Category Archives: Mindfulness

New Year Self-care Jump Start, Day 3

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Good morning, beauty! Today’s little mission for self-care is to make a small corner of your life organized and calming to look at. No need to spend the whole day cleaning house, but tidy up a small corner you use a lot. Clean with loving intention, perhaps meditating on your good fortune at having warmth, shelter, and a place to call home.


A good, small spot to focus on might be your desk, your bathroom counter, your vanity, or a kitchen cabinet. (That’s my kitchen cabinet above, and you can probably tell from looking at it that, 1. I don’t have a lot of pantry space, and 2. I’m kind of a birth junkie. Yes, that’s a printout of an Alex Grey piece taped to the inside of my cupboard. Makes me happy every time I look at it.)

A tidy space is calming to the psyche, and there is even a school of thought that says living in clutter contributes to overweight. I believe that a calm environment brings a sense of peace and a feeling of competence. How about you? Do you thrive on a bit of chaos or do you need order in your personal space? Let us know in the comments!

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.

Three Ways to Hit “Reset” on a Bad Day

mommiedearest reset a bad dayIt’s 10am and your day is not improving. You woke up to last night’s dishes in the sink (don’t you have an agreement that when one of you cooks, the other one cleans?). The kids are whiny and hangry and your partner hasn’t texted you back about that Really Important Thing you texted about three hours ago. You feel frustrated, alone, and ready to scream Mommie Dearest-style that you’ll cut the next person who has the nerve to ask you for something.

Slow down, mama. You don’t have to lose your cool. You can reset this day to move on to happier things AND model for your kids how to deal with stress and disappointment in a healthy and productive way. Win-win!

Here are three of my favorite ways to hit Reset on a bad day:

1. Get outside and into the sunlight. This is a great reset for stressed-out mamas and cooped-up kids alike. Getting into the sun for a little walk gives you crucial Vitamin D, raises your happiness hormones, improves immune system function, and reminds you that you are part of the living world and not just dusty furniture in your living room Island of Isolation. When everything else fails, get outside.

2. Sing out. Instead of yelling at your kids, say it with song. Try a silly operatic trill, or belt out a soulful blues number. “So-faaaaaaaaas! are for booooooooootaaaaaaaaays,” I will sing to my kids in my best R&B diva voice when I’ve asked too many times for the monkeys to stop jumping and I feel my yell coming on. Singing to them this way confuses them into stopping what they are doing (jumping on my couch like wild people), and it signals my brain that we’re not in a crisis situation that will only be solved if I commence screaming in 5-4-3… (My brain was raised by parents who screamed. Left to its own devices it would make some silly, misguided decisions sometimes.)

And if you’ve already started yelling and the day is looking grim, it’s time to call in the big guns:

3. Paging Captain Do-over! This is a code word my kids and I use when things have gotten out of hand, voices and words are unkind, and we need to get back to the present moment and remember that we actually like each other. “Captain Do-over!” we yell and almost immediately we stop grouching and fall into a hug. It takes a couple of seconds to feel that calm, safe, feeling of oxytocin flooding our system (mmmm, sweet bonding hormone we get from hugging and smelling kid heads)  and then we can start the process of repair. For the yelling mama, this is a great time to apologize and start over. I’ll say, “I’m sorry I spoke so rudely to you. I was feeling stressed out. What I meant to say was that sofas are for booties and I’d like you to sit quietly and read for a few minutes. Will you please do that? And then we can go outside and run around and get our energy out? Great! I love you. I’m sorry I yelled. You are so special to me.”

They will often start bouncing again, or doing some other annoying thing until we get dressed and out the door to get some sun and start our day. But at least we have all calmed down and I’ve taken responsibility for stopping the bad day before it gets too out of hand. When things are calm and the mood is good, I’m better able to deal with the little stresses: the whining kids, the non-responsive husband, the pile of dishes. They still annoy me but they don’t have to hijack my day– or my kids’.

Want more support dealing with the stress and isolation of motherhood? Get in touch, mama!

Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who loves offering real-world holistic coaching for mamas who want to consciously cultivate big lives that get them totally fired up.  Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and rocks a tiny homeschool in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She believes that connection can change your life.   Read more about her here.


It Takes a Village: Online Moms Groups Forming




New Moms’ Online Support Groups are now forming for January 2015.

Motherhood is a job that comes without training, and it often comes without the support that new and even seasoned moms need to really flourish. The demands and fluctuating roles of women and mothers can be so hard to balance. You nurture your partner, your kids, your career, your community. Chances are you are focusing on everyone else first. And then there are all the worries and doubts. Do you worry that you are you a “bad mom” for taking time for yourself? Or feel you are losing yourself in family? Are you having a hard time balancing work and kids? Or a stay at home mom who is all stressed up with nowhere to go?

I can help you learn tools and mindset skills for prioritizing your own wellness, getting closer and more fun relationships with your partner and kids, and getting a handle on your daily routines.




Who: New moms and veteran moms. First-time moms and any mom with kids under 18. We’re all in this together.

When and how: This online mentoring and support group meets on once a week at the time that works best for you.  Thursdays 6:30-8pm or Thursdays 8:30-10pm or Saturdays 8am-10:30am.

