at SPAC

This is why I’ve seen the band Phish over 100 times and why I plan my vacations and events around festival and tour schedules. My people (aka my tribe of weirdos) flock there and I always feel safe to let my freak flag fly when I am around them. Not too long ago, I was afraid to let that part of me out when I was at home. I totally smothered the wildest expression of my authentic self and I felt like I was suffocating.

I didn’t go from wearing khakis to sparkles on everything overnight. I like to say I was an authentic self flasher. Now you see the real me. Now you don’t. There was a secret happening below the surface;

My secret was that I was starting to merge my festival self with my not at a festival self. Here’s what I did to bridge the gap.

  1. I almost always had on Continue reading

I’m so privileged

“I don’t subscribe to your blog to get political preaching. Please stop it or I will unsubscribe if you care.”

After my last blog post where I shared about the new Facebook group and virtual conference I started called the LIGHT Force (Love Igniters Growing Higher Together), I received this response. At first I wondered if I had done something wrong. Was I being too preachy? Should I keep my thoughts to myself? The truth is, I was never political because I never had to be because of my privilege. To be honest, when I first heard Black Lives Matter, I didn’t get it. I thought, “Don’t all lives matter equally?” What I realized is yes, they do, but being the white girl that I happen to be, I have no idea what it’s like to live with racism and prejudice projected onto me on a daily basis. Right now black lives aren’t being treated as though they matter as much as mine does and I’m not OK with that at all. Just because I happen to look a certain way, shouldn’t mean that I have any more privileges than the next guy. But right now I do. I finally got it. I’m so freakin privileged! Here’s why:

I’m so privileged that when I get pulled over by a police officer for speeding, my biggest fear is getting a fine and points on my licence which I can probably get out of if I cry. There’s not an ounce of fear about getting beaten up or shot.

When I’m travelling back to the United States after visiting another country for work or play, I’m so privileged that my biggest fear is TSA or customs will find and take away my almond butter. There’s no worry about not being let back into the country I live in where my family and friends all reside.

When I’m in a store shopping, I’m so privileged that the sales associates either leave me alone or genuinely asks me how they can be of service. No one follows me around assuming I’m going to steal something.

When I’m walking down the street, I’m so privileged that no one sees me and locks their car doors just because of the way I look. There’s also no worry that I’ll get shot.

When I’m sick, I’m so privileged because I’m fully insured through my husband’s work so I can go to the doctor and get the medicine I need to get well. There’s no fear on whether or not I can afford it, that I will have to work through the sickness or what I need to give up in order to have enough money to purchase my prescription. I’m also not worried about not having money to buy food or a fear of losing my job from missing work because I’m sick.

I’m so privileged because I have a car that I can drive to go wherever I want to get whatever I want. That includes to the voting polls, the grocery store and work.

I’m so privileged that my insurance includes yearly medical and dental check-ups so I am able to take care of myself with ease.

When I was growing up I was so privileged. My parents were very involved and gave my sister and me whatever we needed to thrive in this world. That included not only stuff that costs money like dance lessons, school supplies, healthy food and new clothes every year, but their time too because they each had one job. There were times when I was little that my mom stayed home with me. My mom and dad would quiz me in science, tested me in spelling, and got me a desk that was in my own room so I could write my papers and study comfortably in a quiet environment. If I was having an issue in school, they would get in their car, drive to my school and did whatever they could to make my experience better. Going to college was a given. I grew up knowing that I could do whatever I wanted and I was fully supported. Meaning, if I went for all my dreams and failed, I was so privileged, that my worst case scenario was never being homeless and starving.

I’m so privileged, that I went to a school where teachers were treated well and cared about their students (well most of them). We had new up-to-date books, computers, pizza parties, and buses that picked us up in front of our houses and dropped us off. My education was top notch and gave me plenty of opportunities.

There were times in my life when I was barely making any money, but I was so privileged because I had a roof over my head and I wasn’t starving, I even had a reliable car and I still found ways to go see live music and travel.

So you see, I have lived a blessed life because of my privilege. I knew there were starving children in Africa because I saw the commercials on TV. Because so many of the oppressive inequalities didn’t effect me or anyone I knew directly, I didn’t realize how bad things really were and I feel really bad about it now. I’m so sorry.

