new moon in libra

New Moon (Supermoon) in Libra ♎️ October 16, 2020 3:30 pm ET!

The word “Supermoon” is not an official astronomical term. It was first created by an astrologer named, Richard Nolle, in 1979. He defined it as ‘a New or a Full Moon that occurs when the Moon is at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in its orbit’. It is not clear why he chose the 90% cut off in his definition.

New moon represents the end of one cycle and the beginning of another new 28-day cycle. In astronomy, the new moon is when the sun and moon are aligned, with the sun and earth on opposite sides of the moon. It is the beginning of a new lunar cycle, and it’s a great time to begin a new personal cycle as well; a time to turn over a new leaf or start a new project.

During a new moon, the moon is not visible in the sky. This typically means the energy available is low. People often report feeling tired and drained during a new moon. This is a perfect opportunity to become self-reflective, to look inward. This is an ideal time to really think about want you want in life acknowledge your goals, set clear intentions towards those goals, and write to-do lists. A time for a fresh start, and to let go of those things in your life that no longer serve you.

This New Supermoon in Libra ♎️ reminds us to surround ourselves in peace, harmony and love. It’s time to hit your pause button, reflect and reclaim your sense of balance, harmony, and fulfillment of your needs without stomping on, but with attending to the needs of others as well. Therein lies the balance that is precious. Precious from not only our own perspective but for the world.

This New Moon is a grounding energy and reminds us to be grateful while going after goals of attainment (wealth in broad definition). The Libra Moon could make you a little impatient while waiting for the tides to turn in your favor but patience is important.
You first have to the work, inner and outer and to reflect so that your path does not set course on the more negative sides of power.

Clarify your needs, boundaries, and cultivate strength and self-reliance. Meditate on the heart chakra so that your will is right and just.

Deepak Chopras 7 Step Meditation To Open Your Heart

The October 16 new moon aligns with two fixed stars: Fixed star Spica and Fixed star Arcturus.

Fixed star Spica gives success, wealth (broad definition), love of art and science, lack of growth and injustice to innocence. It brings good fortune to scientists, artists, and musicians. Spica also gives spiritual and religious qualities, with above-average psychic awareness.

Fixed star Arcturus gives wealth (broad definition), high renown, self-determination, and prosperity. However, Arcturus has a reputation for achieving justice through power. Which can make people become belligerent and quarrelsome.

New moon, October 16, opposite Mars may cause anger, impulsiveness, and hostility. The new moon, Saturn can cause disappointment, delays, and frustration. The new moon square Pluto can cause extremism, intensity, and a callous quest for power. The combination of the planetary characteristics creates highly dynamic energy. With determination, hard work and persistence you will be able to achieve your specific goals and intentions. If your focus is solely on achieving power, then conflict will surely be your end result.

Element: Air 💨
Crystals: Aquamarine, Opalite, Opal, Rose Quartz



Pronunciation: SOW-in, SAH-vin, or SOW-een
October 31 – November 1
Themes: death, rebirth, divination, honoring ancestors, introspection, benign mischief, revelry
Other Names: Samhuin, Halloween, Third Harvest, Day of the Dead, Feast of the Dead (Félie Na Marbh), Ancestor Night, All Hallows Eve
(the 31st).

This celebration marks the end of the growing season and the beginning of Winter. Herbs, fruits and vegetables are prepared to be stored for use through the cold months. In autumn, the leaves and flowers die.  Many animals migrate or prepare for hibernation.  The world becomes more still.  These natural cycles remind us that everything dies, and yet will be reborn. It is believed the veil grows thin between this world and the world of the afterlife and so many take this time of Samhain much like Dia de los Muertos on November 2, to honor our ancestors who are just beyond the veil.

This is seriously, my favorite time of year. The days shorten and night falls earlier, the shadows grow, and the veil between this world and the realm of the spirits and ancestors is at its thinnest. The air is crisp with the scents of autumn, and the magical possibilities seem to be all around us. Nature is about to take back within herself what has stopped living to nurture the earth to be reborn in spring.

The turning of the Wheel toward Samhain is a turn toward the dark months ahead. The nights are growing longer, and time is catching up with us. Our trees are filled with dried figs, dried grapes, things once living now dying, to remind us of the stages of all of life. In almost every country outside of the United States, death is talked about as an accepted and reverent part of life, people dance and it’s even celebrated with parties and filled with colorful adornments. Here in the US we place our cemeteries to the outskirts of our cities and towns, and now in modern times, place headstones flat and parallel with the Earth so that when we drive by they just look like nice parks instead of where we lay our dead to rest, we hide them in plain sight. In most other countries, cemeteries and mausoleums are front and center in towns and cities with upright headstones that tell you yep, here are our beloved who have passed from this earth and here you too shall lay to rest. In the US we make death a scary, depressed occasion that we tend to shy away from talking about.

