back: Sarah B, Cat, Jill, Dawn Marie, Sue; middle: Christine, Lupe, Lisa, Pamela, Sarah J; front: Cindy

Inspiring thoughts, ideas and information provided by women business owners.

The purpose of Keystone Women's Circle is to unite, support and promote women business owners. A keystone is the stone in an arch that binds all others in place. In a circle of stones, every stone is a keystone. We believe that together we can create a foundation, not of brick and mortar, but of relationships and mutual support, enabling all of us to prosper.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Eating fresh

Our Garden is loving today's rain.  (Actually so am I.  I may finally get the bathrooms cleaned if I can't be outside)
We have picked a ton of Cucumbers and are eating them fresh like crazy.  I have also done some pickling and will enjoy them all winter long.  Not only are they good for you to eat there are many other uses for the easy to grow vegy. You can find all of the information on the web. If you do not grow them, the Farmers Market always has plenty of locally grown items for a great price. I found this information today while looking for new recipes and thought I had to share.    

Conventionally grown cucumbers, like other fragile vegetables, may be waxed to protect them from bruising during shipping. Plant, insect, animal or petroleum-based waxes may be used. Carnauba palm is the most common plant-source wax. Other compounds, such as ethyl alcohol or ethanol, are added to the waxes for consistency, milk casein (a protein linked to milk allergy) for "film formers" and soaps for flowing agents. Since you may not be able to determine the source of these waxes, this is another good reason to choose organically grown cucumbers.
taken from

So if you are in the mood for some ethyl alcohol with your cukes, you may have to head to a conventional store.  If you like yours without, give me a call. I have plenty and would love to share!

Have a great weekend!

Lisa Fahey

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Heavy slumber, lighter days...

This just in from The Center for Science in the Public Interest (Independently funded research you can trust...I love these people!)

Sleep More, Eat Less

Wondering why you're so hungry?  Maybe it's because you're not getting enough sleep.

Researchers allowed 12 healthy, young, lean men to sleep for either four or eight hours in a laboratory. 
After one night of four hours of sleep, the men ate 22% more calories the next day than they did after eight hours.  They also reported being more hungry before breakfast and dinner.

In a separate study, scientists found that a single night with only four hours of sleep led to insulin resistance in nine healthy lean men and women in their 40s.  After the night of restricted sleep, the participants were less able to move blood sugar into their cells, which suggests that their bodies were at least temporarily resistant to insulin.  Insulin resistance can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and possibly breast cancer.

Other studies that limit adults' sleep find higher levels of gherlin, which makes people hungry, and lower levels of leptin, which makes people feel full, in their blood. Changes in gherlin, leptin, and insulin resistance may explain why studies find a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure in people who get too little sleep.

What to do:  Get enough sleep.  Most adults need 7-8 hours a night, and school-aged children need at least 9 hours.  From the American Journal of Nutrition via Nutrition Action Health Letter

Just one more thing in favor of the exploding trend in separate bedrooms for even happily married young couples.  Women who sleep well are slimmer, happier, and thus (wouldn't you think, guys?) sexier!  That's all for tonight.  I'm off to dreamland!

Dawn-Marie, Artist in Wonderland at

Monday, July 26, 2010

Integrative Medicine therapies are on the rise

One of my very good friends and avid supporter of Mystic Journey stopped by the shop and delivered to me a very interesting report from the Mayo Clinic that I would like to share with you. 

This particular report was sent out with their Mayo Clinic Health letter and is titled: Integrative Medicine, Health and wellness for the 21st century.  In this special report they highlighted some of the most common integrative therapies among adults and explained that these therapies had a significant increase from 2002 to 2007. 

This article highlighted the fact that traditional medicine has been opening up to the idea that a person's health and wellness is not just about the treatment of an illness but a treatment that includes the mind, body and spirit as a whole.

Most traditional medicine treatments have had years of studies that were financially backed by pharmaceutical companies proving that they work.  Non-Traditional medicine or integrative medicine has not had as many studies but there has been a fair amount of evidence behind them as interest and use continues to grow.

What therapies fall under integrative medicine you ask?  Meditation, Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese medicine, Hypnosis, Energy therapies (Acupuncture, Reiki/Qi gong), massage and chiropractic care all fit into this category.