As I’ve deepened my spiritual practice and infused yoga as a way of life, the veil was lifted and I saw how oppressed this world and so many of the people living in it really are. Even though I’m a upper middle class white girl living in the happy land of Vermont, doesn’t mean that I’m going to accept the inequalities or ignore those who aren’t as privileged as me. And not only am I not going to ignore the problem, but I’m going to talk about it, write about it, march for it and fight until we are all truly equal. If you have more ideas on what I can do to serve, please let me know. I’m open to it all.

I’m not going to sit with my mouth taped shut because I’m afraid that someone will think I’m being too political. My words I write in this blog have always been rooted in truth and love and will continue to be that way. I’m open to hearing all sides of the story and will not judge you for your choices because I don’t know where you come from, what your life was like and what you were taught. You will never find me name calling or shaming anyone for speaking their mind. I just want to understand you. I want to hear you. 

If you find that my words aren’t for you and you choose to unsubscribe, that’s ok. You have the right to do so. I’ll miss you and I send you my love. 

If you have something to say about what I shared today, I would love to hear you. Leave a comment or send me a message.

The magic in me sees the magic in you,

P.S. If you’re interested in joining the LIGHT Force Facebook group, you can request access >>> HERE. 

LIGHT Force Virtual Conference 2/2/2017

To be the first to find out about future conferences, you can register to be a part of the LIFE Force >>> HERE.

Attention love-lighters, soul-shiners and change-makers out there who are looking for a place to connect with fellow sparklers. The Light Force has been born

Satyagraha is a sanskrit word Mahatma Gandhi coined that means truth force. It’s a particular form of nonviolent resistance he used and it was a huge influence for Martin Luther King Jr. This word is the inspiration behind the Light Force too. We stand for

Love
Igniters
Growing
Higher
Together

The LIGHT Force is a place you’ll feel safe to voice your fears, share what’s true for you in a non-judgemental environment, receive support and love and get inspired to take action.

Here’s the video of our first conference with special guests Jennifer’s Puppets, Standing Rock Water Protector and Veteran Christopher, Socially Responsible Financial Planner Katie Wilson, Musicians and Activists Dwight and Nicole, Singer/Songwriter Hayley Jane and Minister Alaina.

To be the first to find out about future conferences, you can register to be a part of the LIFE Force >>> HERE  Continue reading

People hate me and that’s ok.

I have noticed something extremely disturbing going on lately. Ever since the election, I have witnessed and have even found myself on the receiving end of some extreme online bullying because someone thought differently than I do. It’s easy to get mad and want to seek revenge and respond right back with hate, but you know what that’s like?
 
It’s like drinking green juice that you spiked with a heavy laxative hoping that the person you’re mad out will shit their brains out.
 
Playing nice doesn’t necessarily mean rainbows and unicorns or being a pushover. I’m really angry right now with what’s going on and that anger is the catalyst for me to take action and speak my truth to others who may or may not agree with me. It might not always sound nice, but it’s different when it’s rooted in love than rooted in hate.
 
I know so many of you are feelin me right now with this. What I’m about to share has nothing to do with the election, who won the election or the Women’s March, but it’s all relative and can be used to combat all forms of cyber bullying.
 
I Found Compassion and Forgiveness for My Cyber Bullies and You Can Too. Here’s How:

“Not everyone can leave their job and Continue reading

…said no one ever

If you’re into Ryan Montbleau and his friend Mike Meadows (who plays drums for Willie Nelson’s band) playing intimate shows just for you and 20ish others while the ocean waves crash in the background, spending time in one of the most beautiful beach towns in the world, witnessing epic sunrises, eating delicious healthy local food made just for you, practicing some yoga to birds chirping and ocean sounds, meditating, surfing, relaxing, making lifelong friends who have all traveled all the way to Costa Rica with the purpose of bettering their lives and raising the vibration of the planet, then don’t let anything stop you from being there. Find out more and/or sign up >>>HERE. You can also send me a question here and ask me all your questions.

It’s really important that you sign up for this adventure. Like really important!

The planet we call home is in dire straights right now and we need your help. The people of planet Earth are counting on you. What you must do next is vital. No questions asked. Make an appointment to get a massage, go for a walk, hang out in nature, listen to your favorite song, hug a baby and sign up to join us in Costa Rica. Let’s do this!

