Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday discounts for members!

Membership has its privileges! Holistic Moms members can enjoy a number of fabulous discounts this holiday season. Click here for an overview of some of these great deals. Members should have received specific details and codes in an email from the national organization.

Membership costs $45/year for an individual (or $60/year for a family membership) and is tax-deductible. Approximately half the fee goes to our local chapter to pay for snacks, mailings, supplies, copies, advertising and other administrative costs. The rest goes to support the work of the national organization.

The easiest way to join Holistic Moms is through this online membership form (and secure credit card payment). Membership fees paid by check and a paper form are also possible. There is also a Helping Moms in Need program to which moms who can't afford the fee may apply.

Membership is for one local chapter only. If you're close to more than one chapter and want to join two or three, there is an additional cost of $25/year per additional chapter. You can add an additional membership at the online membership form.

HMN Members are able to participate in all of our meetings and other events, including Moms Nights Out, playdates and outings. Once you join HMN, you'll be added to our local chapter email loop where you can share information and post questions to other chapter members and weigh in on chapter event planning.

You'll also be invited to join the very active national HMN email loop, a fabulous source of information (and anecdotes) on every holistic topic imaginable, with searchable archives. This list is approaching 2000 members (from around the U.S. and Canada). Digests and web only options are available!

If you're interested in membership for the Arlington/Alexandria chapter and have additional questions, please email

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mindful Eating MNO

In early December, we had a wonderful Moms Night Out on the topic of Mindful Eating, or The Slow-Down Diet.

Holistic health counselor Cameron Rupprecht of Vitality in the City talked to us about how to eat for health, no matter what it is we are eating (which, she has found, often needs to be different diets for different people).

One of the key points was to chew your food! When we fail to adequately chew our food, our brain does not get the signal that we have eaten; we might get hungry again a lot sooner. Additionally, proper digestion starts in the mouth with digestive enzymes breaking down our food. If the work isn't done there, the stomach can't make up all the slack, and some of our food will go through our bodies undigested instead of nourishing us. Be sure to chew each bite at least 20 times (some sources say 40!) before swallowing. It helps to put down your fork in between bites!

Another helpful point among many in Cameron's great presentation is that nighttime is when our bodies detoxify, an important process that cannot occur (or at least not very efficiently) if our body is engaged in active work to digest and process food. Therefore, it's wise not to eat at least three or four hours before you go to bed. If you have to eat after dinner, keep snacks light to something that can be digested easily and quickly (usually more toward the carbohydrate end than the protein end).

There were lots of other great tips shared, and it was educational and enjoyable to learn from each other, too, including sharing how we deal with mealtimes with our kids, manage our own eating needs while nursing, and other challenges unique to moms.

Thanks to Cameron for giving such a great talk and to Natalie for setting up this Moms Night Out!

See an article about sleep by Cameron in our January chapter newsletter, edited by Natalie and available at our monthly meetings and on the chapter member Yahoo group.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Creating Balance in Family Life -- this week!

Our December meeting on the topic of "Balance in Family Life" will feature Life Coaches Carolyn Semedo and Suzanne Couming Caldwell. These self-employed moms will lead us in interactive exercises that will help us identify our values and use these values for planning and decision-making. Learn how to shame the “shoulds” and to get in touch with what you really want!

Goodbye, “overwhelmed” and “conflicted!” Hello, “empowered” and “integrated!”

Join us on Thursday, December 17 for a powerful session of identifying our values and priorities and setting goals in alignment with them. Slough off that nagging disappointment and frustration to embrace fulfillment in the New Year.

For more information the December meeting speakers, please visit their websites:



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Coming Soon: One-Year Anniversary Party, January 21, 2010

Plans are under way for our one-year anniversary party to be held on Thursday, January 21, 2010, 7-9 p.m. in the upstairs Fellowship Hall at AUMC, 716 S. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22204.

Join us for a night of celebrating our holistic community!

A few of our chapter volunteers will be preparing a database of Community Supported Agriculture opportunities so people can sign up for shares before the subscriptions are sold out (usually mid-February to mid-March). This information will be available at the party.

We'll also have some refreshments (contact Mary or Jessica if you want to volunteer to bake or to help get donations).

