Driftwood Coffee: Drinking Coffee with Intention

Coffee.  It’s a morning ritual for so many people.  It’s dark and deep and mysteriously bitter yet surprisingly delicious.  Maybe the ritual is about the smell.  Or maybe it’s about the taste.  Or maybe it’s about the routine.  Or honestly, maybe it’s just about the glorious caffeine.

But what if you could make it about more than any of those things?

What if your morning coffee experience could be an intentional moment?  A moment to stop and savor.  A moment to prepare for what lies ahead.  So many of us grab a cup o’ joe and hit the ground running.  There’s no sipping, no savoring.  It’s all a rush.

But that coffee that you’re sipping?  It has a history, an origin.  It doesn’t just appear in your cup.  There’s a process to it and as with all art, it deserves more than a cursory glance (or in this case, sip).  But it’s hard to adjust our minds to be intentional about something that we’ve taken for granted for so many long years.  So maybe it’s time to re-examine the coffee that fills your cup, your belly and your energy level every morning.

Start local.  Find a company that consciously chooses their coffee bean, based on things like ethical farming and country of origin. {Remember: Allow your spending to be intentional!} Then let that local company roast that bean to pure perfection.  Buy it fresh.  Then use delicious pure, filtered water and pour your cup immediately.

Now sit and savor.

Here in Corpus Christi, we have a local company that does just that.  Driftwood Coffee Company, a locally owned and operated coffee roasting company began as a hobby but it quickly grew into a dream of bringing ethically harvested coffee to the local community.  Over the years, Driftwood Coffee Company has grown and expanded but it has never lost its original intent.

Randi and Steven first began roasting their own coffee beans in 2009 when a friend shared his hobby with them.  A popcorn popper, some online green beans and Steven found himself falling in love with the science and the art of coffee bean roasting.  Randi fell in love with the idea that she could choose where to get her coffee beans from and by doing so, she developed an appreciation for its origins.  She researched farm after farm looking for real folks ethically raising beans and supporting causes that she believes in (such as Women’s Coffee Alliance).  And she found them.

After a few years of roasting beans for themselves, Steven and Randi spent a year away from home doing missionary work and while they were gone, they found themselves missing the familiar routine of roasting beans and then savoring a cup of freshly made coffee every morning (they served in central Asia where fresh coffee was hard to access and a rare treat).  When they returned home in 2013, Steven quickly picked back up his hobby.  Soon Steven and Randi began to see a vision for something beyond a hobby.  They wanted to share delicious, ethically raised, perfectly roasted beans with local folks so with a leap of faith, they bought a real roaster, converted some personal space into a roasting area and began marketing to local coffee shops and coffee drinkers.

Now four years later their specialty beans can be found in seven local shops and stores (including places like Coffee Barrel, a non-profit cafe where all profits go to providing restoration for victims of human trafficking) and their website hosts an online shopping experience where you can have their beans shipped directly to your door or you can read their blog and learn all kinds of fascinating facts you’ll be glad you now know (and your coffee drinking experience will surely be enriched by this newfound knowledge).

Randi and Steven are a beautiful testimony to allowing intentionality to seep into life.  Despite the chaos of being parents, working full-time jobs and volunteering with their church, they still manage to find time to sit down first thing in the morning with a cup of freshly made coffee, made from beans they have lovingly roasted to perfection and intentionally savor the moment.

Couldn’t we all benefit from a little more sipping and savoring?

 *Start sipping coffee intentionally today.  Allow Driftwood Coffee Co to introduce you to some amazing beans…you won’t be able to help being intentional when you taste that goodness in your cup!  If you’re local, head over to one of the shops that features Driftwood Coffee’s amazing coffee or you can order on their website and have it shipped directly to your door.

**Photos are courtesy of Taren Martin Photography**


Miss Daisy’s Naturals: Being Intentional About Skincare Products

There’s something unintentional about the way we slather products onto our bodies.  We open a product, slap it on and, for most of us, never consider the fact that the skin is the biggest organ in the body, soaking up every chemical, every preservative, every molecule of whatever concoction caught our eye at the store.

Some of us have become a little more savvy.  We avoid parabens and synthetics when we can.  We buy things in recycled bottles that are BPA free.  We read the labels and see lovely things like coconut oil and essential oils and we just skim over the words we can’t read.  We settle for a $10 bottle of organic lotion (and hope it actually works) because surely buying it is easier than making it ourselves.


Body products shouldn’t be so complicated.

Luckily, there are people in the world, like Lori Concert with Miss Daisy’s Naturals, that can help de-mystify the skin care product aisle.  She has taken beauty products to a level of simplicity that makes my skin sing glorious thoughts.  Her wrinkle-free skin and beautiful tone are a testament to the fact that her products work.  And the best part?  She’s not hoarding the secrets of beauty products.  While she makes products to sell at her Etsy shop, she loves teaching other women how to make beauty products in the comfort of their own kitchen.

