My Personal Ministry Mission Statement

First of all, if you’re reading this, I want to say thank you!

In entering my 30’s, I have been asking God what he has for me in life, what He wants me to do, and how He wants me to serve others.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

Recently, He gave me a very clear mission statement, and I am in the process of exploring how He wants me to live that out. It’s a scary process, because I have faced struggle in each of the areas He has placed on my heart, and I definitely don’t feel equipped. But I am leaning in to the promise that God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called! It is not by my strength that I step out into my calling, it is His strength which will carry me.

I am still in the process of discovering how I am meant to live out my mission, but I believe the first step is to speak it out and set it in motion.

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” Habakkuk 2:2

It is my hope and mission in this next season of life to exhort the women in my circle, my influence, and my community to walk in Faith, Femininity, Freedom, and Fullness.

Faith: To live in unwavering trust and surrender to our Heavenly Father. To place our hope in Him and the eternal life He gives us; not in men, material things, or our own strength. To present ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him, and to live a life of devotion to Him.

Femininity: To honor and cultivate the incredibly beautiful ways we have been created as women. To live in a way that supports our cycles. To revel in what makes us unique as women. To embrace our desire for beauty by creating beauty in, on, and around us.

Freedom: To unashamedly and with abandon, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Unshaken by culture and the opinions of others. Unbound by ungodly expectation.

Fullness: To live a life that is full of wonder, awe, passion, and beauty. To live fully alive, not dead or apathetic in the spirit. To live fully nourished; physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Neither lazy nor striving.




sanctification noun

sanc·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌsaŋ(k)-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

1 : an act of sanctifying
2a : the state of being sanctified
b : the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion

And in this case, a blend of carefully curated oils meant to ground and uplift during a time of great trial and distress. To roll on the temples at night. To roll onto the ribbons of your Bible or Devotional. To be applied to the wrists as a perfume. It has a light, woodsy, botanical scent.


If you’d like to make it yourself…and a little bit about each oil from Young Living:

10 Drops Sacred Mountain

“Sacred Mountain™ is a blend of Ylang Ylang and conifer oils that evokes the sense of sanctity found in nature and promotes feelings of strength, empowerment, grounding, and protection when diffused.”

10 Drops Valor

“Valor essential oil blend is one of our most popular products and a favorite of founder D. Gary Young. Its woodsy, positive scent comes from a blend of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense.”

10 Drops Bergamot

“Bergamot essential oil’s effervescent citrus aroma makes it a great addition to your morning routine and to liven up your household chores. The yellow-green peel of this orange-shaped fruit is cold pressed to produce pure essential oil. While Bergamot has a primarily tart and uplifting aroma, there are also sweet and relaxing elements, making it a popular addition to perfumes.”

10 Drops Frankincense

“Frankincense essential oil has a broad range of uses, from enhancing spiritual and meditative practice to use in beauty routines. Frankincense has an earthy, uplifting aroma that’s perfect for grounding and spiritual connectedness. Create a safe and comforting environment by diffusing this oil’s empowering aroma, particularly when you are seeking purpose or engaged in prayer or meditation.”

With Organic Sweet Almond Oil as a carrier oil.


Those who sign up as a Young Living Member with me during the month of August will receive Sanctification as a welcome gift! (DM me for more info or Sign Up Here)

“In wisdom’s house you’ll find delightful treasures and the oil of the Holy Spirit”

  • Proverbs 21:20 (The Passion Translation)



Organic Anti-Aging Matcha Bath Salts


Hi Friends! Exciting stuff! My mom and I have set up an Etsy shop where we will share our handmade items! However, I want you to be able to make them for yourself if you choose, so I will share our recipes!


I chose this recipe because of the fun, energizing, and detoxifying ingredients. And the end product smells absolutely DIVINE (think, Lush). If you’d like to make them yourself, here is the recipe I used: Matcha Tea Anti-Aging Bath Salts


We used homegrown organic Lavender buds from our garden to make ours, and I always use Young Living Essential Oils when I am making my own spa products.