Local businesses and holistic practitioners are invited to contribute donations of refreshments for our party as well as goods and services that we can give away as door/raffle prizes. Email holisticmomsarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com or call Jessica at 703-824-6167 for more information.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lots of things to be thankful for!

What an amazing group of women we are! Our speakers shared inspirational stories of education and healing. Katherine, Nina and Josie have made their holistic passions their careers, and we all came away with such a motivated sense of commitment. It was great to just sit and talk and share ... and give away generous prizes! And we collected donations for our host church's food pantry. What an amazing community this is!

Thanks to all the speakers for their time and donations, to Vicky for an additional donation/door prize, to new member Marybeth for sharing, and to everyone who came to the meeting. Thanks to Mary for working on a list of favorite websites of our members (she went through old emails to start a list! Send her others if you have them.)

We also talked about plans for the January 21 anniversary party. There is lots of room to help out for our celebration. Also, here are some photos of a great business meeting we had on Sunday morning before the Thursday meeting. The next business meeting will be December 5 at 3:00 p.m., location TBA.

Check out the flyers on our Yahoo member group site or the schedule to the right on this blog to see the great schedule of meetings we came up with for the first half of 2010. Thanks to all who attended the business meeting and helped flesh out this great program. Anyone with any expertise or interest in any of the topics, let us know and we'll see if there's any way you can help us prep for the meeting.

Little River Yoga is hosting us for a yoga/massage/relaxation Moms Night Out on Monday, December 14. The required minimum number of participants is 8 people. The time is 7-9 p.m., and the cost is $35. Let Jessica know if you plan to attend; RSVP by this Wednesday, December 2.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 19 Meeting - Sharing our Holistic Journeys!

Click here to see photos from this meeting and read more about the event.

Join us on Thursday, November 19 (7-9 p.m.) for a wonderful meeting of learning, sharing, and building community. Two chapter members will talk to us about their personal journeys toward holistic health and how they brought the personal into the professional.

Katherine Sumner, AADP, is a Board Certified Health Counselor who trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Nina Elliot is a Certified Personal Trainer who, with her husband, owns Health and Wholeness, a wellness studio focused on improving diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices. The company's tagline is "Health by Choice, Not by Chance."

We'll hear the inspirational stories of both members and have a chance to ask questions and share with one another about our own journeys.

Members have been asked to share their personal favorite webstites for holistic health (which we'll put into a handout). Below are some questions to think about prior to our discussion.

Please join us and find out just how many varieties there are of "holistic moms!"

Thought questions:
What got you started down a holistic path?
What was your a-ha moment?
Were there any times you had second thoughts?
What brought you back?
What haven't you addressed yet but want to?
What is next for you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pumpkin Patch!

Our group had a second pumpkin patch outing, this time at Ticonderoga farms, a great, low-key place that doesn't spray its pumpkins (or tomatoes or peppers, which are also available U-pick in the summer). We had a great time with the animals, on a hayride, on slides and on the playground.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Learning about Consumerism

We had a great turnout for the screening of Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood. Cathy Myers of the Family and Home Network and our own Michelle R. did a great job moderating the post-film discussion. We might try for an evening screening in the new year. Thanks to the Family and Home Network for organizing the screening along with Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool and Michelle R.

For more on the film, see the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Thanking our hosts!

Since June, our chapter has been meeting at Arlington United Methodist Church. The church is able to offset the cost for housing us in large part by its Pumpkin Patch fundraiser. The pumpkins are purchased from an Indian Reservation that harvests them sustainably. The Patch is open until October 31, after which time pumpkins are free to farmers or anyone else who wants them.

We appreciate the generosity of AUMC. HMN members contribute to the church's food pantry, which serves the homeless population of Arlington. We donated items to the bake sale for the church's Fall Festival, where we had the chance to share information with the community. Thanks to all the members who contributed delicious, healthy treats and to HMN member Michelle D. for organizing the bake sale donation. And thanks to AUMC for this wonderful opportunity!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Holistic Halloween?

We had a great evening discussion on how to have a more holistic Halloween. Thanks to member Michelle R. for going through all the emails on the national HMN listserv and putting together this great, succinct list of ideas. And thanks to everyone who came out and shared your thoughts, concerns, and ideas!