Lori’s journey has evolved over time.  It started with her food revolution.  She realized she was filling her body with all kinds of food that fueled it and she reaped amazing results (both in the physical and mental realms) but she wasn’t paying as much attention to what she was putting ON her body.  Then it dawned on her how much was being absorbed through her skin and she began reading labels and researching products.  Slowly she began experimenting with making her own products and it had a quick spiraling effect…once she made one thing, she was eager to try her hand at making something else.

Her beauty product production began with lip balm.  Then she moved onto making her own shampoo, body butters, lotions, bath salts, bath bombs and now she’s moved on to make-up. After years of making her own products, she decided to start her own beauty line to combine her love of crafts with her belief that natural products are a pillar on the road to health.  In 2015, she started her Etsy shop, Miss Daisy’s Naturals, based on the idea that people are interested in natural beauty products but are often intimidated to attempt making them on her own.


This is her intentional movement to get natural products into the hands of women who value health and what goes on their bodies.

I had the lovely opportunity to indulge in one of her lavender whipped body butters.  Ooh la la!  My skin looks and feels beautiful and there is no greasy residue.  I have extremely sensitive skin (with the tendency to get eczema patches where products disagree with my skin) and after using her products for the last few months, I can testify that it works beautifully on sensitive skin!  Pop over to Miss Daisy’s Naturals to see what Lori has in stock (and feel free to message her with a custom order question if you don’t see what you’re looking for).

Lori and I encourage all of you to experience the power of natural body care products, whether it’s a product you discover in her Etsy shop or a product you decide to make yourself.  We promise that once you try them (or make your own), you’ll never go back to store bought products.

Won’t you join our intentional revolution and treat your skin with the care it deserves?



Intentional Eating: How Choosing My Food has Led to Healing


I’ve suffered from health issues for a number of years now.  It started after my first son was born, and got progressively worse until my second son was born.  For a while it seemed to get better, and then suddenly when my son was a couple years old it hit me worse than before.  I saw doctor after doctor but they had very few answers even after running every test they could.  I was finally given several different diagnoses and a handful of medications that might help.

By this point I felt discouraged, rundown, and exhausted and I still had more questions than I had answers.

Just ten years before I had been in my mid-twenties and I was healthy, active and saw the doctor once a year for a checkup.  This spiral downward had me questioning everything, especially the doctors who couldn’t figure out why my body wasn’t working the way it’s supposed to.  Instead of looking at me as a whole person, I was a part to one and a different part to another, and though individually they could address some of my symptoms with medications, they couldn’t get to what was causing all of this in the first place.  The medications came with an impressive list of side effects and I was advised that I would have to decide if the side effects were worth it to treat the symptoms.  For me, they were not.  They caused more problems than the solved, but no one had real answers and I hit a dead-end unless I wanted to go through all of the tests again.

So I suffered for a while because I was too tired to do anything else.

During this time I was introduced to the Paleo lifestyle by my husband’s friend and for the first time I found something within my control that had the potential to help.  It didn’t solve all of my problems or stop all of my symptoms, but as I started making changes to my diet, a little bit at a time, I started to see small changes that at the time made a big difference in how I felt.

I spent five years studying everything I could find on how diet affects health and body wellness and I knew that whether or not it addressed the core illnesses in my body, it would be a change for the positive for me, and it was.

After finally being diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases last year, my doctor offered to do surgery to help address some of the more debilitating symptoms.  He told me it still wouldn’t address all of my issues, and because I am still young, I could choose to wait without risk of further complications if that’s what I wanted to do.  I chose to postpone surgery for now because  it will be a major surgery and it comes with its own risks and potential complications that I’m not ready to take on yet.  I opted instead to spend six weeks following an intensive autoimmune protocol diet in an attempt to see if I could control at least some of my symptoms through diet. At the end of my six weeks I felt the most amazing I had felt in years.


But little by little I started to slip back into my old ways of eating and preparing meals, which though healthy, included foods that were causing chronic inflammation and many of my symptoms came back in full force.  Let’s face it: a diet that requires a substantial amount of planning, cooking, and balancing isn’t easy and the time it took to follow this diet for myself while still preparing other foods for my family made it hard to maintain.  At times my work schedule and our homeschooling schedule would interfere and I would have to choose which one we would do that day.  I thought many times since about going back on the AIP diet.  I know it can help.  I know it can heal.  I know it isn’t for everyone, but it worked well for the diseases I have.  But it’s tough; I’m not going to lie.

So this year, my intention is to change one thing in my diet at a time.  My intention is to be purposeful in what I eat, but to do it gradually so it becomes sustainable over time for me.  I have shifted my focus from treating my symptoms to healing my body through diet and nutrition, and as the healing happens, it seems the symptoms lessen.

There are times I miss mindlessly grabbing something to eat at the grocery store without having to give it thought and consideration, but I remind myself that this is what intentionality is all about.  It’s about making the decision to give thought and consider to what you do or the choices you make in order to have a lasting effect into the future.  It makes it a little easier to know that not only do I benefit from healthier food and lifestyle choices, but I set the example for my son going forward.  THAT makes it all the more worth the effort.