To learn more about Young Living products, go to my Linktree Cupcakes and Conquerors and click on “Become a Young Living Member”. Everyone who signs up as a Young Living Member under me in the month of August will receive a special welcome gift!

To shop our Bath Salts, check out our Etsy shop! Purchase Our Organic Anti-Aging Matcha Bath Salts Here!

Happy Spa Days!


$15 Off Daysy! And a 2020 Pledge.


Hi Friends!

Phew! These last few months have been a wild ride…I hope you’re hanging in there…

I have been doing my best to focus on strengthening my relationship with Jesus, friends and family, building up a healthy body, and trying to get out in nature as much as I can.

In a previous post, I had written about my experiences with seed cycling, and learning about my cycle. Daysy has been a very useful tool in helping me to see what is going on on a deeper level and make lifestyle adjustments that have built me up spiritually, emotionally, and physically, instead of tearing me down. And if you’ve ever been on a “health” journey, you know exactly what I mean!

Since then, I have decided to partner with Daysy in order to get their products to my friends at a discount. I believe this is in complete alignment with my goal of helping women (especially) to understand their bodies better, and to make informed choices about their own health.

On a heavier note, because of the current plight of child sex trafficking ravaging our world, I am pledging to donate every penny I earn through commission with Daysy in 2020 to Operation Underground Railroad OUR

Follow the link below to Shop! Pictured above is Daysy 2.0. She’s super sturdy, comes with a USB charing cord, and connects via Bluetooth to an app on your phone. I finally ordered this beautiful, handmade wooden case, made by Elkwood Arts, “a licensed vocational facility providing training and community support services to intellectually and developmentally disabled adults, while producing quality, hand-made wood products. Each box is unique and was machine made from a single block of black cherry hardwood.” It is protective with its dual magnetic “clasps”, and looks gorgeous on the nightstand.

$15 Off Daysy

Mares Eat Oats and Does Eat Oats (a recipe for Blueberry Baked Overnight Oats)

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This week started out with a lovely day in Bodega Bay, collecting rocks, trying delicious homemade Russian Food and playing music at Russian House #1, and enjoying fresh air and a bit of light exercise. The rest of the week continued as usual with teaching, a few good workouts, and a sauna sesh. All normal things, but I’ve been extra moody this week (hello, hormones!). That’s ok, though. I like being aware because it gives me power over what I think are “my emotions”, and it also helps me to remember to have a bit of grace with myself.

Health-wise, I started seed cycling a couple weeks ago! For those of you who don’t know, seed cycling is a holistic method of balancing hormones by rotating consumption of seeds throughout your cycle. I started in the middle of my cycle with Sesame and Sunflower seeds that I made into snacks, following Natural Fit Foodie’s recipe. When I do my meal prep this week, I’m going to make the same recipe again, but with Pumpkin seeds and ground Flaxseed for the start of my next cycle. They’re great as snacks, and I love having extra superfoods in my diet!

There’s tons of information out there about seed cycling and eating for your cycle, but I love this post from Natural Fit Foodie.

How to Cycle Sync Your Diet (with recipes)

I could geek out on this stuff for days, but for now, on to the main event – this delicious Blueberry Baked Overnight Oats recipe (where’s the heart eyes emoji?!)

I’m back home visiting family for the weekend, and because they have NO food in the house (although there’s generally an abundance of farm fresh eggs and meyer lemons, I seriously feel like I’m foraging every time I come home! haha) I decided I needed to make a couple family sized meals so we could eat healthy meals together, and so they could have some leftovers for the start of the week. I made Fed & Fit (Cassy Joy Garcia’s) recipe for Taco Beef Casserole last night, which was a huge hit, and my own recipe for Blueberry Baked Overnight Oats for breakfast this morning. I have been loving oats this winter because they make my stomach feel settled and satisfied. They don’t always work for everyone (this recipe is not Paleo, or Keto, or Vegan, or Grain-Free), but I’m eating to feel good, and over the food fear!