Be sure to check out

Here's Michelle's wonderful list!



Search the internet for ideas ● Shop at thrift stores for supplies ● Rent instead of buying ● Swap with friends ● Freecycle ● Donate old costumes


Chose latex masks over vinyl (unless your child has a latex allergy) ● Vinyl contains PVC and phthalates ● Latex smells like a balloon and vinyl like a shower curtain ● Create your own makeup using recipes found on the internet ● Use non-toxic makeup (Aveda, Real Purity, Logona, Lyra, Sante Kosmetics) ● Collect candy in reusable bags rather than plastic ● Decorate your own organic cotton tote ● Avoid glowsticks that cannot be recycled ● Use rechargeable flashlights ● Try beeswax candles instead of petroleum-based


Purchase organic/fair trade sweets ● Alternatives to candy include popcorn bags, snack bars, fruit leather, beverage boxes, raisins, honey sticks ● You can make your own treats, wrap creatively and include your address label to ensure safety


Distribute non-edible items like bubbles, playdoh, stickers, spider rings ● Shop at stores that promote fair trade practices ● Or save trinkets collected throughout the year, such as from party goody bags, and give those away ● Non-perishables can be saved for next year


Good old-fashioned rationing ● “You can have as many pieces as you are old” ● Donate the candy to troops overseas, nursing homes, etc. ● Invite the Switch Witch or Sugar Sprite to your house who exchanges gifts for candy while children are sleeping ● Glue the candy to cardboard and make a “gingerbread” house for Christmas ● Children can set up a candy store and use money earned from selling treats to buy other items on their wish lists


Have a harvest party instead of trick-or-treating ● Kids can trick-or-treat to each family for non-sugary treats ● Serve pumpkin pancakes or muffins, popcorn, veggie trays arranged like skeletons, hot apple cider in a crock pot ● Use Halloween cookie cutters on pita bread and bake in the oven to make little chips, or use cutters for cheese to place on whole grain crackers ● Organize fun games so parties are not just about food ● Make skeletons using Q-tips, pin the nose on the pumpkin/witch, “touch boxes” where children feel and guess what’s inside, painted pumpkins, pumpkin carving contests, bob for apples ● Organize a magical Halloween walk through the woods where children meet different characters in the forest


Trick-or-treat for UNICEF and raise money for children around the world ● Participate in Reverse Trick-or-Treating and distribute out fair trade chocolate with a handout on child slavery in the cocoa industry


Talk with your children about your family’s choices and empower them to make good decisions ● “We just don’t do that in our family” ● Tells kids that every mommy and daddy can decide for their own kids what to do


Participate in Fall activities prior to Halloween, such as visiting a pumpkin patch, going on hay rides, taking a hike and observing seasonal changes ● Make Halloween just a small part of the season and not the main point


Talk to friends and neighbors about your plans for a holistic Halloween ● Organize holistic trick-or-treating routes with other like-minded neighbors ● Learn more and join the Green Halloween movement at ● Put a “Green Halloween” logo on your door for visitors to see

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sensational Skin Care Meeting

What a lot of information our October speakers shared on holistic approaches to skin care! It was clear to everyone who attended that skin is not just a surface issue!

Honi Borden of Holeco ® Wellness Medi Spa encouraged us to see out "toxic-free" skin care products and not assume that an "organic" label means a product is free of toxins and chemicals that should not go into our bodies. She provided a wonderful handout and encouraged us to look at the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database at to read Stacy Malkan's book, Not Just a Pretty Face.

Dr. Marie Rodriguez, ND, explained that skin conditions are manifestations of internal issues. If the body is not able to excrete toxins effectively through more typical elimination routes, it has to use the skin. She provided great handouts on some typical conditions and what kinds of nutritional deficiencies or other issues they often point to. She also addressed body pH and discussed how acid/alkaline imbalance or an overgrowth of yeast can cause skin symptoms. The emphasis was on the fact that skin issues are symptoms that can give us clues about what is going on in our bodies. Skin problems are not issues we treat by themselves, lest we pump more toxins into our bodies.

