Calming Rituals in a Chaotic World

I adore rituals – morning coffee,  gatherings of family and friends, all night sessions of soul sharing, lifetime friendships, quiet moments of reflection.

Rituals are inclusive of  beginnings –  each new school year, reoccurring anticipation of joyful Summer plans, anticipation of Autumn’s brisk air of raining leaves, Winter Solstice of woolen coats, scarves and gloves, awaiting the new birth of each Spring blossom. The unspoken thought that each new beginning is God’s provision for do overs of rituals past.

One of the most significant of beginnings is upon us – the celebratory season of thankfulness and the precious gift of our Savior, our Deliverer, our Rescuer. Rituals fill our homes with brightly wrapped packages, door wreaths, Christmas decorations, as we fill our nostrils with freshly cut trees and savory cuisine permeating our senses. Wrapping packages, post office lines, crowded grocery stores, dry turkeys, failed recipes, await us at every turn.

The realization for another chance to acknowledge God’s generous gift in a spiritual ritual with those we love. Families carrying on the tradition of our Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, with mostly unspoken thoughts of -often unprecedented – traditions passed from generation to generation.  Through the family secrets (which really aren’t secrets at all), hurt feelings of times gone by, I choose to believe our true selves come to light as we give our love, our energy, our focus, to God’s given time of sowing.

The approaching season of loved ones laughter, cheerful decor, joyfully wrapped Christmas packages, savory meals of pureness and love generate renewed energy, once again bringing the most important realization that this is yet another God given opportune trice to create special moments of delectable tastes for body and soul to be etched forever in a lifetime of memories for generations to come.

Seize the moment. Adore the ritual. Love the gatherings. What makes these moments worth it in the end is because these moments make the end. I believe our true legacy is wrapped up in these exact points in time.

Rituals are God’s gift of peace. With every ritual,  God’s arm is around me pouring peace in my soul as I step away from this chaotic world to bask in every small blessing moment meant for joy. Choose joy. Choose sowing. Choose celebration.



USING THIS “GoTo”  HOLISTIC FORMULA,  Al fresco dining becomes a highlight of summer




“Mosquito Repellent Recipe”


  • 6 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
  • 5 drops of Lemongrass essential oil
  • 3 Tbsp vodka
  • 5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil


Mix all of the ingredients in a spray bottle and add water to fill up the bottle. Spray away!! Please make sure you are using therapeutic grade oils.”


Do you have an effective Mosquito Repellant recipe? If so, please share. Happy Summer!


Sharon Nicholson Gudger

Design the Ultimate Outdoor Entertaining Space « Blog « Habitat Design

Holistic Recipe- SPECIAL THANKS TO


THE NUMBER ONE GOAL OF THE YEAR, seemingly, is a healthy life. Whether the desire is weight loss, nutrition, positive attitude, or exercise, the goal is health.