Boosting my Body: Intentional Reading

This is the second post in my Intentional Reading series as I tackle pinning down my intentions for the coming year as far as the information I put into my brain.  You might remember that I’ve broken my intentional reading list up into three areas: Mind, Body, and Spirit.  This list focuses solely on books meant to boost my body.

So what requirements do I look for in choosing books to “boost my body” and for that matter, what in the world do I mean by “boost my body?”  By “boost my body”, I simply mean finding ways and working hard to keep my body in good condition.  I’m not getting any younger (trust me, I’ve noticed those wrinkles, too) and when I pay attention to how I’m treating my body, my world just seems better.  My body is meant to be a well-tuned machine so the food I put into it, the output I require of it (exercise), and the nourishment I give to it (herbs, rest, relaxation) all help keep it well-tuned.

So in making my list, I was thinking about those three main areas: food, exercise, and nourishment.  Since food and nourishment help boost my body to help keep it well-tuned, I have also included a few survival books that I like slowly digesting (just in case…’cause disaster can happen anytime and I’d feel rather pathetic if I was like the grasshopper playing all summer plus apparently I am at greater odds for needing survival skills based on my city’s track record with water).  You’ll see some hobby books here, too.  They’re not here by accident.  I feel it’s essential to my overall well-being to have some books that remind me to relax.  Trust me, this old body works much more efficiently when it’s well-balanced.

A final thought…this list was a bit harder to make, mostly because many of these aren’t books I plan to read cover to cover and so it almost feels like cheating to say that I intend to “read” them.  However, after thinking it over, I decided to include them all here as the information in them will be savored and mulled over and will, therefore, be food for thought.  I’ve marked, with an *, the books I don’t plan to read cover to cover, but instead plan to read bits and pieces in no specific order.


Books for my Body:

  • Books about Food:
    • *Well Fed Weeknights:  You cannot go wrong with Melissa Joulwan’s recipes!  While she’s totally Paleo (and heavily Whole30), you won’t even notice it…her recipes just rock.  Even my kids all eat her stuff without complaints.
    • *The Wellness Mama Cookbook:  I like The Wellness Mama and I like cookbooks.  I figure it’s a win-win.
    • *Eat Like a Dinosaur:  I’ve heard lots of good things about this one.  And I’m tired of trying to explain for the millionth time why they can’t have crackers for a snack.
    • *The Paleo Kids Cookbook:  If she’s taken into account picky eaters, then this might just become my new go-to
    • Eat Dirt:  Because everybody has gut issues these days, I figured I’d educate myself a bit
    • The Paleo Solution:  Is it possible to eat Paleo and not read this?  I’ve managed to for too long…time to dig into the science a bit more
  • Books about Exercise:
  • Books for Nourishment:
  • Survival Skills:
    • Survival Mom:  I love this book!  I am working through it slowly, chapter by chapter.  It’s so practical…it was written by a mom for moms after she realized that most of the survival books out there are geared toward men and usually single men.  I love her research, her candor and her realism.
    • The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide:  I don’t tend to panic in my mind about food.  I don’t necessarily go crazy over imagining life without electricity (although that would be a nuisance!).  But the thought of having no water?  Yeah, that one drives me to my knees.  I figure without a healthy water supply, all of my other survival tactics are in vain, so this is one thing I want to conquer this year.
    • Little House in the Suburbs:  This one has been sitting on my shelf for some time.  I plan to dust it off and go through it little by little.  Will I raise chickens and bees as suggested?  Probably not if Daxson has anything to say about it but still it’s full of lots of good information.
    • Prepper’s Natural Medicine:  This falls into that “gosh, I hope I never need this” kind of knowledge, but I figure I’d rather have exposure to the ideas than face disaster with a blank stare
    • *Idiot’s Guides:  Foraging:  Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen has written an awesome book about foraging.  The pictures are crisp and clear and he’s photographed everything (flower, leaf, root!) you need to help you correctly identify edible plants plus he’s told you how to harvest them, when to find them, how to cook them, and their plant mimics.  This book combined with a few of his half day seminars and I’m in my backyard exclaiming, “Don’t pick that!  It’s more than just a weed!”
    • *Botany in a Day:  Because plant identification overwhelms me unless someone else has confirmed my identification
  • Herbal Study Books:  These books get their very own category because my list is so long.  I’m currently enrolled as a student at Sage Mountain and so as I learn about an herb, I use my books to research it further.  It’s slow going but already I’ve learned so many amazing things about the plants I’ve studied.
  • Books for Rest and Relaxation:

There it is.  My intentional reading list to boost my body.  It looks so intimidating but remember a lot of those books are being read in small chunks or referred to as necessary.  Others will be a slow work of progress (probably over years) as I soak in the information.  I’d love to see what’s on your intentional reading shelf…please come back and, in the comments, share some titles or a link to your list!