Both speakers were kind enough to address in detail the questions members had submitted prior to the meeting. They also stayed long after the meeting to talk with attendees. Thanks to Honi and Dr. Marie for the wonderful presentations and for the great giveaways!

Handouts are available to members on our chapter email group.

Friday, October 9, 2009

October Meeting: Holistic Skin Care -- Nourishing Your Body's Largest Organ

Join us on October 15 for a presentation on how toxins and chemicals in our skin care products affect our bodies. We'll also address how overall health and wellness on the inside translate into skin health on the outside.

Honi Borden is the founder of Holeco® Wellness Medi Spa, the 1st Holistic/Non-Toxic Medi Spa in the US that has gotten the recognition of being a socially responsible green company by Green America. Honi has also developed holeco® life, a line of eco-conscious personal care, mineral cosmetics and super foods mindfully chosen to honor one's health, respect the environment and help families in developing countries of Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan & Kenya via its donation to International Lifeline Fund's project of "clean water" and "fuel efficient stoves". Holeco® Wellness Medi Spa has just relocated to share space with one of our sponsors (and the home of the new DC chapter of Holistic Moms), National Integrated Health Associates. Learn more at Holeco ®'s grand re-opening on October 20.

As a naturopathic physician, Dr. Marie Rodriguez uses medicines and therapies that treat the whole person. She incorporates a variety of treatment modalities in her practice: nutrition and detoxification, botanical medicine, homeopathy, biotherapeutic drainage, and lifestyle counseling. Dr. Rodriguez creates personalized care plans to address her patient’s immediate health goals with a focus on disease prevention. Through education, she encourages her patients to be active in their own healing process. In her practice, Dr. Rodriguez also uses craniosacral therapy (the topic of our September meeting). Dr. Rodriguez recognizes that healing occurs at physical, emotional, and spiritual levels, and strives to meet each of her patients at their stage of healing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood

Come see this film and join in a discussion. This screening is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network, the Family and Home Network and Arlington Unitarian Cooperative Preschool.
Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd. (Rt. 50 at George Mason Drive), Arlington, VA 22204
RSVP to film (at) familyandhome (dot) org
For more information on the film, see

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Holistic Halloween Discussion Night!

Our first non-meeting member evening! This discussion evening will be on October 22 in Alexandria (near Fairlington) and is open to HMN members (any chapter). If you haven't yet joined but plan to and want to attend, please email holisticmomsarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com.

Here's more info:
Are you a mom feeling haunted by Halloween? Interested in finding ways to make Halloween a little more holistic? Then join the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of HMN for a special discussion night devoted to Halloween. We'll talk about various ideas suggested on the national listserve, and you're also invited to share any of your own.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

September Meeting: Craniosacral Therapy

On September 17, we welcomed Nishanka Lahr (NCTMB, LMT), who spoke on the topic of "Craniosacral Therapy: An Alternative Health Care Option for Your Infant or Toddler." Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on technique that can address most any emotional or physical condition by supporting the central nervous system.

Nishanka spoke to the concerns of the attendees and even worked on a member and a member's son so we could all see what CST looked like! It was a hands-on and highly personalized meeting! Nishanka explained how she approaches her work with children and how it can benefit them -- and adults! -- in various ways: physically, developmentally, emotionally.

Nishanka's practice is family-focused. She works closely with mothers, infants, and todlers and has been practicing for over 21 years. Her work strives to support each client's innate wisdom. She is certified in CST, Myfascial Release, Somato-Emotional Release and Bio-Energetics. She is trained to work with issues of pediatric sensory integration and has experience with a wide array of conditions, from acute and trauma-related to chronic and complex.

For more information on Craniosacral Therapy, visit The Upledger Institute at

Friday, September 25, 2009

Playgroup at the Park! (and farmer's market)

A few of us met up at the Mason District Park one recent Thursday. We enjoyed shopping at the farmer's market, and our kids enjoyed playing on the playground and hiking in the woods. It was a lovely day to chat and connect!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fabulous Schooling Options Panel!

Thank you to all the wonderful speakers who came out to share their experiences with different schooling traditions and philosophies at our August meeting, "Schooling Options for the Holistic Family." We had reps from Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, Montessori, and Friends, a homeschooler, a yoga in schools instructor and two parents from Arlington. Thanks to Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment for some great info.