One morning I was having a heart to heart with the Universe because I was concerned about how it was doing. I asked if it was making time for self-care since it must be so busy with day-to-day life. You know, like making sure the earth continues to spin and other important stuff like that. I received Continue reading

Bitch Slap 2016. Why it Happened.

2016 was the year the planet got bitch slapped. I don’t know about you, but this year I’m going to do whatever I can to avoid finding myself on the receiving end.

What Is a Universal Bitch Slap?

A Universal bitch slap happens when you try to shut down your inner intelligence and ignore all the signs you’re given. Here’s an example of one. All in the same week, you lose your job; your significant other breaks up with you; you break your finger; your car breaks down in the rain in an area with no cell reception; you get kicked out of your apartment; and your cat throws up inside your sneaker, which you don’t notice until you put on the sneaker. The slapping (aka your inner wisdom doing its best to get you to open your eyes to the signs) gets harder and harder until you fall down on your sweet ass so hard it knocks the wind out of you and have no other choice but to die or make a change. It doesn’t have to be like that. You can avoid a Universal bitch slap.

How to Avoid a Universal Bitch Slap:

Teach yourself to listen to your inner wisdom again. When you were a baby, you were awesome at it. Feeling hungry? Scream waaaaaaahhhhhhh and someone will come and feed you. Shit yourself? Scream waaaaaaahhhhhhh and someone will come and wipe your sweet ass clean and change your diaper. More than likely, as you grew up, your all knowing inner intelligence got shut down so many times, it got quieter and quieter until you couldn’t hear it anymore.

So start small at first. When you’re at the grocery store, and you can’t decide between the almond milk or the coconut milk, get silent. Focus on your breath and ask yourself, “Do I want almond milk or coconut milk?” Without putting any thought into it, just pick one.

Another way to ignite your inner genius is to think back to a time when you can remember hearing the voice. It still counts whether you listened to it or not.

When you were a teenager and your friend pressured you Continue reading

I’m drowning in the emotion ocean

Happy New Year!!!! Life feels like it’s moving so fast these days. I remember when I was just a wee little pumpkin and adults would tell me that time moves much faster when you’re older. I didn’t get it then, but holy moly do I get it now.

Let’s crush 2017 together. If you thrive when you receive support from a sparkly unicorn (me) and you love structure and guidance, Rock Your Year is a three week course (starting on Monday) I’m offering that gives you everything you need to create your most magical year yet. Learn more and sign up >>> HERE.

You will declare an intention that you want to manifest in 2017, create an action plan to implement it and receive all the tools and support required to achieve it.

Since the year turned from 2016 to 2017, I figuratively felt the earth shaking ferociously under my feet so hard that I fell on my sweet ass a couple of times. Moments later I saw in the distance a tidal wave that was threatening to crash down on me. I felt paralyzed and considered just standing there allowing the wave to sweep me away, but today was not the day I was going to drown in the emotion ocean.

Instead I hanged ten on my surfboard and rode the wave of all the feels all the way to shore. Cowabunga dudes!!!!!

How to feel all the feels (an excerpt from my book The Sweet Ass Self-Help Book: A Practical Guide to Turn Your Life From Sh*t to Sparkles)

As humans we experience all kinds of feelings, yet some of them are considered wrong by society. Anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, grief and hopelessness are just some of them, and many of us have been told things like, “don’t cry,” “you’re over emotional,” or “just get over it already.” There are many ways to hide your true feelings from being shown. Drinking Continue reading

5 Ways to Rock Your Year for Real This Time

Do you want to have the most magical and amazing year ever? Are you ready rock some goals and take a gander into something amazing and fulfilling?
 
It takes focus, action, perseverance, support and a little magic. It might not always be rainbows and unicorns, but I know you have what it takes.
 
If you thrive when you receive support from a sparkly unicorn and you love structure and guidance, Rock Your Year is a three week course (starting on Monday) I’m offering that gives you everything you need to create your most magical year yet. Learn more and sign up here >>> http://www.taraleighlovesyou.com/adventures/rockyouryear
 
You will declare an intention that you want to manifest in 2017, create an action plan to implement it and receive all the tools and support required to achieve it.
 
In the mean time, check out these five ways to have the most epic year yet.
 
1. Look at your previous year
 
Check your sweet ass (and the rest of you) out in the mirror and Continue reading