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    Thoughtworthy (Beginning Yoga, Recharging Wool Dryer Balls, and MORE!)

    November 2, 2018 by Brandy Vencel


    :: 1 ::

    For a number of years, I have wanted to try yoga. When I turned 40, someone said to me in passing that the best thing she ever did was start yoga when she turned 40 and I found that thought appealing. However, comma, leaving my house is not appealing — especially since half the time my older teenager has my car.

    I know there are a zillion yoga channels on YouTube, but most of the beginner videos I attempted assumed I knew things I didn’t, or were so woo-woo that I just couldn’t. All of that changed when my best friend introduced me to Sarah Beth Yoga. She doesn’t make too many assumptions, and she’s not too woo-woo. Win-win!

    The goal I’ve been working toward is to master her beginner videos (freebies on YouTube), and not only has it been great fun but I’ve easily pulled it off 4-5 days a week, sometimes twice a day! I love it. I mean, at this point I’m only capable of something that could be described as glorified stretching, but I’m enjoying it.

    Any advice for me? Have any of you managed learning to do yoga without going to a studio?


    :: 2 ::

    I’ve been using organic wool dryer balls for five months now. I love them, and I love that I’m not buying dryer sheets. (SO MUCH LOVE today in this post.)

    With that said, I washed a couple large loads of blankets in preparation for winter and they seemed to lose all their power! SO much static and they even looked a little funny. I did some research and ended up recharging them (at least, that’s what I’m calling it) and it was so successful I thought I’d share.

    All I did was throw them in with a regular load of laundry — that took care of their strange appearance. The static issue, however, didn’t go away until I added foil to my dryer. That’s right! Foil. I took a couple smallish pieces of normal aluminum foil and rolled them into little balls about the same diameter of a quarter. I threw them into the dryer with the balls and the load and ta da! Everything was all better.

    I’m pretty sure something I read in my chemistry book last week about charges explains what happened, but I’m still a bit dim in my understanding. Possibly something about metals donating electrons? Hmmm. I probably should have narrated that reading…


    :: 3 ::

    Mystie’s doing another round of Sweep and Smile and it’s not too late to join in! This program is so great for habit training yourself and this time around she’s focusing on morning and evening routines.

    This starts TOMORROW (November 3, 2018) so if you want to sign up, don’t delay!


    :: 4 ::

    I recently subscribed to The Habit, a weekly writing tips newsletter from Jonathan Rogers. It was so good I printed the latest issue out for A-Age-13, who passed it on to E-Age-16 once she was done. I highly recommend it.


    :: 5 ::

    This month in 2014:

    I wrote this post as I first tried to understand what Miss Mason meant by The Way of the Reason. Also: I took this photo! Siah took me to Santa Cruz Island for our anniversary or Valentine’s that year (can’t remember which) and it was so gorgeous. The spring is a great time to visit the Channel Islands. ♥


    :: 6 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • The Two Different Temptations Facing Young Evangelicals from First Things
      • “So, for example, the first highlighted person, a young woman named Alexandria Beightol, says that she was ‘pulled out of Smith College’ when she told her parents she was ‘rethinking the legitimacy of anti-gay theology.’ This is another way of saying that she is rethinking orthodox, biblical Christianity.”
    • Why the NSA Called Me After Midnight and Requested My Source Code from Medium
      • This was SO interesting to me!
    • THE BOOKISH LIFE from First Things
      • Because one First Things article is never enough…
      • “The act of reading — office memos, newspaper articles on trade and monetary policy, and bureaucratic bumpf apart — should if possible never be separable from pleasure.”
    • There’s a sudden surge of trans students coming out at my college … and I’m scared to talk about it from The College Fix
      • “There is no doubt in my mind that there is a social contagion among college students. At my school, it is trendy to be transgender, and to people who feel like they don’t fit in, particularly with other people of their biological sex, choosing to transition to the opposite sex, and become a member of the opposite sex, may certainly seem like a more viable option than continuing to feel rejected while trying to fit in.”


    :: 7 ::

    And finally, for your ears, we have the latest Scholé Sisters episode:

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  • Reply Alanna Hendon November 29, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    I loved the P90X yoga. It’s 90 minutes (insert ghost-y face emoji), however the first 40 min taught me more about how to stretch than anything else due to the format. I could do what I could and felt like I had learned something even without finishing. It has been hard to get back around to after 2 babies in 2 years, but I did discover Miranda Esmonde White on PBS doing Classical Stretch for 25 minutes every morning. Her stuff is under the Esmonde technique or Essentrics online. She has studied, loved and does what she teaches. She trains and rehabs pros in sports and dance. It has truly improved my knowledge of my muscles and my posture and flexibility in those 25 minutes.