We had a great turnout, lots of helpful info and interesting Q&A.

Thanks to all the speakers and the members who helped out. And to AUMC for hosting!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August Panel on Schooling Options

Join us for a informative evening on Thursday, August 20 for a panel on "Schooling Options for the Holistic Family." We'll have representatives from many traditions, including Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Friends and homeschooling and a public school parent or two.

Welcome and intros start at 6:30 p.m., a half-hour earlier than usual. We will get started with the presentations right at 7:00. Space is limited, so arrive early to get a seat! Children are always welcome at meetings, but with so many speakers in such little time, we request that parents be prepared to take a break with vocalizing babes or active toddlers. We were considering offering childcare but have not had enough interest.

Location is the Sunshine Room at the back of the sanctuary at Arlington United Methodist Church, 716 S. Glebe Rd., Arlington, VA 22204.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July Family Potluck

We had a fun first potluck/social meeting in July. Our chapter really knows how to cook! Quinoa salad, roasted red peppers and eggplant, fresh pesto with veggies, rice and beans, banana coconut muffins and more ... everyone ate well! The next potluck will likely be for our December 17 meeting (but stay tuned to the site for updates).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June Meeting: Positive Discipline

Thanks to Dr. Rene Hackney of Parenting Playgroups for her wonderful presentation on Positive Discipline at our June meeting! This was our first meeting at our new location, and we thank Arlington United Methodist Church for hosting us!

From Rene's talk, we all learned a lot about empathy, positive intent and much, much more! Rene gave a great presentation and provided lots of thoughtful responses to our many questions.

Among the books Rene recommended were Becky Bailey's Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline and Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting. Rene also has a Positive Discipline workbook for sale that can be used with or without her Positive Discipline classes, which she teaches around the area and at Parenting Playgroups in Alexandria (and soon to come to Falls Church).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May Meeting: Nourishing Healthy Kids

Thanks to Monica Corrado of Simply Being Well and Cooking for Well-Being for speaking at our May meeting and rocking our worlds! A more detailed update and photos will come, and notes will be posted on the member group list, but here are the books Monica recommended:

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon


Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two and Baby's First Foods by Nina Planck

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Learing about Internal Balance and Detox

April's meeting offered a great exchange of information on holistic health in general and on detox in particular. Thanks to Dr. Tracy Freeman and Debbie McCabe, Reg. Naturopath, both of National Integrated Health Associates, for sharing such a wealth of knowledge! Detailed notes will go out to members soon, but one thing members and visitors surely came away with was the importance of maintaining the integrity of the gut for any and all health concerns. This includes assuring proper intestinal flora, ensuring active production and efficacy of digestive enzymes and checking for signs of malabsorption of food, food senstivity and yeast (Candida). The doctors maintained that most external issues -- including eczema and allergies -- often stem from a problem in the gut, where more than 80% of the immune system really lives.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring cleaning for our bodies!

Spring is a natural time to clean out the clutter -- in our homes and in our bodies, too! Just what do our bodies do with all the chemicals they encounter in our environment? Come to our April meeting and find out!

Our April 23 meeting will feature an MD and a Registered Naturopath who will talk to us about some basics of holistic health with a focus on toxicity. Dr. Tracy Freeman, MD, and Debbie McCabe, Reg. Naturopath, practice at National Integrated Health Associates in NW DC and have special interests in autism, ADHD, allergies, children's health and women's health. The title of their talk is "Holistic Health from the Inside Out: Spring Cleaning for Every Body."

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 23 at Alexandria's Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road. Directions at right. Children are always welcome to attend!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Taking a Pause: Mindful Parenting talk

Our March meeting was a wonderful presentation on "Mindful Parenting" by child/family therapist and parenting coach Francine Ronis. Francine began with a description of an upsetting scenario. She had us notice our reactions to her description and then led us through a visualization exercise, after which it was much easier to imagine clear-headed responses. Focusing on the now -- as opposed to an imagined future or to what a situation says about our own pasts -- can really help us to address issues as they are coming up for our kids, without all that baggage and instead just with what we see in front of us.

