Blog Posts by The Succulent Wife

  • Yoga Complements

    By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor

    yoga complements FeatureI do not consider myself a yogi, but I do practice yoga and also teach it. I feel I have a good understanding of asanas (poses) and their Sanskrit names. I understand the different styles of hatha yoga; Ashtanga, Iyengar, Viniyoga and Anusara to name a few. I understand what pranayama is. I have studied the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Eights Limbs of Yoga. I have read the

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  • Every Woman Needs a Thingamaboob

    By Audrey van Petegem, Senior Editor

    thingamaboob logo While spending the summer in Ontario, Canada I noticed many women with the same pink keychains. Attached to their keys is a pink string with 4 cascading balls, from small to large. After seeing it on several occasions, I felt there had to be something to these keychains so I finally asked a woman about it. She told me that it was her Thingamaboob . Her what?

    She explained that she is a breast cancer survivor and a Thingamaboob helps remind women about the importance of thingamaboob regular mammograms. The largest bead indicates how big the lump (a size of a cherry tomato) needs to be for you to feel it during a self exam on your breasts. The smallest bead indicates that if you have regular mammograms then a lump (the size of an apple seed) can be picked up at its early stage. As we all know, the earlier the detection, the greater the chance of survival. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Thingamaboob reminds women to have a mammogram

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  • Bloggers Unite for the 'Burden of Thirst'

    B loggersUnite , in conjunction with WaterAidAmerica and , has invited bloggers to spread the word about the condition of water in developing countries: 4000 children die each day due to illnesses from lack of clean drinking water.


    Clean water is essential for life but 1 in 8 of the world's population doesn't have access to it. WaterAid is looking to raise awareness about the need for clean water in developing countries, to convey the message that sanitation is a critical sector in human development outcomes.

    Diarrheal diseases caused by poor sanitation and unsafe water kill more children than AIDS, malaria and WaterAid - the Congo Conditionmeasles combined, while in Africa diarrhea is now the biggest killer of under-fives according to a recent study in The Lancet. Some 4000 children dies needlessly every single day.

    These are avoidable deaths; we have known their cause and the means to reduce them for generations. Watching children die who we can help to flourish is simply unacceptable.

    Beyond the direct impact on health, WaterAid reports that lack of sanitation severely impacts other areas of human development. Children sick with diarrhea miss days on end from school, girls drop out of class because of a lack of sanitary facilities, while repeated illness stunts intellectual development. People chronically sick with diarrhea and other diseases related to unsafe sanitation and water are unable to work, while large proportions of health budgets are spent trying to treat these preventable illnesses, diminishing the economic prosperity of developing countries. ( Source )

    Having lived part of my childhood in the D.R. Congo, a cause like this one is close to

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  • Personal Safety 101

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    Life Skills 101

    Life skills basics that every teen & young (and not so young) adult needs to know


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    Home » Life Skills 101 Personal Safety 101 7 September 2010 No Comment

    Ok, so I thought I had given my 18 year old son all the basic instructions so that he could get along, on his own, without mommy being around. Cooking, laundry, managing a checking account and writing a check, writing thank you notes, sewing a button, ironing a shirt… But it seems that there was a huge gap in my teachings: personal safety on the streets.

    This realization became a pressing item to address when Pam, a good friend called to let me know that her son had been mugged - just a couple of days after having dropped him off for his college freshman year! HE IS OK. But I don't even want to think of the horror of getting such a call at 1:00 am when you are 800+ miles away from your child.

    The story in short: Drew, the son in question, was walking back home with a group of new college friends when they Personal Safety on Campuswere accosted by another group of youths that were selling drugs. I don't have details on the situation, but know that the exchange between the two groups degenerated, with the "hoodlums" running off with Drew's brand new, latest model iPhone. Insulted, he looked to retrieve the phone, only to be assaulted and beaten to the ground. Friends called 911 and Drew spent the remainder of the night in the ER, being tested and scanned before being sent back to his dorm. We now jokingly call it "the Good Assault", meaning that though Drew had two black eyes and other nasty bruises (physical and emotional, I'm sure), he was lucky that there were no severe injuries. AND, this was "good" in the sense that it created an excellent wake up call for the rest of us: TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL SAFETY!

    I'm feeling horribly embarrassed and guilty that I never directly gave my own son advice for his own safety as he left the nest. We like to think that our older kids are

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  • The Climb of My Life, Scaling Mountains with a Borrowed Heart

    By Audrey van Petegem , Senior Editor

    the climb of my life Kelly PerkinsWe all have the stack of books waiting to be read. I have mine on its own shelf in the family room. There sit all the books I plan to read this summer (yeah, right…). One such book that I have been wanting to read for a while was finally selected by our book club this month. It's Kelly Perkins' book (a fellow yoga student), titled " The Climb of My Life, Scaling Mountains with a Borrowed Heart ". It is based on her true life experience needing a heart transplant at age 32 and how her love for mountains helped heal her and bring purpose back to her life.

    Kelly grew up loving the outdoors in Lake Tahoe, California. Her husband, Craig, also shared this love and both were especially drawn to mountains. At the beginning of their marriage they planned a trip to hike up Mt. Whitney in the California's Eastern Sierras. At 14,496 feet this is the tallest mountain in the continental United States. Ironically, Craig did not make it toKelly Perkins author the climb of my life the top. They

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  • Summer must haves

    We have all been sooooooo looking forward to the summer months. Time to kick back and chill, sleep-in a little, have friends over for BBQs and spend as much time as possible close to a beautiful body of water… Here are a few of our favorite "essentials" that will help us proclaim, very loudly, that "summer is here at last"! Sun Hat: Outrageously stylish but functional too. These raffia Madagascar super wide brim sun hats are the best excuse to want to stay shielded from the sun. Wear the brim up or down. Gorgeous, darling. Buy here. Beach Bag: A large canvas tote bag with rope handles is the epitomic symbol of summer. Especially when it's as adorable as this one from Boden. It's equally perfect for farmer's market runs as it is for beach outings. Barefoot Sandals - Audrey discovered these barefoot "sandals" while surfing the internet. How fun are these to stroll along the beach or wear at home while entertaining in the back yard. Or for a beach wedding. Plus for $14.95, you can get a

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  • Updated and Revised: Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

    Christine Northrup, MD, just released the newest version, the latest of four, of Women's Body, Women's Wisdom on June 1st, 2010. The release coincides with her new PBS special "Christine Northrup; Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom" (check your local PBS listing here).

    I bought the original book in 1994 and read it as my own personal bible. The first copy got me through fertility, pregnancy and postpartum issues. This latest copy will see me through the next stage in my life, menopause, with the latest information, material and studies.

    I appreciate Christiane Northrup's straight forward explanations about medical issues and how she connects our physical self with the mind and our emotional self. Dr. Northrup covers everything you want to know in this 931 reference page book. She gives us permission to feel the way we do and covers topics that we may be curious about and/or may not feel comfortable asking about.

    If there is one book that every woman should own, it is this

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