SouleMama and A Tour of My Garden

Image courtesy of Amanda Blake Soule... AKA  SouleMama

Image courtesy of Amanda Blake Soule... AKA SouleMama

I wouldn't be at all surprised if you were already familiar with the beautiful, charming and inspirational world shared by Amanda Blake Soule on her blog,  SouleMama.  Amanda began blogging eleven years ago in 2005 when the first of her five children were still babes.  Five kids!!!!  It's fair to say she knows a thing or two about parenting but her words and the thoughts she shares hold so much more and if you have a few minutes (or a few days because let me tell you it's easy to get deliciously lost in her archives) I know you will love all she has to offer. 

Since those early days, her blog has attracted loyal readers from every corner of the globe, she has been written about and featured in various publications, has authored three books (co-authoring the third with her husband, Steve) AND is Editor-In-Chief of the gorgeous magazine, Taproot.  All the while, she homeschools, nurtures, homesteads, crafts, knits (you have to check out her Ravelry page!), spins (her own sheep's fleece!), sews, makes soap, plays midwife to birthing ewes and nannies, milks the occasional cow (once when they babysat a friend's dairy cow), grows produce galore, and even with that list I know I have left some things out!  I have been following along with the Soule family's journey since about 2009, before Noah was born and when Evie was just starting to move from her baby years into toddler-hood.  During those six or seven years I have taken with me ideas, tutorials, wisdom, laughs and inspiration aplenty. 

So, with that introduction, it goes without saying that I was completely delighted when a few days ago I woke to an email from Amanda asking permission to share a tour of my garden with her readers.  Each summer (U.S. summer - by the way, I forgot to mention that, Amanda is based in Western Maine) she posts garden updates.  As the snow clears, us readers enjoy the first seeds as they are sown, all the way through to garden pests, trials, tribulations, successes, harvests, storage, preserving and the family meals she creates from that produce.  This season however, instead of focusing so much on her own garden, she has decided to mix it up a bit.  Towards the end of May, Amanda invited readers to share a tour of their own gardens.  Predictably, due to her vast following, she was inundated with offerings and has had to select a small handful to share on SouleMama over their summer.  Perhaps next summer (2017) she might choose to continue on and we readers will be treated with sneak peeks into more incredible gardens around the world. 

For now though, I am thrilled to be the third garden featured this season, so please click on over and join Amanda and myself in a tour of my ever progressing garden.  I do hope you enjoy and don't hesitate to leave a comment here or on SouleMama as I would LOVE for your feedback, advice, thoughts... or all of the above!

Happy weekending, my friends xo

Banana Passion Fruit Flower.jpg

Hopes and dreams of 2015 - a guest post


A very big welcome to Megan Devine of Kids and Eggs who is kindly joining The Conscious Caterpillar today to share some very worthwhile Hopes and Dreams of 2015.  Among other publications, Meg's writing has appeared in the magazines Taproot and Grounded and she is a regular monthly columnist for Minnesota Parent.

Over to you, Meg and thank you for sharing your thoughts.


All images in this post are copyright to Megan Devine.

Hello Conscious Caterpillar readers!

I am hoping the year 2015 is greeting you warmly.  Here in Northeast Minnesota (USA) we are in the midst of winter and are experiencing sub-zero temperatures and knee-high snow. But, we are enjoying the light when we can and staying warm indoors by the woodstove.

As Xan kindly welcomed me to guest post in this place, I thought it would be timely to reflect and share five of my goals and aspirations for the upcoming year. These thoughts reflect who I am, my values and serve as reminders of how I want to approach each day:


::Make Informed Decisions  

Life does not come with an instruction book, but we can do our best by making sound decisions by seeking out information and ideas that can help us validate and support the decisions that we make, whether this is for us individually, for our children, work or family life.

::Spend Meaningful, Undistracted Time With my Children (and Husband) each day

This sounds like it should be easy, but, as you can probably relate, the challenge is to be fully present without preoccupation with something else.  I want to work to make a conscious effort to be attentive in my thoughts and actions to those around me, even if in small segments of time throughout the day.



:: Seek Balance 

We are pulled in so many directions as parents, we, along with our children can be overscheduled and stressed.  My hope for this year is to stay grounded by working to make mindful choices, balancing family time and external commitments for myself and for my children.

:: Make Time for Self-Care 

I have learned, to be a good caregiver, I must first take care of myself.  I am a better mother, teacher, wife, and friend when I am eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising, and making time for personal creative hobbies.  We need to make self-care a priority to feel and live our best lives.



:: Experience Joy  & Practice Gratitude 

Life is like the ocean waves, full of highs and lows.  My goal for 2015 is to focus and to be grateful for those highs, the joyful moments that are so abundant in my life. 



I invite to you work toward these ideals along with me in this new year.  

What goals are you working toward in 2015?



Megan is a mother, writer, and early childhood educator. Her passion is to share the love of learning and the wonder and excitement of the natural world with young children. She lives with her husband James, her four young children, a flock of chickens, two hives of bees, and a White German Shepherd on a small hobby farm on the edge of the wilderness in Northeast Minnesota. Follow her family adventures at her blog


Managing the christmas crazies


Hi friends.

I'm visiting over with Megan Devine at Kids and Eggs today where I've written all about my methods for Managing the Christmas Crazies.

Pop over and have a read.  We would love to hear your ideas on what you do to keep calm and centered around the busy Festive Season.

This same blog post is also appearing over on Nurture Magazine's website.

I wholeheartedly welcome any new friends who have found their way here through either Megan and her delightful blog Kids and Eggs or Kristy and her beautiful magazine, Nurture.  Thank you so much for visiting and I do hope you stop by again and again.

Happy Advent folks!