One strategy that can make a big shift in our relationships with our children (and with anyone else!) is to show empathy by mirroring back to a person what you heard him or her say. It doesn't help to tell someone not to worry, or that they're going to be fine. That just makes a person feel like you weren't listening or don't value his/her experience. Instead, offer just a restatment of whatever the person said, such as "You don't want to (do X)" or give a child the "feelings" language that labels what they are expressing: "It sounds like you are ... " (sad, mad, happy or scared, or some variation of the big four).

There were lots of great tips through Francine's talk and from questions and answers.

For more on mindful parenting, Francine referenced the following books:
Francine teaches "How to Talk" classes and leads Mindful Parenting workshops. Thank you, Francine, for your time!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 26 Meeting: Mindful Parenting

Our March 26 meeting will feature child/family therapist and parenting coach Francine Ronis speaking on the topic of "Mindful Parenting." Please join us at 7:00 p.m. (note the new start time so that folks can get settled and we can begin the meeting right at 7:15). This meeting and our April 23 meeting will both be at the Burke Branch library location at 4701 Seminary Road in Alexandria. (scroll down for directions on sidebar)

For anyone interested in reading on the topic, Francine recommends the following two books:
Clicking on the book jackets or links will take you to the books' pages at

As always, meetings are free and open to the public, and children are welcome to attend.

Chapter needs new meeting space!

Our chapter is looking for a permanent home for our meetings. The ideal location would:
-be free of charge or have a nominal fee (we are a non-profit!)
-have room for 50+ adults and some children in a private space (with at least a door separating our meeting from another public space)
-have ample parking and easy entry to the building
-allow us to have snacks
-be child-friendly/baby-proofed
-have easily-accessible restrooms
-have a sink in the room (not a must, but a definite perk!)
-allow us to reserve a regular meeting day and stick to it (such as the fourth Thursday of the month, or we could pick another day, but it would need to be every ___th ____day). We'd prefer not have a location that might need to bump us for their own needs, and we'd prefer not to have to request the place every single time we need it.

If you know of a location central to Arlington and Alexandria that can accommodate our needs, please contact Vicky at vicky68 (at) comcast (dot) net and Jessica at or call 703-824-6167.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fighting Fevers and the Flu in February

Our first monthly meeting was a lively discussion of influences on the immune system and strategies to deal with illnesses when they do come up. Chiropractor Cindy Durakis addressed nutrition and the role of stress in addition to discussing how structural alignment affects ear issues in particular. Dr. Chris Johnson gave a naturopath's perspective on health, including an overview of homeopathy. Both provided some great resources for folks to take home. We also shared an in-house list of a few favorite remedies and healthful strategies from some members. This and more detailed notes from the meeting will be available to members on our chapter email loop.

One thing we didn't have enough of tonight was time! When we look for a new location for meetings after April, we will for sure try to get a bigger room and make sure to book a full two hours. We could have kept talking well after the library closed, and some folks chatted in the parking lot for over an hour. What a great community! Please join us March 26 for a conversation with Francine Ronis on Mindful Parenting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Upcoming meeting topics and speakers - February, March & April 2009

Our first three monthly meetings will be in the meeting room of Burke Branch Library in Alexandria (4701 Seminary Road) on the fourth Thursday of the month, 7:15-8:45 p.m.

Topics and speakers are:
February 26, 2009:
“Building Strong Immunity in Cold and Flu Season: Natural Remedies and Prevention Strategies”

Dr. Cindy Durakis, DC, The Chiropractic Associates
Dr. Christopher Johnson, ND, Thrive Naturopathic

March 26:
“Mindful Parenting”

Francine Ronis, LPC, LLC

April 23:
“Holistic Health from the Inside Out: Spring Cleaning for Every Body”

Dr. Tracy Freeman, MD and Deborah McCabe, National Integrated Health Associates

Children are always welcome to attend. There will be light snacks available, and you are free to bring food for you and your children. Most meetings will have some kind of a door prize available to members. Membership forms will be available at all meetings, or you can join online at

We encourage you to check out a meeting before you join to see if this is a community you want to join. If you decide we are a good fit for you, we ask that you then become a member so that you can take advantage of all the benefits of membership.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chapter Launch Success!

