Midweek Mashup


Happy Thursday!  I hope you are having a fantastic week.  And, if you aren’t, I hope you find a little bit of happiness here at Cultivate Wellness.

I plan on writing a longer, more thorough blog post about my recent experience being interviewed on our local NPR station, but in the meantime I wanted to post the link so you can listen for yourself.  Remember that post I wrote about the horrible swimsuit spread in Discovery Girls magazine?   It created quite a bit of discussion, including with the host of our morning news show on Minnesota Public Radio.   She decided to dedicate an entire show to the topic of body shaming in young girls, and asked to interview me.  You can listen to the entire show here.  I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts on it and keep the discussion going, so please share and comment!

Speaking of people struggling with body image issues, I read this piece, entitled Fat Dad: The Coffee and Cigarette Diet recently in Well section of The New York Times and it touched my heart.  I thought it was lovingly written.  So often we talk about women and body image, but it’s a good reminder that men struggle with this issue too.

Do you love potato salad as much as I do?  I love it in all forms: with celery, with egg, with mayo, with vinegar.  Dill, parsley, scallions, mint.  It’s *all* good in my book.  Here’s a healthy, delicious looking red, white and blue potato salad just in time for Independence Day.

Have a great rest of your week, whatever you have planned!

As always, I’d be so grateful if you shared my blog with people you think would like it, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, via email, or word of mouth (or all!).

You might also like:

Last week’s Midweek Mashup

Bikini Body

Potato, Carrot and Leek Soup





Friday Cocktails: The Great Gatsby

Friday Cocktails

Writing this blog is so hard.  I mean, just last night I was sitting in a bar asking the bartender to “Surprise me!” and make me something fun and summery.  All for the sake of this blog.  I know, right?!

I have been wanting to bring you weekly cocktail recipes on Fridays so you can go into your weekend with some fun new ideas.  I absolutely love trying new cocktails.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  But, it’s challenging to make a new cocktail each week without totally breaking the bank buying all the ingredients.  Orange bitters, Angostura bitters, cointreau, curaçao, simple syrup, not to mention all that actual liquor.  I said as much to my blogging friend and blogging co-conspirator K.C. (her blog Word Savvy is so great) and she recommended I just go out and order the drink.  It’s like the heavens opened up and the angels sang.  The idea was that good.

So back to last night when I asked the bartender to surprise me, and out came something called The Great Gatsby.  Made from three simple ingredients: grapefruit juice, Lillet Blanc, and vodka, it was light and a tad sweet but not overly so.  The flavors were bright thanks to the citrus. It was refreshing and easy to drink after a sweaty round of golf. If you want a sweeter cocktail you could add a few drops of simple syrup or a sugared rim. My bartender served it up in a martini glass, but you could also serve it in a stemless wine glass with ice.

Overall I give it an 8/10 and will probably buy some Lillet Blanc so I can make this easily at home.  It would be a fun alternative to a vodka tonic and just as easy to make. Here’s the recipe:


  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce Lillet Blanc
  • 2 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice


Fill cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodka, Lillet Blanc, and grapefruit juice. Stir until cold. Strain into ice-filled glass. Garnish with a lemon or lime twist.

So, three cheers for the Great Gatsby!  Happy Weekend!

Cocktails! Prickly Pear Margaritas

Weekend Cocktails! Brandy Old Fashioned



Midweek Mashup


It’s Thursday!  The weekend is almost here!  I wanted to tell you about some blogs and links that I think you would enjoy.  I regularly check into these blogs for great information that I feel makes my life better in some way.  I hope you feel the same!

Word Savvy is written by my super talented writer/teacher/mom friend K.C. who has the most interesting take on so many topics.  From literature to child rearing to her pithy observations on life, I think you’ll just love her.  Make sure to sign up for her weekly-ish email  newsletter, too.  I look forward to reading it each time!

Sally at Real Mom Nutrition takes a very realistic approach to nutrition and wellness.  Her philosophies on nutrition and feeding kids is especially helpful for anyone in the thick of raising little humans.  A Registered Dietitian, her sensibilities really align with mine and I think you’ll love her.

And if you’re looking for some easy dinner recipes for the heat of summer, I think you might appreciate The New York Times collection of simple suppers.  I know I will be referring to this collection of recipes throughout the summer during the hottest of days, when I’d prefer to be spending my time having cocktails with neighbors or laying in the hammock with my daughter instead of in the kitchen.

Here’s to a great rest of your week!  As always, I’d love to hear from you, and don’t forget to share!

Speaking of summer and cocktails, you might also like my post with a refreshing martini recipe using herbs straight out of the garden (or grocery shelf — who am I to judge?).  

Herby Vodka Martini

Cruel Summer


Summer has officially started in our house.  My 11 year old daughter just finished her last day of school on Thursday.  I realized that I’ve noticed a pattern started to emerge these last several years: I tend to overschedule the first couple weeks of summer.  I get so excited about all the options available to us that I say YES! YES! OF COURSE! to just about everything.  I enter this weird mindset which leads me to believe that summer days have infinite hours in them. Last night I looked at next week’s calendar and almost cried.  Golf tournament (hers). Sleepover (hers). Concert (mine). Float-in movie at the pool (ours). Golf match (mine). Golf match (hers). Professional networking night (mine). Not to mention the regular everyday life activities like meetings, swimming, tennis and golf practice, getting my daughter packed for camp and my part time job.  Are you crying along with me yet?

I love my enthusiasm.  I love how active we are as a family. And everything we have planned sounds like so much fun.  And to be fair, summer here in the north is short.  We work hard here to enjoy all those sun soaked days because we know they are numbered. But as soon as I publish this post I am going to write a reminder on my calendar for May 1st of next year that says “Hey there!  Just a gentle reminder that you tend to get a little too excited for all those fun things people will invite you to, and maybe don’t say yes to every single one.”  (What can I say, it sometimes takes me many years to figure stuff out.)

Because when I think of summer, the first thing that comes to mind is long unstructured days of reading, sipping iced tea, naps.  Sure, it’s unrealistic to expect every day to be that way.  Plus I’m pretty sure I’d be bored within a few days minutes. But I’m going to prioritize setting aside plenty of time that isn’t planned.  In fact, studies show kids and families are happier when they have ample time to just “be”.

How do you manage your summer calendar?  What tips do you have to share?  And also, I’d love to hear what summer activities are a “must” for you and your family?  Please comment and share!

As always, if you like reading my blog, I’d be ever so grateful if you’d pass it along or share it on social media. HAPPY SUMMER!