Remembering when I became aware of the health connection with food I put in my body is a blur, until my first baby. This is etched in my mind because in the 80’s every diet and health guru specifically stated CUT FATS!  This landed my 10 month old in the pediatrician office diagnosed with dietary disorder due to not enough fats. We were sent home with  a diet consisting of butter. Butter on everything! Soon his digestive system was once again functioning properly. 32 years later, there remains indecisiveness in food choice in a society of information overload. Here is my “GoTo” Rule of Thumb Basics I revisit when food lines get blurred, providing a simplistic approach to food choice.
  1. Organic – Dirty dozen/ clean 15* / NO GMO
  2. Healthy Fats – Coconut Oil, Olive Oil
  3. Whole Foods – Did I help harvest it from my Grandparent’s garden or help process the meats on my Uncle’s farm?
  4. Grass fed, Free range poultry, meats, dairy, eggs
  5. Wild caught, cold water, fish
With a simple, basic guideline for food choice, I delve into the world of information overload knowing my basic GoTo guidelines are at the core of each decision.
Ever so often, I run across a blog which falls neatly into my GoTo List. started in 2008. COPYRIGHT © 2014 · FOODIE THEME BY SHAY BOCKS · BUILT ON THE GENESIS FRAMEWORK · POWERED BY WORDPRESS
Using herbs creatively is at the top of both professional and amateur Chef’s list, as it enables preparation of savory foods sure to please every palate. Project domestication uses a wide variety of foods and herbs with impressive results.
Buying foods such as kale, turnips, beets, parsnips, and eggplant is usually accompanied with delusions of grandeur to incorporate into everyday meals providing health benefits beyond compare, yet, admittedly, don’t often make it to the table because I don’t know what to do with them. Recipes by Becky have now established at least one, and mostly more, GoTo dishes to use these nutritious, savory foods.  The compound butters, balsamic reduction, and multiple uses of fresh herbs add the gourmet touch to everyday meals. If you take away only one recommendation from projectdomestication, the compound butter recipes are the added feature meal enhancement. Explore the site with multiple recipes sure to impress. The recipes are simple and straight forward, while easily allowing you to follow the GoTo guide list  ensuring 2014 remains a healthy year.
Here are a couple of recipes straight from
These recipes are easily adaptable to the GoTo guidelines list of food choice.

Red Onion, Parsley, Thyme & Sea Salt Compound Butter

Becky @ Project Domestication


I’ll let you in on a little secret: compound butter is where it’s at. One of my favorite ways to dress up meats, vegetables and other sides is by adding compound butter. If you’re not familiar with compound butters: it’s basically a fancy way of saying flavored butter. My most recent favorite is this Red Onion, Parsley, Thyme and Sea Salt version. It is UNREAL on grilled steak. It’s great on a baguette (like above) next to a spaghetti and meatball dinner (which I had tonight) and yummy over roasted vegetables. I like to go heavy on the herbs and add-ins because it adds so much flavor and freshness. Plus I’ve got a pleathora of herbs on hand right now and it makes me feel less guilty about using bread as a vehicle for butter. Red Onion, Thyme and Parsley & Sea Salt Compound Butter by Becky of Project Domestication

4 TB. unsalted butter, room temperature
2-3 TB. red onions, minced
3 TB. parsley
1 TB. thyme
½ tsp. Redmond Real Salt (or your sea salt of preference)

Combine all ingredients with a fork or small spatula. Mix well until combined and evenly distributed. Place in serving bowl, scoop in balls, pipe into small serving dishes or roll into a log using plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator and pull out and bring to room temp before serving if you’d like it to easily spread.


FEBRUARY 16, 2012 BY 

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Turnips with Thyme by Becky of Project Domestication Ingredients 1 lb. carrots, peeled 1 lb. parsnips, peeled 1 lb. turnips, peeled 3 T. extra virgin olive oil 1 T. kosher salt 1 t. freshly ground black pepper 3-5 sprigs fresh thyme Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut carrots, parsnips and turnips in equal-sized pieces, around 1-inch. My preference is rounds for parsnips and carrots and small wedges for turnips. Place vegetables in 9×13 pan or on sheet pan. Pour on olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and thyme and toss well. Roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. Vegetables are done when tender.
Dr. Weil, the ultimate source on food and health, provides The Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 list on his website.
Dirty Dozen/ Clean 15 ***
Nearly all of the data used took into account how people typically wash and prepare produce – for example, apples were washed and bananas peeled before testing. Of the fruit and vegetable categories tested, the following “Clean 15” foods had the lowest pesticide load, and consequently are the safest conventionally grown crops to consume from the standpoint of pesticide contamination:

  • Onions
  • Sweet corn
  • Pineapples
  • Avocado
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet peas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Papayas
  • Mushrooms The following “Dirty Dozen Plus” had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions – or to grow them organically yourself:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Hot peppers

Plus these which may contain organophosphate insecticides, which EWG characterizes as “highly toxic” and of special concern:

  • Kale/collard greens
  • Summer squash
Sharon Nicholson Gudger

A List Worth Considering

#1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.


#2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.


#3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.