The Celts of our distant past didn’t shy from the subject, this portal to the other side, because they understood how to harvest wisdom in the process of facing their own mortality. They understood that when you bury something with intention, it can feed future crops and nourish them from within. And yet, the word itself – Samhain – means nothing more than summer’s end. The end of growth. This day reminds us that death is just a natural stage of life. We can’t have life without death any more than we can have light without dark, truth without lies, or good without evil. They are all two sides of the same coin, forever entangled and forever inseparable.

Decorate with pumpkins, gourds, black orange and yellow candles, photos of your ancestors, autumn leaves and representations of autumn. Crystals to use; smokey quartz, obsidian and onyx.

*”All hallow tide, the triduum of Halloween, recalls deceased spirits, saints (hallows) and martyrs alike, in one collective commemoration. The word Halloween is of Christian origin, and many Christians visit graveyards during this time to pray and place flowers and candles at the graves of their deceased loved ones. The two days following All Hallows Eve—All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day—pay homage to the souls that Christians believe are now with God. In medieval England, Christians went “souling” on Halloween, begging for soul cakes in exchange for prayers in local churches. Halloween’s secular side has emerged during the past century, and today, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses, watching horror movies and dressing up like favored characters has become custom in Western culture. Recent estimates are that the very diverse American business of “haunted attractions” brings in hundreds of millions of dollars each year, and the commercial elements of Halloween have spread from North America to Europe, South America, Australia, Japan and parts of East Asia.”

Candle Magic

Candle Ceremony for The Ancestors

This is a simple ceremony which can be shared with both friends and family, or worked alone. You can include children in it – it begins in darkness and ends full of light. You will need:

  • a supply of small candles, either black or white (or you can use the little battery operated ones for the littles)
  • a heat proof container or tray of sand or earth to put the candles in if you use candles. Place one in the center of the container from which all the others will be lit.

Switch off all the lights and sit gently in the darkness. Allow yourself to feel the darkness but not in a spooky way. In a brave and comforted way. Ask for the presence of your ancestors to come to you. When you are ready, light the central candle saying:

“We welcome our departed loved ones into this home and honor your presence among us”.

Allow each person in the circle to spontaneously remember someone who has passed and remember something about them and light a candle for each person from the central candle: ‘I remember Uncle Harold he was a kind and thoughtful man….’. Allow this to continue for as long as it takes to complete the re-membering. You will end with a tray full of radiant candles. When all is complete, give thanks, and allow the candles to burn to completion. Turn on the lights whenever you are ready.


The Veil separating the world of the living to the dead has parted, and the last harvest has ended. I cast my circle and invite into it my ancestors, and my loved ones who have passed through the Veil. Come to me and together let us celebrate your time here on Earth!

Samhain Shadow Self Meditation

Meditation to Find Your Shadow

Find a quiet, comfortable place to perform the meditation, some place where you will not be disturbed. Be sure to answer the questions after the meditation below.

Close your eyes. Imagine that a soft white glow is forming at your feet. It begins to swirl upward and it forms a protective shell around you. It lifts you up and takes you on a journey to the core of your being.

The misty glow sets you down and dissipates to reveal a marble staircase that spirals downward. The light is very dim along the walls of the staircase and you can’t see all the way to the bottom, but you know this is a place into which you must venture.

You begin down the staircase and you notice it spirals in a counterclockwise direction. The light in the staircase comes from candles flickering in small carved niches along the walls. The staircase walls are made of smooth, cold marble that your occasionally touch as you continue to journey downward.

As you work your way down the stairs, notice on the walls that there are occasionally symbols formed out of metal and embedded into the walls. These are the symbols of your shadow masks. Take note of whichever one is most prominent. This is the symbol for your primary shadow mask.

Reach up and touch the symbol of your primary shadow mask and you’ll find that it comes loose from the wall. As you hold it in your hands, you can feel the cold weight of the metal symbol and you can see it from all sides. Hold on to this symbol as you continue down the stairs.

When you reach the bottom, you find before you a great golden door. You try the door, but it is locked. Look at the keyhole and you will find that it is oddly shaped. Slip the metal symbol you hold into the keyhole and you’ll find that it unlocks the door. Open the door and enter the chamber.