  • Reply Arenda November 4, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Hi Brandy! I’d also like to chime in with a word of warning about yoga, even yoga that’s just stretching in your home. This article sums it up really well:

  • Reply Charise November 4, 2018 at 8:37 am

    If you decide you aren’t comfortable with yoga, Pilates is a great alternative. It’s similar to yoga in the sense that you can work to perfect your skills over time. The perfectionist in me thrives on that. 🙂

  • Reply Brenda Thorpe November 4, 2018 at 5:23 am

    I love Sarah Beth Yoga. I have been practicing yoga on and off for 8+ years using online videos. Although I’ve gotten close to intermediate, I feel like I’ve always had to start over with the birth of each babe. Another series I love is Yoga with Adriene. She is more bubbly than Sarah Beth and reminds me to smile!

  • Reply Becky November 3, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Oh Brandy, I want to warn you about yoga. To be honest, I wanted to make my own video classes at one point and earnestly started to study it, at one time I felt strange about it so I asked my priest and he was fine with it…but I wanted to combine it with prayers, specifically the divine mercy chaplet. I was never able to do the prayers while doing poses-weird! Well, it turns out that every pose is for a specific god! AKA a demon and you are calling on them. Do you know the most common yoga injury is a slipped disc. A great exercise we enjoy is t-tapp! There is more information about yoga, on the Vatican website there is a document that talks about why Catholics should not do it, but if you want the most compelling testimony check out Zachary King (all saints ministry) he has an amazing conversion story! I know you are not Catholic but Christians must look out for one another and build up His Kingdom! God bless you my friend!

  • Reply Chalise November 3, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    I recently began yoga last year myself. I’ve also done some Sarah Beth yoga. I also love Caroline Williams yoga on YouTube. She has a lot of beginner videos and videos under 20 minutes.

  • Reply Sarah Jonnalagadda November 3, 2018 at 8:42 am

    What a coincidence! I just discovered Sarah Beth Yoga a couple of weeks ago and love her beginning yoga video. My 4 year old follows along too! My husband is an Indian Christian, and very wary of yoga, but she does it more like stretching and exersize…it’s definitly not religious in nature. The 10 minutes video is so great to wake me up in the morning.

    Ps…the primal organics deodorant is still going strong and we purchased the full size version. Love it!

  • Reply Ann-Marie November 2, 2018 at 11:40 am

    I love yoga and tend to do it in waves…when I really need it most 😉
    I have never been to a yoga studio and to be honest, I don’t think I would relax enough to do it anywhere but in my home. I do yoga for relaxation. I tend to be a bit anxious at times and do things that are totally anti yoga lifestyle—just imagine the opposite…shallow breathing and not stretching at all 🙁
    I use Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube

    I think you would love her too, Brandy! I don’t do anything extravagant…just the ones to help me breathe better and stretch. I especially love the stress ones and yoga for the neck and shoulders *where I tend to keep my stress these days*. She even has her dog with her when she does it.
    I began it before menopause and it really helped when the time came too. It is wonderful you are beginning at 40! I wish I had.
    I try to include my boys with me when I do it too. Sometimes it works and sometimes it is the complete opposite of relaxing, lol!
    Have a great weekend, Brandy 🙂

  • Reply Rochelle November 2, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Brandy. I have appreciated all your wisdom and aid as we started a CM homeschool journey! I saw that you are going to try out yoga and wanted to give you an alternate to yoga called Praise Moves (just add a .com to go to the site). Yoga is part of Hinduism and the poses are in response to the many gods of Hinduism. I know you’re a Christian so I wanted to alert you, but also give you an alternative that is stretching and has Scripture (memory) verses that are incorporated. I’ve really enjoyed the Praise Moves class I tried.

  • Reply Julie Zilkie November 2, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Love your insight about laundry balls…will definitely try the foil! On the same note, we have moved to these for our washer, and will never go back to soap again. The same thing, the magnets change the molecular structure of the water to make it slippery, which allows the dirt to slip off. Basically, this is exactly what the soap does, but without all the harsh chemicals!!

    • Reply Brandy Vencel November 2, 2018 at 10:30 am

      WHOA. Julie, it is hard for me to believe that this is for real. I want to try! I notice in the notes it says you might still want to add bleach (we use an organic booster) or spot treatments. Do you still do this? Are your whites white? Do your clothes smell okay? Tell me more! I am so interested…

      • Reply Julie Zilkie November 2, 2018 at 10:40 am

        Yes, to all of the above. We still add spot treatments as needed. Clothes smell fine, as I use the same dryer balls you do, and just add some essential oils to those from time to time. I was a skeptic, too, at first, but in reading the reviews I saw a woman who watched cats for a living, and when she said it worked to remove the smell of cat urine, I was sold! We don’t have cats, but I figured my dirt and odors, couldn’t be worse than that! They have a guarantee, so you are pretty safe to try. I would love to hear if you do! I have been telling people slowly but surely!

        • Reply Brandy Vencel November 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

          Two more questions:

          1. Can you wash a load with cold water and still have them come clean?

          2. How many magnets do you need for a normal size washer? Is this two-pack sufficient?

          I think I’m going to put this on my Christmas wishlist. 🙂

          • Julie November 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm

            I use warm water, and they work fine. I have not tried them with cold water. I just use two magnets for my normal size washer. Hope this helps!!

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