There are lots of recipes out there for baked oats, but what is special about my recipe is that I used the traditional method of soaking the oats overnight to break down the phytic acid and make the oats more easily digestible. Soaking oats overnight makes them tender, which makes this recipe a bit chewy (al dente), soothing and warm, and kind of like a breakfast pudding. It can feed a family of 6 in one pan. You can tweak it to your liking. You can eat it plain, or with all the add-ons. You can have it fresh out of the oven, or make it on a Sunday and have breakfasts on-the-go for a week!

Blueberry Baked Overnight Oats:


2 c. Gluten-Free Organic Rolled Oats

1 3/4 c. Water

1/4 c. Plain Kefir

A couple scoops of collagen (optional)

1 T. Ground Cinnamon

1 t. Baking Powder

1/2 t. Sea Salt

1/4 c. (or less) Raw Maple Syrup or Honey

1 t. Vanilla

2 Farm Fresh Eggs

3 T. Melted Butter

1 Pint Fresh Blueberries (or Berry of your choice!)


The night before, soak the oats in the water and kefir in a sealed glass dish.

In the morning, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F on the bake setting. Mix in the remaining ingredients with the soaked oats, and pour the mixture into a 9 x 5-inch buttered baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon on the top, and bake for 35-45 minutes until set, but a little wobbly. Serve plain, or with your choice of toppings – milk or cream, toasted nuts, nut butter, maple syrup or honey, whipped cream….have fun with it!

Wishing you a restorative weekend, and a successful week ahead!


Mandie ❤

Hungarian Cabbage Roll Soup

Ok, following through with my commitment to myself to write something once a week…..

Today is an unusual day for me. I took the day off from teaching back home in Newcastle because tonight I have a Gatsby themed ball at the studio I’ve been taking Ballroom Dance lessons at. I’ll be dancing Cha Cha, Salsa, Rhumba, Waltz, Tango, and Samba! A long list, and I don’t feel prepared, but I know I’ll have fun anyway!

I’m feeling much more intuitive about what to eat and how to move my body lately, and I love not putting a label on my diet. I eat real food. And dark chocolate. If there’s a birthday party or a special event with dessert, I’ll eat the dessert if I want it. More often than not, I’m finding that I don’t, because I like feeling good. I have 4 slices of Tartine Bakery’s Chocolate Soufflé’ Cake from my birthday that I haven’t touched, for goodness’ sake! I know the time will come when I’ll want a slice, and it will be there for me then. But it feels so good to crave whole foods in moderate portions, and not feel like food rules me.

Anyway, last week I was craving a soup inspired by my family’s Hungarian Cabbage Rolls. I love soups in the winter, and once a week I’ve been concocting soups and stews in my brand new, beautiful Staub. A nice big pot of soup gives me inexpensive dinners for a whole week. They’re soothing, and I like that I can be in control of what goes in them. This is what I came up with after a bit of tweaking, and I really enjoyed it!

Hungarian Cabbage Roll Soup



A few tablespoons of Salted Butter (I used the little bit of TJ’s French Cultured Butter I had left, as well as some good ol’ Kerrygold!

A drizzle of EVOO

1 Organic Yellow Onion, chopped

Several cloves of Garlic (If you’re Italian like me, that means the whole head), minced

1 lb. Protein (I used TJ’s Grass-fed Ground Beef, but this would taste great with a combination of beef and pork, which is what my family uses in our Cabbage Roll recipe)

Smoked Paprika (I used TJ’s, because I forgot to bring back some for myself when I was in Budapest a couple summers ago *distressed cry* – but the Smoked stuff was super yummy)

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste (use your judgement)

1 large can of Organic Diced Tomatoes (I used TJ’s because I basically live there)

3 bags of TJ’s (again) Shredded Green Cabbage

About 1/4 c. Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother

2 Cartons of Kettle and Fire Bone Broth (I used Chicken, because it’s what I had in the pantry, but next time I’ll use Beef)

You could also add white rice, which is something else we put in our Cabbage Rolls, but I omitted it this go around, because I generally have my grain in the form of Oats, or a Sweet Potato with breakfast. Personal Preference.


Raw Sauerkraut

Organic Sour Cream


To Make:

Sautée the Onions and Garlic in the Butter and EVOO (if you have people in the house, they’ll start asking what’s for dinner now). Add in your protein. Season with Paprika, Salt, and Pepper. Cook. Add in the Cabbage, Tomatoes, Rice (if using), and top it all with two cartons of Bone Broth and the ACV. Let it simmer covered for an hour and a half or so. Taste, and add more seasoning if needed.