The room is cold and quite dark, except for a single point of illumination that emanates from the far side of the room. The light comes from a mask that hangs on the far wall. Go over to it and look at it. You notice that it is well within reach, so you take it down and examine it thoroughly. On the inside of the mask is its name. Take note of it.

After you’ve examined the mask, place it on your face and ask: “How do I resolve this shadow mask?” Listen carefully to the answer. Once you’ve heard the message, ask one more question: “What does this shadow mask keep me from doing?”

After you’ve queried the mask, take it off and place it back on the wall. Exit the chamber and lock the door with the metal symbol you retained. As you climb the stairs, you can place the symbol anywhere along the wall and it will set itself within the marble. Continue to head to the top of the stairs,this time moving much more quickly than before.

Once you have reached the top, the white glow enfolds you once again, lifts you up, and brings you back into your body.

When you have arrived back fully, take a moment to contemplate your experience and draw to the best of your ability the symbol of the primary shadow mask. Now draw your shadow mask. Then answer these questions…

  1. What is the name of the shadow mask?
  2. What part do you play in keeping this mask alive?
  3. What are the effects of this shadow mask on your life?
  4. What does this shadow mask keep you from accomplishing?
  5. What action must you take in order to resolve you primary shadow mask?
  6. What have you to learn from this shadow mask?

Intention Setting Ceremony

One of the biggest Samhain traditions is known as the Feast of the Dead or Dumb Supper. It’s kind of like Thanksgiving for the spirit world, the Feast of the Dead is a big celebratory meal for all of the people who came before you. Most who celebrate Samhain set an extra place for their ancestors, putting servings of food on the plate as an invitation to their departed to join their feast. Once the meal is over the food is often set out in a natural place as an offering to the deceased.

For some this is a quiet thoughtful occasion with contemplation as each remembers the departed and enjoys a completely silent meal, sometimes referred to as a Dumb Supper. For others this is an exciting experience where you serve the favorite foods of your loved ones who have passed on and share memories and good stories of those you love who are no longer with us. 

Many people around the world including Pacific Islanders, Peruvians, the Ancient Romans, and multiple European cultures all have some version of a Feast of the Dead as part of their cultural celebrations. Many Buddhists and Taoists also have a similar celebration called the Ghost Festival where they prepare elaborate meals and set places for the deceased, making this a much more common practice than you might think.

So create your party for loved ones who have passed and do it in a way that honors your families traditions and rich history. You can make it as elaborate as you’d like with a huge feast, story telling, a tended bonfire, rituals, ceremonies and all the trimming, or maybe just a silent Dumb Supper and even just setting out photo’s and looking over them along with mementos handed down the family line to be shared with the littles (kids) along with sharing tidbits about their family members who are no longer on this plane of existence. I wish I had had something like this in my childhood since my Mom and Dad had me in their 50’s, my grandparents were all either deceased or passed when I was pre-school age. I still know very little of my ancestors and our family who have passed.

Incense & Oil

Samhain Loose Incense

  • 2 teaspoon dried Apple
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped Pine needles
  • 1 teaspoons of Rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Acorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed Dragon’s Blood
  • A few pearls of Frankincense
  • 2 drops Patchouli Oil

Using a mortar and pestle, crush the Frankincense, then Dragon’s Blood, and then the Cinnamon and Acorns. Crush and add the remaining ingredients into a bowl one at a time, then add the Patchouli Oil and mix everything together. As you mix the dried fruits, herbs, and spices, focus on your intent with Samhain and your Ancestors in mind.This is the time of the year to Honor our Ancestors and to contemplate the cycle of life, death and rebirth.Burn this incense on top of a charcoal disc or use as a dry or simmering potpourri. Some other items you may consider to customize your incense to your liking are Cedar, Cedarwood, Clove, Hyssop, Juniper, Marigold, Mugwort, Patchouli, Pepper, Sage, Salt, Wormwood to name a few. Keep in mind what each item represents for the Samhain Season.