The idea is not about conventional vs. integrative medicine but finding the best of conventional and the best integrative medicine for each individual person.  I encourage you to investigate integrative medicine and open yourself up to the possibilities of a more personal treatment.

Here is where you will find some great information to get you started: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Of course, Mystic Journey is here to guide you and help answer any questions you have.  We also have a list of therapies and classes on our website.  Be sure to also look into my fellow Keystone Women's circle businesses for guidance.  Healing essence massage and Calm waters Hypnosis to name a few.

Sarah Jaeger, Mystic Journey

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a whole flock???

If you are a woman, and even the slightest bit self employed, you really ought to join us on Mondays at 1:00 at Mystic Journey.  Superhero capes are optional...but really fun!
We did the Bar-B-Q Days Parade as "Women in Business, Everyday Superheroes".  That's Lupe Fonseca as the "Goddess of Glam", who did the entire parade in silver heels, Dawn-Marie (Quinche) deLara as "Splash" the ninja painter, and Sarah Bran de Leon as "Captain Subconscious".  Not all the members were able to participate, but we rounded out the numbers with three of my art students. 

Sarah's daughter Kadence, above, with us, chose to be "Heart Girl, bringing love to places where there isn't any."  Faith, pictured below, donned her cape and, as the quietest of the three, the fitting persona of "Peace Girl".  Jensen's picture got deleted, but we'll get the adorable "Art Girl" posted on here, as soon as possible.
Choosing superhero names can be quite a process.  However, when we googled "painter", we discovered that in the mid 1700's painter meant panther, which in America was actually referring to our native wildcats, cougars.  It wasn't a big leap from Slash to Splash!  Playing superhero is really fun, but...

I have just one in blazes is a superhero supposed to get her zipper down to pee with fingernails this long???

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful vacation at the beach.  The ocean was at a perfect temperature and we had a great time visiting with other people.  It is so nice to get away.  We spent a lot of time, just sitting, watching and listening to our surroundings.  It is great to relax and that is why I have enjoyed meditation so much.  I can now use the sounds and sights from our trip to help me relax.  (Until I need a reminder of the real thing - then I will have to go away again :)
Farmers Market today from 4-7.  Gardens are in prime shape!  Stop by for some wonderfully home grown stuff!

Have a great night - I hope you all get to relax.  Even for a moment.

Lisa Fahey

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Challenging comfort zones!

So this weekend I had the opportunity to challenge my comfort zone.  I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about. Made myself go to a place that made me feel a little uncomfortable but knew that it would be good for me.  The opportunity arrived in the form of the BBQ days parade!  Myself, Dawn Marie Quinche and Lupe Fonseca were superheros for a couple hours!  Along with some little superheros who helped us out.  I was Captain Subconscious!!!!  I wore capri leggings with a bright red cape and red gloves.  I felt a little self conscious walking down the middle of Main street in that get up.  But I can't even begin to describe the sense of pride I felt that I did it!!  I know that I can do anything that I set my mind to.  But sometimes it takes a challenge, it takes us pushing ourselves past our comfort zone.  It reminds me of a quote that I heard.
"the greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually fear that you will make one"
So many times we don't do things cause were afraid of making mistakes. Afraid of looking like a fool (that was my fear).  But if you don't try, if your not willing to make mistakes, your missing out on soo many opportunities.  So I put out the challenge to everyone to challenge yourself, surprise yourself with what you're able to do, how strong and capable you are.  Cause I can guarantee that your stronger than you think you are!

Thanks for your time,
Sarah Bran de León

Friday, July 16, 2010


Found a easy tomato pasta sauce and salsa recipe.

Heat 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil with 1 tbsp minced garlic.  Add 3lbs coarsely chopped plum tomatoes, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 mins.  Season with salt to taste. 

In a food processor, pulse 1/2 small chopped yellow onion, 1 small chopped garlic clove, and 1 small chopped jalapeno.  Roughly chop 1 1/2 lbs cored plum tomatoes and add 2/3 of it to food processor.  Pulse until chopped.  Transfer to a bowl.  Then pulse remaining 1/3 tomato until liquefied.  Add to bowl with 1 tsp white vinegar, 2 tsp chopped oregano, and 3/4 tsp coarse salt.  Stir to combine.

