• Good people, it is 73 degrees today! I've opened almost all of the windows in the house and am spotting daffodils triumphantly ready to unfurl all over the knob our house sits on. @glennbenglish served this reuben with @chopshopbutchers pork pastrami, homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut for lunch as a strong breeze swept thru the house and shook things up. YESSSSSS!
  • Clowning around. || Huxley tried out Tiny Tots Circus Playtime at Toy Boat Art Collective today and really enjoyed it!
  • Chatting about existentialism, and contradicting ourselves, and winter over on small measure today. || Into the woods behind our house.
  • Players gonna play. Huxley and his buddy Bay, doing their little guy thing today at the perennially lovely @thencarboretum.
  • The garden got blanketed with what I'm hoping was winter's last gasp this past week. I'm ready for those snow-covered strawberry beds in the foreground to start putting out juicy fruits, for Huxley to dig in his sandbox again, for cocktails at sunset on the pergola, and for conversing with soil and seeds once more. Spring is coming. Really started to feel it this weekend.
  • Scotch eggs of supreme deliciousness can be had on the regular at @kingjamesavl. @glennbenglish and I savored these beauties today alongside dirty rice fritters, gumbo with poutine, and @sunbursttrout smoked trout dip, all wonderful. There was also a pint of Appalachian Brewery porter that I have to have more of. Oh, and old school White Stripes on rotation. Great food, great atmosphere.
  • Confession: until last night, I had never had honest to goodness snow cream. @glennbenglish whipped up a tasty batch with vanilla and nutmeg, and we enjoyed it alongside @oldworldlevain's heavenly frangipane tartlettes with fresh cranberries, orange peel, and cinnamon. Snow-pretty AND tasty.
  • Scattered, smothered, and covered. Snowy day in the cove!
  • We three Englishes do so very much love snow. Forecast to receive between 3-6 inches tonight! @glennbenglish captured Huxley and I taking in the view on his way back to the house after locking up the chickens.
  • Woke up to overnight snowfall, always a treat. Then heard from my neighbor Lynn, a licensed massage & bodywork therapist, that the snow was preventing her from getting in to her clients in town and, as a result, she had an opening in her schedule and could give me a massage. Whenever she travels, I pet-sit her cat Sophie, and in exchange she trades me a massage. Not only is she a seriously stellar masseuse, she also is an aromatherapist, a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner (a kind of Japanese acupressure technique), and is certified in neuromuscular therapy. So when I get a massage from her, I receive this healing trifecta involving scent, body, and spirit. Plus, in all honesty, I feel like this woman is actually imbuing my body with love when she works on me. I left her house feeling light and bright, and nourished. She has offices in Asheville and Johnson City, TN (the home massages are reserved for family and neighbors!). If you're looking for a rich, wonderful, deeply healing massage, please consider Lynn. You can find her information at || I passed our bamboo grove and its tiny creek on my walk over to Lynn and Steve's; it somehow spoke to me of good things in store.
  • Woke up to this view. Some kind of wonderful!
  • Spotted Quench in the wild today.Always a thrill to see my books out in the big world, and rubbing elbows with friends @thejoyofcooking, no less!
my sponsors
budha hill natural toysImagine Childhood
Imagine ChildhoodBlissful Belly
Sponsorship Information
blog archive
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008

Blissful Belly Coloring Journal (+ Giveaway!!!)

Blissful Belly 2Blissful Belly
When I was pregnant with Huxley, like any woman carrying their first child, I felt an intense array of emotions. Ecstatic, anxious, blissful, scared, sometimes all of them within the course of an hour (or, on particularly rough days, less). I questioned my mom and my father’s wife about their birth experiences, asked my mom friends about theirs, and turned to quite a few books (Birthing From Within was just what I needed to hear, the way I needed to hear it).

Now that I’ve had a baby, I know what to expect. Not that each birth isn’t different, should I have another child. It’s just that, well, I’ve been down that path, I know where it goes, and I know where it eventually ends up, even if there are some unforeseen branches or boulders encountered en route. I’ve felt kicking in my stomach for the first time. I’ve experienced what it is like to have your unborn child hiccup inside of you (it’s freaky; that’s just honest). I know now the sensation of my water breaking, what a contraction feels like, and when your body gives you the head’s up that it’s time to push (full disclosure for those not in the know: you feel like you’ve got to “go”, now).

What would’ve been wonderful during the pregnancy, though, was a space that was just for me. A place to chronicle my experiences and chart my journey and convey my fears and hopes without worry about  judgement, admonishment, or correction. A pregnancy diary, of sorts, with images of round mamas-to-be, mamas in labor, and mamas with their new ones, reveling in and recovering from the birth process. Drea of These Little Joys has created exactly what I’m talking about.