  1. Apple are associated with the dead & Samhain
  2. Bay for psychic powers
  3. Cinnamon for protection
  4. Marigold for protection and honoring ancestors
  5. Mugwort for physic awareness
  6. Patchouli for honoring the earth
  7. Pepper for ghostly protection
  8. Pine for honoring the earth and winter
  9. Rosemary for remembrance
  10. Sage for purification and wisdom
  11. Salt for purification
  12. Wormwood for protection against evil spirits


  • Bonfires, or “Fire Watches” are basically a lit fire to help your ancestors find their way to you as the veil thins. Often full celebrations are held around the fire through the day as the fire is kept burning. Usually the fire starts at sundown and goes till sunrise but in modern times it’s usually sundown till midnight (or whenever your local fire department policies are). You can have designated fire watchers, or tenders from the family through the day and evening. Gather to sing, dance, tell stories and eat good food.
  • Collecting Autumn flowers such as chrysanthemums are popular.  Marigolds are associated with death, cemeteries, and Dia de los Muertos in Mexican tradition.  Some people dry bouquets of, wilted dying flowers.
  • Share stories and memories of your ancestors. Delve into your family tree and see how far back you can trace to the life and times of your ancestral tree.
  • Gather leaves for creative decoupage crafts.
  • Make incense blends of myrrh, mugwort, patchouli, sandalwood and pine.
  • Dumb Dinner or Silent (Mute) Supper. Throwback to the Ancient Celts and their 3 days of feasting? Ancestors were called to share food. Families would set the table with extra seats and plates filled with the same food they were eating. They would sit and eat, and update the spirits on what had happened throughout the year.
  • Make resolutions, write them on a small piece of parchment, and burn in a candle flame.
  • Carve a jack-o-lantern. Place a spirit candle in it.
  • Drink apple cider spiced with cinnamon to honor the dead. Bury an apple or pomegranate in the garden as food for spirits passing by on their way to being reborn.
  • Make a mask of your shadow self.
  • Create an ancestor altar. Add photos of loved ones who have passed away, keepsakes, anything that has special importance to you and your loved ones in spirit.
  • Create and fill an ancestor box. Decorate the outside with things that make you think of or feel your ancestors. This is often things from your families culture, heritage, ethnicity or legacies. Then fill the box with mementos, photos, and things passed down. Place it lovingly on your mantel or other special place of honor to be a place of remembrance through the year.
  • Collect and recreate old family recipes.


Samhain Door Wreath

Materials: Items from Nature, fine wire, sheet of corrugated cardboard, collection sack, small nail.

First, take a Nature hike. Have the littles collect items from nature, such as pine cones, seeds, leaves, berry bunches (remind the child how important it is to thank the plant for its gift, and to take only what is needed.), acorns and caps, flowers, etc. When you get home, spread out collection on some newspaper. Cut out a circle about 15″ in diameter, from the cardboard. Cut a smaller circle out of the middle. Have the child choose which objects go where on the cardboard background, and hand the object to you. Wrap the wire around each object so it can be fastened to the cardboard. Poke two small holes in the cardboard ring for each item. Feed the wire through and twist in back. Keep fastening objects onto the ring until it is full and no cardboard shows. Hang the wreath on the front door with the nail. (Explain that “wreaths of bounty” used to symbolize giving thanks for a prosperous year, and an invitation for others less fortunate to share in the good fortune.)

Making a Besom

Materials: 4ft dowel- 1″ in diameter, ball of twine, scissors, straw or other pliable herb stock.

Take the straw or other herb stalk that you have chosen and soak overnight in luke warm salted water. The water swells the stalk slightly for bending without breakage, and the salt dispels former energies. When ready, remove stalks from the water and dry for just a bit. Not too much or the stalk will stiffen up, again. Place the dowel on a table where you have room to work. Start lining the stalks along the dowel , about 3 inches from the bottom, moving backwards. Begin binding the stalks to the dowel with the twine. Tie very securely. You may add as many layers as you like, depending on how full you want the Besom to be. When stalks are secure, gently bend the top stalks down over the binding. When all have been bent over, secure the stalks again with more twine a couple of inches under the first binding. Allow to air dry for a day or two. The dowel can then be stained, painted, or carved into to make personal. Remember to concentrate and charge at the next full moon. (Explain to the children that the Pagans used to “ride” their Besoms through the fields, jumping as high as they could. This was to show the God/dess(s-es) how high they wanted their crops to grow the next year. Also jumping over bonfires at the Sabbat festivals was for good health and prosperity.)


Recipe for Samhain Soul Cakes

Recipe by Karen from Lavender and Lovage.

  • 175g butter (6ozs)
  • 175g caster sugar (6ozs)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 450g plain flour (1lb)
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 100g currants (4 ozs)
  • a little milk to mix
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
  3. Stir in the currants and add enough milk to make a soft dough, similar to scones.
  4. Roll the dough out and cut out little cakes with a biscuit cutter.
  5. Mark each cake with a cross and then place them on a greased and/or lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cakes for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight tin for up to 5 days.