Serve with a dollop of Organic Sour Cream, a spoonful of Raw Sauerkraut, and a dash of Paprika.

Simple, Soothing, and Yummy!




Afternoon Tea at the Casebolt House

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What a day! There’s always something about Saturdays. Maybe it’s the play and excitement in the air, the relaxation the weekend brings for week-workers, or the time and space to explore and have adventures. I know it’s Saturdays like these that I’ll look back on with Gratitude, and look forward to with excitement!

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On top of glorious weather, I got to spend the day in the city with some of the most talented and passionate women I know, sharing afternoon tea and fun. One of the ladies in our society opened up her home to us (San Francisco’s historic Casebolt House), and graciously served and doted on us. She was a beautiful example of someone who uses their gifts and talents to bless others.

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Our day began with a social hour, then on to a program prepared for us by another member of our ladies’ society,who is a retired law enforcement officer. She talked about learning to be Miss Congeniality, dealing with difficult people and difficult situations, and changing cortisol levels/boosting confidence through assuming a “superhero stance”. We also received uplifting words from Madam State Regent, encouraging us to take the future.

Our brunch was a lovely array of tea sandwiches (my favorite being a homemade mango chicken curry encrusted in sliced almonds), homemade deviled eggs, stuffed endive, cups of broccoli salad or veggies and dip, crostini with blue cheese, sliced cucumber with cream cheese and smoked salmon, lots of lovely scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd, and delicate petit fours.I stuck with mainly vegetables and protein, but I did have a little sandwich, and I decided I wanted to try a mini lemon bar, and a petit four. I went in to today knowing that sweets don’t make me feel great, but if there was something that really appealed to me, I would try it, but buffer it with protein, healthy fats, and fresh vegetables. And I am thankful that I have moved out of the place of feeling like I am a slave to treats.

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The rest of the afternoon we spent lazing about on the purple velvet sofa, soaking up the sun, and giggling over paging mishaps and panties.

On my plate: Endive with a sort of cream cheese spread, cucumber slices with a cream cheese and horseradish spread and smoked salmon, a mango chicken curry tea sandwich, 1 whole deviled egg, broccoli salad, veggies and dip (in my teacup!), a mini lemon bar, and an almond petit four.Processed With Darkroom

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My afternoon ended with a search for the perfect birthday cake for my dad. I decided to walk to the new Ginger Elizabeth location with the hopes of finding a cake there. They didn’t have one made, but I did some of my Valentine’s Day shopping, and ogled the pink La Marzocco espresso machine ♥️
Cakeless, I decided to head over to Tartine Bakery, one of our family’s favorites. I shared a Lyft with a couple other girls, but once the other two were dropped off, it became apparent that my driver was a bit too desperate for a Valentine, so I decided to take Uber back to the Casebolt House after I found the cake 😬 I decided on Tartine Bakery’s Dark Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé Cake. I’ve tried it before, so I know it’s decadent and just perfect.

Ginger Elizabeth’s pink La Marzocco! And Rose Hot Chocolate?! I have yet to try it!Processed With Darkroom

Although it sounds like I had an indulgent day, I started it out with a homemade no-fruit smoothie packed with protein, fiber, greens, and healthy fats, stuck to mainly protein and vegetables at lunch with a couple bites worth of indulgence, and finished the evening with a salad I picked up in Davis on my way back – mixed greens, steak, beets, squash, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes, and instead of dressing, I asked them to toss it with a little EVOO ☺️ So yummy, and it made a great, quick dinner while I babysat my little cousins!

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“Happiness is a thing to be practiced”


Disclaimer: unless you are a string musician, a nerd, or so bored out of your gourd with nothing else to read,  this may not interest you!