Her Blissful Belly Coloring Journal is a wonderful means of positively directing the avalanche of emotions and questioning pregnant women often experience. As she details it, the journal will aid in allowing you to:

*Take time to relax and enjoy being pregnant.
*Put yourself in the same state of mind you will be in during birth (right brain mode).
*Give yourself the gift of presence and peace.
*Coloring is relaxing and fun, let your inner artist out.
*Connect with your baby and let yourself envision a peaceful birth.
*Take the words of encouragement contained on these pages with you into labor.
*Recall the calm you felt while coloring as you are birthing your baby.
*Calm your nerves, allow yourself to focus your intention.
*Decorate your birth alter or nursery with your finished images.

Drea sent me the PDF of the coloring journal and it’s truly lovely. Each image she has rendered is full of love and compassion and, well, just kind of a sense of “understanding.” As a mother of three, she’s definitely travelled down this road before. Lucky for us all, she’s offered to give away a copy of the journal to one small measure reader. Yay! Whether you’re pregnant or have a sister/friend/daughter/niece/aunt/loved one who is, Drea’s journal will be most welcome.

The journal comes in an electronic file format, a PDF, that is then printed out by you. That’s why having an email address attached to your entry is very important. Drea will use the winning email to send you the file. To be entered in the giveaway, simply leave a comment here. It can be about anything related to pregnancy, or just “pick me!” I’ll run the giveaway for one week, concluding next Thursday, July 3rd, midnight EST. Since the giveaway comes in an electric format, international entries are most welcome!

I wish you all the best, and thank you Drea for both your small measure sponsorship and for your generosity with the giveaway!

20 Responses to Blissful Belly Coloring Journal (+ Giveaway!!!)

  • Barbara Bretherick says:

    My best friend is about to have her first grandchild–her daughter is expecting in November 2014. I would love nothing more than to present her with this precious, creative, resourceful gift! As a side note–we didn’t own a TV while I was pregnant for our two (now-grown) girls, so my husband and I colored each evening–a passing-the-time, bonding-with-one-another, totally-calming activity that we still remember fondly after 34 years!

  • My sister and her wife just found out YESTERDAY they’re pregnant with their first child, this would be such a lovely way to start their pregnancy journey together! so….pick me!!

  • Ashley Thompson says:

    I would LOVE this, it would send positive vibes as we are currently trying to conceive!

  • Amber Leonard says:

    I am 7 months pregnant with my second child and trying to stay sane with all the pregnancy emotions and the recent passing of my father. These images are beautiful and would be a wonderful gift for anyone.

  • Hey Miz Ashley! Wow! Time has flown since I first started following your blog 5 or 6 years ago and I love watching your evolution both personally and professionally! As for me, I’ve recently remarried and with this great man comes plans to try for a little one of our own. So, long story short, the writer and artist in me would totally dig something like this :) Either way though, keep doin’ your thang and long distance cheers from Oregon! – Aimee/EcoGrrl

  • Kris says:

    I would love to gift this to a dear friend who just asked me these same questions Drea includes in her beautiful book. Pick me please! What a great giveaway!

  • Jen says:

    I *love* this! I’m pregnant with our first child right now and how you describe your first pregnancy is exactly how I’ve been feeling. What a lovely giveaway.

  • Alysha says:

    Pick me!! I’m pregnant with my first child due the beginning of December. This would be a lovey keepsake of this pregnancy!

  • This sounds like such a lovely resource to have!

  • Becky says:

    Pick me! Despite good preparation my delivery and first week went far a field. As we begin to think about another child I really feel the need to process and prepare mentally and emotionally

  • Amanda says:

    I totally get where you’re coming from! My first pregnancy was amazing, with every new twist and turn an eye-opening marvel. I’m halfway through my second pregnancy now, and while it’s still a marvel, time is surely flying by! This book is beautiful. What a lovely way to help one slow down and take it all in!!

  • kels says:

    Wow! This looks like the perfect journal for me. I’m four months in with my first and I love artsy opportunities for expression. Thanks for offering this book!

  • Anja says:

    I would love this, especially as we are trying to conceive at the moment

  • Kasey says:

    This lovely book is a gift, and one that I would enjoy giving to the next friend or family member that is pregnant!

  • Cat K. says:

    This is so beautiful! Would love to have this in my stash for someday down the road. Just gorgeous, and so empowering!

  • Becky says:

    Expecting my first September 27!

  • Amy says:

    I need this for my best pregnancy!!! (#6 !)
    What a perfect meditative practice <3

  • Megan says:

    This would be such a perfect thing for us to record this time and memories before our little girl comes in November!

  • The images are so beautiful and I think this is a wonderful idea. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  • beth says:

    goodness, this is so perfect. i’m 11 weeks with my fourth! and freaked out, and way too busy (others are 20 mos, 3 yrs, 5 yrs!), and in very much need of something to slow this pregnancy down! thank you.