  • 4 cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked cabbage
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped very fine and sauteed
  • 1 cup mashed turnips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk or cream
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  1. Place all ingredients, except the cabbage, in a large pan and cook over low heat while mixing them together.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and add the cabbage.
  3. The mixture will take on a pale green cast.
  4. Keep stirring occasionally until well mixed and heated through.

Pumpkin Soup

For a delicious and simple soup, peel the outer skin from the pieces of pumpkin and boil until very tender (about 30 minutes). Mash with a potato masher or run through a food processor. Saute 1 chopped onion for every cup of pumpkin. Add the mashed pumpkin, 11/2 cups milk, 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper, and 1/4 tsp. curry powder. Serve hot with a sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd’s Pie
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 cups cooked yellow or green split peas
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • To serve: a drizzle of melted coconut oil with chopped serrano chiles, micro greens, scallions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F with a rack in the center.
  2. Place the potatoes/sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, salt as you would pasta water, and bring to a boil for about ten minutes, or until tender. Drain, and return to saucepan over heat for a minute or so to dry out a bit. Add the coconut milk, and the salt, and mash together. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut oil with the onion and garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes, until onions are translucent, and then turn the heat up and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the mushrooms release their water, and start to brown. Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir well, then add the cooked split peas and peas. Cook for another minute or two, taste, and adjust with more garam masala or salt if needed.
  4. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a 8-inch baking dish (or equivalent), spreading it across in a somewhat even layer. Dollop the potatoes across the top, and gently push them around until they cover the entire top of the casserole, run the tines of a fork across the top if you like a bit of texture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, and finish under a broiler to add a bit of extra color and texture to the top. Serve as-is, or sprinkled with any (or all) of the suggested toppings.

Serves 6.

Brie + Cheddar Apple Beer Soup with Cinnamon Pecan Oat Crumble
Cheddar Apple Beer Soup with Brie
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 2 small Honeycrisp apples or 1 large, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 (12 ounce) beer I used pumpkin beer
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces brie rind removed + cubed
Cinnamon Pecan Oat Crumble
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups whole raw pecans
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
To make the Crumble
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Working on a greased cookie sheet or pyrex dish, add the oats, pecans, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the softened butter and use your fingers to crumble it into the oats mixture until everything is moist and the butter is evenly distributed. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking, until crisp is golden brown and smells amazing. I like to serve this warm, so I make it while the soup simmers.
To make the Soup
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and a pinch of brown sugar. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. At this point, slowly add in the apple cider, let it cook into the onions, add more and continue to cook. Do this until the onions are caramelized. Add the apples and thyme to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened, 8 minutes. Add in any remaining apple cider, the beer, chicken broth and cayenne. Bring to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes or until the apples are tender. (This is when I bake the crumble)
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Once the apples are soft, puree the soup until chunky smooth or completely smooth (whatever you like). Return the soup to the stove and bring to a low bowl. Whisk in the milk mixture and boil until the soup thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cheddar cheddar cheese and brie until melted and smooth. Simmer the soup 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the cinnamon pecan crumble. Plus maybe some extra cheese too!!

Harvest Soup
  • butter
  • 4 turnips (I used butter or yellow turnips)
  • 1 bramley apple (or 1 cox)
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 liter of chicken or vegetable stock.

to decorate
toast ham or bacon for 1 minute in the microwave between a sheet of grease proof paper
toast stale bread and cut into chunks

  1. Dice all the vegetables and apple.
  2. Over a high fire heat two teaspoons of butter in a medium sized pan.
  3. Add all the vegetables and apple and stir so they don’t burn
  4. When slightly glazed add the stock and simmer for 30 minutes
  5. Mix the soup until all the chunks are gone 
  6. Put back on the fire and bring to the boil for another minute
  7. Season to taste with pepper and salt
  8. Serve with the toasted bread and crispy ham or bacon

Enjoy and remember to set an extra plate for the spirits…

Quinoa Salad With Roasted Squash, Dried Cranberries, and Pecans
  • 1 c. quinoa
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium Delicata squash, seeded and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, thinly sliced and stems removed
  • 1/3 c. pecans, toasted
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c. crumbled feta
  1. Preheat oven to 425° and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Spread out on a sheet tray to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, arrange squash on a baking sheet and roast until tender and golden, 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together quinoa, squash, kale, pecans, and cranberries. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Drizzle over salad and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper, crumble feta on top, and serve.