Our group will meet for 8 weeks beginning January 22nd. You will need phone, a Gmail account and time set aside to call in each week. That’s it!

What’s included: Every week we will start with a check-in and group share. Then we’ll dive into the week’s topic. These may include:

  • Myths of motherhood
  • Common parenting pitfalls that no one tells you about- and how to avoid them
  • Positive parenting skills
  • Simple mama mindfulness
  • Navigating parenting decisions when your beliefs are different from those of the people around you.
  • Carving out “you” time, and…
  • …nourishing creativity, body, and spirit when you get it.
  • Healthy foods your family will actually eat- without being a slave to your kitchen.
  • Support for your changing hormones, changing status, changing feelings, changing body.


Group cost and details:  $25 a week, paid by the month with a two month commitment.  Group starts on January  22nd 2015 and will run for 8 weeks. There is space for up to 8 participants in each group.


About your coach: Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is a Certified Health Coach, Certified Holistic Life Coach, and Licensed Holistic Skincare Therapist living and working in Alameda, California. She’s a wife of 10 years, and mom to a homeschooled 1st grader and a home-birthed baby.  She brings additional knowledge from her training as a labor- and postpartum doula, and her in-progress training as a childbirth prep educator. Kirsten’s clients appreciate her warm and non-judgmental approach to helping new moms in particular navigate the sometimes-choppy waters of parenting.

Space is limited to 8. Contact Kirsten to reserve your spot. Let’s build a village together!



A Hot Pot of Miso Soup

My family is sick: the husband with a sore throat, the baby with the start of a sniffle, and the kid with a glorious case of Overdoing-Just-Need-to-Stay-Home. I feel like a jersey cow for an insatiable nursling and a nursemaid with hot tea and sympathy for everyone else.

I had expected a fun holiday weekend! There were barbecues to attend and beaches to sloth on. The kiddos’ need for comfort and my husband’s need for space begin to push my buttons and soon the inner martyr in me starts up inside my head: SHE never gets to rest when I’m sick. SHE never sleeps in. SHE never gets comfort when her throat hurts.

I take a deep breath and choose, today, to not complain at my annoying family. Tweet this

…this annoying family that I love with every part of my being but who know better than anyone exactly where I keep my goat. 1-Mississippi-2 Mississipi-3, and I remember the hot Cold Care tea my husband made me two nights ago when I was feeling run-down. 4-Mississippi-5-Mississippi-6 I remember the extra sleep I got while he took the baby for endless bounces around the living room and I rested with a lavender sachet on my eyes and a Yoga Nidra meditation coming in through my earphones.

7-Mississippi-8 Mississippi-9…

Tweet: It turns out my inner martyr is being a bit of a bitch.

I take a few more breaths and pad into the kitchen to make my peace offering. My inner martyr keeps quiet while we eat miso soup together. It’s salty and warm and it’s good for what ails us.

I want to take beautiful pictures for you but this is what my life- and my soup- actually looks like.

(I want to take beautiful pictures for you but this is what my life- and my soup- actually looks like.)


Want to make miso soup? Continue reading

A Midnight Craving

thanks to Flickr user weelakeo for this image

thanks to Flickr user weelakeo for this image

The ice cream is in the freezer.

I hear its sweet song, creamy and cold, calling from the kitchen below. It’s after 11pm and I know that I need to be asleep an hour ago if I want to function at all tomorrow and still wake up for my 5:30am spin class.

I’m trapped between a softly snoring baby and my six-year-old, who fell asleep somewhere around chapter 8, where Harry and Ron Weasly visit Hagrid for tea and rock cakes.

My husband is two spots over, next to the six-year-old. He smiles at me over the Sunday crossword we’ve been inching through together. He’s very tall and he’s maddeningly thin despite his very sporadic exercise habits.

I know very well that thinner does not equal healthier by default. tweet this

But it’s hard not to be jealous when I compare my slightly doughy mamma curves to the sharp way his Don Draper suits hang off his angular frame just by virtue of genetic good fortune.

Eventually he gets his tall, thin self out of bed for a glass of water.  The baby is a night-nurser and while I’m typically hungry all day, I’m ravenous after 9pm. So as he leaves I whisper I’d be ever so if he’d bring me a little snick-snack.  Nice fellow, he obliges, returning a few minutes later with the good, raw milk steaming in its blue cup. With it, a handful of almonds.

If I stayed awake there is no doubt I’d be hitting that ice cream. But I’m trapped and it’s late so I eat the almonds and I drink the milk and I listen to my kids breathing softly. Right now I’m glad of my body’s roundedness. It makes a soft landing for her little head and his gangly Kindergarten leg, its knobby knee jutting into the curve of my mamma hip.

They breathe and I breathe and it’s enough. Right now, it’s enough. I go to sleep.



Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic living expert who offers real-world wellness coaching  for people who want to beat the blues and build self-esteem using nutrition and holistic lifestyle methods. She also offers skincare from the inside out consultation for anyone who is tired of the beauty hype and is ready to have vibrant health and glowing skin.  She works online and by phone. Kirsten lives happily, works gratefully, home-schools secularly, dances inexpertly, paints badly, cooks traditionally, and nurses on demand in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more about her here.