Well, it was time. After years of outdoor summer festivals, and a few of my youngster years not knowing how to best care for it, it’s time for a Violin Cleaning. Also, as this is a new age for me, of working towards my goals, shedding the bashful girl inside, pushing my own boundaries, and expanding myself as a musician and teacher, it is fitting that my violin should have a makeover, too! 🎻

A friend and colleague highly recommended Anthony Lane Violins ( in Petaluma, and since I’d always rather go with a privately owned business, I decided to give him a call! I told him I was desperate and needed to get in ASAP, and he was able to fit me in right away!

A little bit about my violin: I searched far and wide for my instrument. I tried nearly 100 Violins from large shops, privately owned shops, as well as from Bay Area makers. I even tried a violin in Paris, but none of them sang for me. When I was performing in the Emerging Artists Program of the Mendocino Music Festival in 2007, I met and played with a Violist who happened to work at Heaney Violins in Mountain View. I told him about my search for a violin, and I told him exactly what I was looking for. An instrument with a rich, deep, vibrant tone. Something that sounded like chocolate. He told me he had a couple Violins at the shop that I should try. I don’t know if I’ll ever forget the day I found my violin. My mom and I took a day trip over to Mountain View, and I got started trying out violins, but none of them sparked anything in me until this one was brought out. I picked it up and played it……and cried…….I knew it was the one for me by the way it sang for me (maybe that’s what it’s like to find your soulmate).
I think I remember someone once saying that our instruments are not a part of our history, but we’re a part of theirs. Sometimes I wonder what stories my violin would tell if it could speak. From the time of its making in France in the mid-1700’s till now. Had it been passed down in gypsy families? Maybe it was the prized possession of a lonely aristocrat? Or maybe it belonged to normal people like me through the ages, offering its history and beauty everywhere it goes. In all the years it has been mine, this realization didn’t hit me until now. It may not be a Guarneri or a Stradivarius, but it is my responsibility to preserve and care for it to the best of my ability, so that generations after me can enjoy all it has to offer.


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Rosin caked up on the fingerboard and the body. Gross. Tony said the back was in really good condition. Also, my fingerboard was worn down from the years of playing. This is a thing that happens, and it needs to be leveled out from time to time. Tony checked the seams to make sure there were no openings, and said he would fine tune my bridge, although he said it looked like it was in good condition. He also suggested that we replace the tail gut, and the E string fine tuner. I had no idea that these things impact the sound, but apparently they do! Strings I was using: Evah Pirazzi G, D, and A, and Pirastro Oliv Gold E.



I KNOW RIGHT?! I could not sleep a wink the night before picking it up! Which didn’t serve me well when I had to actually get up and go. And believe me, I did everything I possibly could to speed up the falling asleep process – a bubble bath, hot tea, my Audrey Hepburn inspired silk sleep mask, you name it! I ended up having a marvelous day, though, despite the lack of sleep, and plenty of coffee kept me going.

Tony spent a good hour with me getting my violin ready to play. He taught me how to correctly string the instrument, and warmed each string up by rubbing and pulling the strings to accelerate their settling time. We both took turns playing it with our different bows, and Tony experimented with three different E strings in order to choose one that fit my instrument. We tried the Pirastro Evah Pirazzi Gold that I brought (it came with the set that I ordered), and he also tried a Jargar E, made in Denmark, and a Pirastro Eudoxa E. We decided on the Eudoxa which really seemed to open up my sound. Tony also spent some time adjusting the sound post which he said is really solid. I was so happy to hear how impressed he was with the solidity of my instrument, and how it has been so reliable all these years. He taught me a bit about how cracks in instruments are patched up and showed me where mine has been repaired in the past. We listened to some Western Swing, and talked about teaching and the joys and challenges it brings. I left a happy girl with an instrument I am so excited to practice (I can actually play Perfect 5ths somewhat in tune now haha). It took some time to coax my sound back out – I think my violin was a little bit miffed that I put it through all that – but once it came back out for me, it was sweeter than ever 🙂

I grabbed coffee at my favorite, Acre Coffee in Petaluma, and Lamb with Asparagus and an arugula salad for lunch at Sugo Trattoria. I will need to go back within the next few months to have my Bridge replaced, so if any of you are up for a day trip, let me know!

And one of my all-time favorite quotes:

“Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin” – John Lubbock