Pumpkin Bread with Salted Maple Butter
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp finely grated ginger (from about one 3″ piece fresh ginger)
  • 1½ cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
Maple Butter
  • 1½ sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¾ tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more for serving

Recipe Preparation


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat a 9×5″ loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a generous overhang on both long sides.
  2. Whisk flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, ginger, and 1½ cups sugar in a large bowl. Stream in oil, whisking constantly until mixture is homogeneous. Gently fold half of dry ingredients into egg mixture until no dry spots remain. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, stirring to combine but being careful not to overmix.
  4. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with a spatula. Scatter pumpkin seeds over batter, pressing lightly to adhere. Sprinkle seeds with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Bake bread, rotating pan once halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 80–90 minutes.
  5. Let cool slightly, then run a knife or small offset spatula around pan to help loosen bread. Using overhang, transfer bread to a wire rack and let cool.
  6. Do Ahead: Bread can be baked 4 days ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

Maple Butter

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter in a large bowl, scraping down sides, until light and fluffy, 5–6 minutes. Add maple syrup and ¾ tsp. sea salt and beat, scraping down sides of bowl once more, just until incorporated.
  2. Transfer maple butter to a small bowl; season with more sea salt.
  3. Do Ahead: Maple butter can be made 5 days ahead. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill. Let come to room temperature before using.


Samhain & Autumn Crafts
All Hallows’ Eve
UUA Samhain
Easy Samhain – Halloween Crafts
Samhain Folklore – Halloween Superstitions and Legends

the light – meditation

Guided Meditation

The Light

Ram Dass guides you to a place of pure light in the middle of your chest and reminds you that you are this light – your body is just the container. But it is not enough to just see our own light, we need to see that everyone has this light within. “Anytime of the day, you always can come back to the breath. Bring the breath as if you are breathing out of the middle of the chest, and with each breath brighten the light that sits in the middle.”
– Ram Dass

limited edition peppermint mocha shakeology

Now you can enjoy the delicious flavors of velvety rich, creamy cocoa, robust coffee, and refreshing peppermint in a nutrient-dense shake.
Peppermint Mocha Plant-Based Vegan Shakeology is our second limited-edition seasonal flavor and will be available in the U.S. and Canada in 14 single-serve packets while supplies last.
Unlike those coffeehouse peppermint mocha calorie bombs, Peppermint Mocha Shakeology is delicious and delivers premium protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals — as well as phytonutrients, adaptogens, pre- and probiotics, and digestive enzymes.

Peppermint Mocha Shakeology is coming back by popular demand to the U.S. and Canada on Monday November 2nd. Would anyone like to be on the pre-order list??? I send you the cart for easy checkout process!! Just fill out this form and I’ll be in touch!

bananas foster shakeology

Bananas Foster Shakeology

1 cup water
1 cup ice
1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology (or Vanilla Plant-Based Vegan Shakeology)
½ large banana, cut into chunks
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat (2%) plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. pure caramel extract

Place water, ice, Shakeology, banana, yogurt, and extract in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

shakeology® tips and tricks

Use only 1/2 scoop for the first week or so.  – If you get the packets, use 1/2 of the packet per shake.  Since Shakeology is so rich in nutrients, sometimes the introduction of them into your system (especially if your diet isn’t clean) can be startling. It’s best to ease into it a 1/2 scoop at a time.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you may want to order the Vegan formulas.  The regular formulas have a milk protein in them that’s amazing, but…not if you’re lactose intolerant.  If you’ve already ordered the regular kind and are sitting there going, “Shoot!”, don’t worry.  You can call customer service and you’ll be able to return your bag for an exchange.  Sometimes people don’t know this and if they’re lactose sensitive, when they drink it they get a belly ache.  The Vegan formula should help.

Cut back slow. – if you are use to really sweet foods then remember to make your shake so you enjoy it and slowly reduce the sweeteners ( fruit, stevia, flavored milk etc.)

Like it creamy? – if you like it creamy use a milk source ( oat milk is amazing!) or add greek yogurt.

Prep Your Shakes. – Throw some pre-measured fruit and greens into a bag and place in the freezer. This is a great way to make sure you don’t waste the beautiful produce you bought if it starts to go bad. 

Get Your Green On. – Add a handful of kale or spinach—you won’t even know it’s in there but it will help you get even more greens into your diet!

Easy Access. – Leave it out on your counter. When things get lost in the pantry or you have to get up on a chair to reach it, you’re setting yourself up for extra work. Out of sight, out of mind is for real.