#4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.


#5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.


#6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

#7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

#8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

#9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

#10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

#11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

#12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

#13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

#14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

#15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

#16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

#17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

#18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

#19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

#20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.

#21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

#22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

#23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.

#24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.

#25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

#26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

#27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.

#28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

#29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

#30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Marc and Angel, two passionate writers, life-hackers and “admirers of the human spirit,” have come up with an amazing list of 30 things to stop doing to yourself. If you like their list, make sure you check out their site and sign up to their amazing newsletter.

Has The Twelfth Century held the answer all along?


To Your Health: The Premier Jewish Scholar and Bone Broth

The Twelfth Century HAS the answer all along to #health!

Could this be the perfect beginning to a new year?  A nutrient rich, unadulterated, batch of Bone broth?

bone broth soup

Gone are the days of pondering health benefits of Chicken soup. Take a deep breath as you realize a comfort food is not only healthy but the Jewish antibiotic with multiple healing powers.

Maimonides - Spanish philosopher considered the greatest Jewish scholar of the Middle Ages who codified Jewish law in the Talmud (1135-1204)

Egyptian physician, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimonides,  regarded as the foremost Jewish philosopher of the Middle Ages wrote, “The meat taken should be that of hens or roosters and their broth should also be taken because this sort of fowl has virtue in rectifying corrupted humours.”

To think of chicken soup might transport you back to a simpler time when Mom was at home waiting to serve up a bowl of delicious Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup with 890 mg of Sodium.  The twelth century concoction was miles apart from the iconic 1950’s Campbell’s Soup version of healthy chicken soup.



Nutrient rich broth depends on the integrity of the food. To reap all the benefits of your Bone Broth use only Organic ingredients.  Costco sells organic chicken with two packaged together for $15.00. Only $7.50 per chicken!

Cysteine, an amino acid, is released from the chicken as it cooks, carrots are the best source of beta-carotene which converts to Vitamin A. Vitamin A arms our white blood cells to prevent and fight off infections destroying harmful bacteria and viruses. The powerful anti-oxidant, quercetin, found in onions is both an anti-histimine and anti-inflammatory.

The simplest of recipes lends a gourmet edge with minimal preparation starting with a whole, organic chicken.

Baby Its Cold Outside


21 degrees, wirh wind chills of 0, calls for a simple delight of Chicken Soup turned gourmet because of delicious, fresh organic ingredients.


BONE BROTH (Beef or Chicken)


1 Whole Organic Chicken, neck and all. Chicken feet are used for the most nutrient rich Bone Broth.

Filtered water

1 Tbsp Himalayan Salt

2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Bay leaf

4 cloves of garlic

1 small  yellow onion

3 celery stalks

2 carrots


Place the organic chicken in a pressure cooker with filtered water. Add Himalayan salt, Apple Cider Vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, onion, celery, and carrots. Cook under pressure for one hour on low medium steam. Cool completely. Refrigerate over night up to 24 hours.

Strain Bone broth completely removing all ingredients including the chicken. Shred the chicken and set aside. If you are going to wait until the next day to cook the chicken soup, I recommend putting the shredded chicken in the freezer to retain as many nutrients as possible.

Broth will appear rich with thick nutritious gelatin. If you plan to use the Bone broth the next day, store in the refrigerator. For a later date, store in freezer.

**A slow cooker can be used. Cook for approximately 16 hours.



Shredded chicken from the organic chicken

3 quarts of Bone Broth

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 Bay leaf

4 carrots diced (Try the divine Parisian carrots found in the frozen section at Trader Joe’s-beyond delicious!)

1 Tblp minced ginger

1/2 Tblp Sea Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 Tblp ground Oregano OR (My secret ingredient- 1/2 cup Kirklands organic No Salt Seasoning – a blend of 21 spices and ingredients from around the world phenomenol!)

1 Tblp grated ginger

1 Green bell pepper

2 celelry stalks

1 onion

1 bunch of parsley or cilantro

photo 2

My Secret Weapon- BAM!