We had a great group of folks turn out at our Chapter Launch and Open House -- around 70 of them! People said the gathering was energizing. Everyone enjoyed snacks, a information table and some great door prizes, and they left with goodie bags of even more information from local holistic and mom/baby/family-centered businesses.

We want to extend a big thanks to all the businesses, practitioners and individuals who donated their products, services, time, energy and support to our chapter launch party. And thank you to the Alexandria Library System's Burke Branch for hosting our group!

We were so full we had to move from a circle to rows, and the library parking lot was at capacity! The next three meetings will be 2/26, 3/26 and 4/23. We'll keep the Burke Branch Library (in Alexandria) location (and the 7:15 time) for our fourth-Thursday-of-the-month meetings as scheduled through April and will consider other locations/times/days depending on the needs of our members.

Don't forget that the $5 off HMN membership promotion lasts just until the end of January. Join online at and use the coupon code NEWYEAR. Once you join, you'll get onto our local chapter email loop where we will talk about meeting topics, dates, times and locations as well as other chapter activities. The local loop is also a great place to ask for advice and share tips on holistic living. Hope to see you there soon!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Open House is here!

Our chapter is launching! At 7:15 p.m. January 22, we'll start forming our new community! Please join us for snacks, door prizes from local vendors, goodie bags with great info and deals (see our volunteers hard at work preparing to stuff those bags!) and the chance to make some great connections!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chapter Launch Party is coming soon! January 22!

We've gotten a great response to our chapter launch party from holistic-minded businesses and will have some really fun door prizes to offer including gift certificates for massage and yoga classes, organic soaps and lotions and a pedometer. There will also be an opportunity for on-site yoga consultations, pause for breath and relaxation with guidance from Stair of Little River Yoga.

Anyone is welcome to attend the Chapter Launch Party and Open House -- that includes moms, dads, partners, grandparents, care providers and anyone interested in learning more about natural family living. Children are always welcome at HMN meetings. At most meetings, children will be able to play in the center of the circle or outside the circle. At the Open House, which we expect to be busy, we'll create a play corner with toys provided (and folks are welcome to bring their own, too). However, fair warning that this open house event is likely to be crowded and abuzz with activity!

Anyone wishing to help with set-up for the Open House is welcome to come at 7:00 or earlier -- just email Jessica at to let me know what you're up for. If you're not in volunteer mode, plan to arrive right at 7:15 to sign in, meet other like-minded mamas and friends, get a snack, peruse the door prize offerings, and, if you wish, strike a pose on a yoga mat or take a pause on a meditation cushion. We'll hope to settle by 7:30 or so into a seated circle. I'll welcome the group, share a bit about the history and vision of Holistic Moms Network and then begin a round of short introductions, which will always begin our meetings. There should be a little more time for snacks and milling after we close the intros with door prize giveaways!

A few giveaways will be held for future meetings for members only. Join now in the month of January and save $5! See the post below for more details or go directly to the national website: and type in NEWYEAR for the coupon code.

Hope to see you on January 22!

Join in January and save $5!

Take advantage of the January national membership drive to join Holistic Moms Network!

Members can save $5 off our membership fee starting January 1, 2009
by using Coupon Code NEWYEAR on our online membership form at Renewing members can also save by renewing early during the month of January (memberships will extend for 1 year past their original expiration date). Mailed
checks and money orders postmarked during the month of January for $5 off either individual or family memberships will also be honored.

Membership in HMN gives you access to all chapter events, the national membership email loop (in addition to the local chapter email loop), discounts from national sponsors and cooperating businesses, a quarterly Wise Mom newsletter and a discount to the national conference. Non-members are welcome to check out a meeting before joining (not including the Open House), but if you already know you want to support the group, join now and save!

February Meeting (2/26) to discuss immune system boosters

Thanks to the feedback we received from our Survey Monkey survey, we've decided to make February's meeting about natural ways to boost immunity in cold and flu season. We'll be posting more info later inviting folks to submit their favorite natural remedies ahead of time so we can make a collective "recipe" book for alternative approaches to immune system health. We'll also have a few health care folks to give short panel presentations, including one on chiropractic and nutrition. Recommendations for speakers to address herbalism, ayurveda and homeopathy can be sent to Please put "February meeting" in the subject heading.