Clean Blender. – Let’s face it, nobody enjoys cleaning the blender. But, did you know placing a little bit of soap and water into the blender, blending up, and rinsing is a quick-and-easy solution to a dirty blender?

Be Ratio Ready. – Remember the ratio of liquid to add-ins—and look for that perfect fit for you.

*This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a small commission if you purchase something by clicking my link. Thank you!

meal prep 101

Meal prep can be a crucial part of achieving your health, weight-loss and fitness goals. Now, you might think that healthy meal prep is for those who have plenty of time and money to spend, but experts beg to differ!!  Plan well and you could save time and money, not to mention your health. Are you ready to get planning and save yourself some dough while eating healthier and getting in shape? Here’s how!  

Make a Plan

A great first step in in meal planning and time saving is to have a pretty solid idea of your food needs throughout the week before you do anything else. Take a moment to think about the week ahead: Think about where you’ll be at mealtimes; home, work, out with friends, traveling and whether you’ll have the means to reheat food if you’ll need something that’s ready to go and the kinds of containers you’ll need to store that food. Most importantly, think about the clean meals and snacks that you want to eat. You need to not only eat healthy nutritious ingredients but they need to be foods you enjoy, even if that limits variety.

  1. See what you already have. Look in your freezer, cabinets, and refrigerator. Make a note of what you currently have on hand. You can save money by using these items in the upcoming week’s meals.
  2. Use a worksheet or notepad to plan your meals. I have added some planner pages below that can help you out!
  3. Create a list of a few recipes to try. Find new ideas for healthy and low-cost meals (a dozen fantastic ideas for appealing, healthy meals that cost between 45 cents and $2.72 per serving) based on what you have on hand, foods your family enjoys, and foods that are good buys.
  4. Think about your schedule. Choose meals you can easily prepare when you don’t have a lot of time. Save recipes that take longer for days off. You also can prepare meals in advance to heat and serve on your busiest days. Do some meal prep, especially for lunches. This will reduce the chance of you skipping making a healthy lunch to take and instead opt for fast food options. 
  5. Plan to use leftovers. Use a couple larger recipes that have enough servings for multiple meals. This can reduce the number of ingredients you need to buy, and save you time preparing another meal. I use these for lunches!
Quinoa, kale, pomegranate seeds & feta

Make a Clean-Eating Grocery List

Once you’ve thought about the clean, healthy, nutritious meals found a few new recipes you’d like to try and have a meal plan ready to go, work backward to come up with a grocery list.   Beans or lentils are are a good (and less expensive!) alternative protein source instead of meats that tend to be higher priced and not always as good for you. “Consider serving budget-friendly meatless meals once or twice a week. Meatless meals are built around beans, lentils, vegetables and whole grains. These plant-based proteins tend to be less expensive and offer more health benefits than meat.” (The Mayo Clinic). Once you’ve made your list, think about where each of the items can be bought at the best price and get your groceries on a day when you’re not rushed. We have a store called Aldi’s that keeps prices low by stocking generic brands and forgoing fancy packaging. Buying in bulk is another way to save money.

Here are examples of healthy foods that should make up the core of your clean-eating grocery list!

Veggie Spring Rolls!

Stick With the List

Ever gone to the store to buy groceries and come home to find that you bought a lot of things you hadn’t planned on and maybe even forgot some things you meant to buy? Did you know that grocery stores, and stores in general pay a lot of money to merchandisers to make sure that customers stray from their lists and make impulse purchases? There job is to make displays stand out and pop so you will snag the item. I know it’s bad for my budget, so likely yours too. And because impulse buys are generally not the healthiest items, bad for health goals too. Do you ever go shopping with a hungry belly? Well stop! A 2013 study showed that when people go shopping when they’re hungry or they’ve gone a long time without eating, they tend to buy foods with a higher caloric density.

Shop Bulk Foods

What do beans, grains like quinoa and barley, nuts, seeds, rice, and legumes have in common? Most supermarkets offer these items in bulk bins. Not only does shopping in bulk save you money because you’re not paying for the fancy labels, you can also take as much or indeed as little as you need meaning that you can experiment with new things and new meals without getting stuck with something that’s not up your alley and not over spend or have waste that you’ll be tempted to eat. Like opening a box of pasta for 2 and devouring the whole thing in one sitting together. At least make that pasta cover 2 meals for 2! Beans and lentils are rich in both protein and fiber and are particularly cheap when bought dry and from the bulk bins. Soaking beans might sound like a hassle but if you’re already planning your meals for the week, it’s just one extra step really. To save even more time, you might consider investing in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. One upfront cost might be to get some airtight jars to store them in. Put them on a shelf (avoid placing them in direct sunlight), and they have the added bonus of making your kitchen look pretty homey too.