Add first 8 ingredients.

Dice and Saute green bell pepper, 2 celery stalks, and one onion in olive oil until translucent, approx 5 minutes. Add to soup. ( Chef’s refer to this as the “trinity” because it is the basic recipe to multiple dishes.) Bring soup to simmering and turn to low. Cook on low for approximately 2 hours. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Let rest fo 15 to 20 minutes. Ready to nourish your body in 12th century style? Serve yourself and sit back to reap the benefits.

Parsnips, Turnips, Sweet potatoes are superb choices for your own designer Chicken Soup.

Healing benefits of ingredients:⁠1

  1. Onions -contain protein, calcium, sulfur, vitamin A, B complex, C and E. They contain sulfur compounds and have anti-inflammatory effects. Like garlic, onions have the antibiotic oil- allicin, which gives them their pungent flavor.
  2. Garlic-has powerful antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties . Is being used for boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, assisting in treatment of heart disease, and cancer and lowering cholesterol.
  3. Sweet potato– excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C ,manganese, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Having significant antioxidant capacities, they stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.
  4. Parsnips– a good source of the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, which help to boost the immune system, plus they’re a good source of fibre, which protects against colon cancer and helps maintain healthy bowels. Parsnips are a good to reduce high blood pressure, because they have a high potassium content.
  5. Turnips– are rich in beta-carotene and protect mucous membranes (especially in the lungs and intestinal tract) from cancer and free-radical damage. Also high in vitamin C, indoles, calcium and other minerals.
  6. Carrots– Carrots, one of the routine vegetable ingredients found in chicken soup, are the best natural source of beta-carotene. The body takes that beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing the actions of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.
  7. Celery – carminative, diuretic, tonic, nervine. Used to promote restfulness and sleep, celery is also excellent for relieving rheumatism and gout. Its high magnesium and iron content is invaluable as a food for blood cells. Because of its anitspasmodic properties, celery is good for all lund conditions, including asthma and bronchitis.
  8. Parsley – contains two components that provide unique health benefits- 1. volatile oils-including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. 2. flavonoids- including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin. The activity of parsley’s volatile oils qualifies it as a “chemoprotective” food- a food that can neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like benzopyrenes from cigarette and charcoal grill smoke).
  9. Sea Salt– natural balance of sodium, magnesium and potassium- helps to lower blood pressure and promote good health. Mineral salts create electrolytes, the sparks of life- carry electrical currents to cells throughout the body. Electrolytes are necessary for enzyme production. Enzymes are responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, muscle function, hormone production, etc. Electrolytes and enzymes are linked to healthy immune function, proper regulation of bodily fluids, and adrenal health.
  10. Black pepper– contains volatile oils, alkaloids, proteins and minerals. It has the following healing actions: circulatory stimulant, diuretic, cerebral stimulant, reduces infection, diaphoretic (induces sweating), astringent (tightens mucous membranes) and stimulates sinuses to drain.⁠2

Freeze a family batch. Freeze several one serving containers. This becomes your safeguard on days when convenience and lack of time overrule healthy eating. This simple preparation will ensure healthy eating choices. Pyrex makes wonderful glass containers safe for freezers, ovens, and microwaves. By running hot water on the outside of the frozen glass container, the soup will loosen easily ready for the stove.

Delicious Bone Broth is the beginning to this promising 2014 year. Each morning is a prominsing beginning. Livng to our full potential includes making  healthy choices in each aspect of our life. This is but one to help detox our bodies of harmful chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis.

I hope you learn something new as you make your elixir. Please consider sharing your new found knowledge with me. I look forward to learning from you!


Sharon Nicholson Gudger

1 Healing benefits of ingredient list- Source :

2 “Granny Earth is an avid gardener and herbalist, and has a Doctorate in Naturopathy.  “Healthy Recipes from Granny’s Cupboard.” For more recipes for food and medicines made from weeds, look for Granny Earth’s first book, “Do it Yourself Weed Medicine,” available at