Brown rice, cucumber, tomato, green peas, red cabbage, chickpea, fresh lettuce salad and cashew nuts.

Shop Seasonally and Locally!

The farmers market can be a big win for your health and budget. You can find fresher, locally grown food that may actually be cheaper than what’s at your grocery store. Plus you’d be supporting small business along with eating healthier! So if you come across fresh produce at your local farmers’ market, then, by all means, add them to your week’s meals!

Veggie Ratatouille

Go Big or Go No Frills

Consider investing in an annual membership to a wholesale market like Costco, especially if you’ve got a family. Or shop at a no frills, plain packaged kind of store like Aldi’s, they keep prices low in part by forgoing all the fancy frilly packaging, store design, and display cases. But, get your quantities right on your store list. The savings you make by bulk buying will disappear if you don’t eat what you buy before it goes bad. Plan ahead and figure out what can be stored in the fridge, what has good shelf life, and what you can freeze for later. If you’re freezing food, write the date on the package or container so you don’t have to guess whether you should keep it or toss it when you defrost.

Ready Set, Cook

You had a bulk mindset when you bought this stuff, and to really unlock your savings, you should adopt a bulk mindset when cooking. Set aside a few hours on a Sunday (or whatever day is most convenient) putting together three or four dishes that can be frozen in batches to give you the benefits of variety and economy. My husband and I meal prep 4 lunches for 2 and 3 dinners for 2 every week. And while you’re putting food into containers, make sure portion sizes are in step with your weight-loss goals. Or take the guesswork out of the equation and use Ultimate Portion Fix containers to assemble your meals, then freeze. (Don’t freeze the containers themselves!) If you are not measuring your portion sizes you could not only be consuming too much food and costing more money. By keeping foods at the correct portion size you will be trimming your waistline and also trimming costs.

Make it Public

Use your blog or Twitter/Facebook or a public forum or just email to let people know how your meal plan is going. Or get a partner and report to each other. Making it public or having a partner gives you accountability and motivation, and works like a charm. Don’t skip this step.

The Bottom Line

It may seem daunting at first to plan an entire week of healthy meals, shop, then cook it all. But if you stick with it and start meal prepping on a regular basis, you’ll figure out what works/what doesn’t work, and you’ll save yourself time and money. I know Keith and I found we actually have more time during the week to live life instead of being stuck in the kitchen. And Sunday meal prep has become an us thing we do. And because we are doing it together, it takes less time and we are both then taking charge of our nutrition and health. So get your whole family in on a fun day of meal prep and cooking. It will bring you closer, help you be accountable and if you have kids, teach them healthy nutrition.

 You can find a sample meal plan below along with some free planner pages !

If you’re looking for accountability or help with meal planning or nutrition I’ve got you covered as well!

*This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a small commission if you purchase something by clicking my link. Thank you!


would you replace stress and anxiety with relaxation, calm, and renewed focus

21 Days of Meditation for Relaxation, Calm, and Less Anxiety!

Teamed up with the premier meditation app, Unplug, BOD is bring you a 21-day guided program that makes meditation quick and easy, even if you’ve never meditated before. In about 10 minutes a day, Unstress can help melt away stress and anxiety, lift your mood, and calm your mind. It allows you to set the tone for a great day and may help turn negative emotions into feelings of positivity and gratitude.

We’ve got the Themed Meditations from Unplug – from a mediation for Back to Sleep to Melting Stress Away to Restorative Mediation… you’ll be able to try it out and find something that really works for you! There is also the I am MEDITATED series from Elise Joan. These short meditations are designed around the affirmations from the Barre Blend program and could easily be incorporated into your morning routine (who doesn’t have 4 minutes!). And, finally, we’ve got mediations from the Beachbody Yoga Studio, including a specific Stress Relief Meditation.

21 unique meditations led by a variety of top meditation instructors from the Unplug App.

A “getting started video to help you understand the program.

A 21-day daily meditation calendar to follow!

Best of all, there’s no additional cost. What are your experiences? I’d love for you to try one from the Relaxation + Meditation and they are ready to stream in your Beachbody On Demand library now! If you select the 3-Month option you can try BOD for 14 Days FREE (and can cancel anytime)!! Try it today and let me know how it goes!

*This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a small commission if you purchase something by clicking my link. Thank you!