Enjoy!  Pamela

To be or not to be...authentic

It comes up one way or another quite often, in gatherings of women entrepreneurs:  How much of your true self do you reveal to the public, when you are in business for yourself?  Do you passionately speak up for your political, religious, and social ideas, or is it better to remain neutral and offend no potential customer? 

Polymer clay artist, Donna Kato, ran into this dilemma a few years back when she made a political comment on her polymer clay blog, and offended a New Yorker, who loved her work, but was opposed to her politics.  She started a separate blog for her politics, but lost the fan, until a year or two later, a few of us who knew the story realized we also knew him from classes, and told him to go back and see the apology she had written to him.  Not for her beliefs, but for alienating him with content that had nothing to do with art. 

I struggle with it a bit, when I type these posts, and more especially the posts on my own blog, where I often write from my spiritual perspective.  As the daughter of atheists, living in a predominantly Catholic and Lutheran town, in the heart of the Midwest, I feel vulnerable expressing beliefs that fall in the "Christian New Thought" category.  Never mind that many of Oprah's most popular guests are also of this faith, I still worry about turning off potential clients, or not getting some of the Catholic church work that makes up a good chunk of my business.  And then there's the worry about what my folks will think...really, Dad, just look at the pictures.

The best way to answer the question may be to take yourself out of the spotlight for a moment.  As a consumer, don't you do business with people of other faiths, who have opposing political views, or are just plain strange?  Unless there is an extreme problem, most of us do.  And back on your side of the counter, if there are people who might not like the real you, are they really the people you want for customers?

You have a light to shine on this world, and a higher authority to answer to.  Do you have the right to hide your unique self from the world?  We each have to answer that for ourselves.  As for me, I choose authenticity and to live wide-open, and this weekend, in the local parade, I shall make a fool of myself quite spectacularly, as "Splash", the plus-sized ninja painter, just one of several "Everyday superheroes".  I'll just be sure to hand my fliers to the gals who are laughing, with a knowing twinkle in their eye!

Be happy, be real!  Dawn-Marie, Artist in Wonderland, at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I visited with a client yesterday who recently had to give up driving.  After we were done talking "business" we sat at the kitchen table and chatted about anything and everything.  She feels so stuck.  She has a big family and they take her wherever she needs to go, and she has friends that just pop in to say hi.  Her sadness, however, comes from her loss of control.  She is now dependant on others for rides.  This must be an aweful feeling.  On the filp side, her daughter now comes over every Sunday and they go to church together.  Another daughter calls her every night on her way home from work.  My Grandpa just happen to tell me last week, after his brother past away, that he will miss the phone call he had with his brother every Sunday.  This all gets me thinking how I need to get better about reaching out to loved ones just because.  We can't wait for something to happen to force us to be better about just stopping by nor do I want to be regretful because I did not make it a point to call someone on a weekly basis just to say hi.  It is the little things in life that make a difference.  So to all of you who I may not have said it to lately :  "you are special to me and I am greatful for the time we have spent together and look forward to memories we will create".
My office has been busy as I tried to blog so I apologize if I did not make much sense today.  At any rate, enjoy your day, tell someone you love them, and do a random act of kindness - it really will make the world a better place!

Lisa Fahey

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Total fitness; Low impact exercise

There is the common misperception that exercise must take a long time and be painful in order to be effective. While a good workout should be a bit of a challenge, it doesn’t need to hurt to be beneficial. Furthermore, research suggests that a moderate-intensity, low impact activity such as yoga or walking, is just as effective as high impact activity in lowering the risk of conditions such as heart disease. Low impact exercises – which can improve your health and fitness without harming weight bearing joints – are perfect for individuals who are:

have injured joints, bones, or connective tissue injuries
have chronic problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or stress fractures
are overweight
are new to exercise

Effective low impact cardiovascular exercise should allow the heart rate of the participant to reach a level greater than 50 percent of its maximum. Low impact cardiovascular exercises generally have low physical risk and are effective for general fitness.

To find low impact activities, look for anything that involves intense stretching and strengthening components. According to The National Institutes of Health at, walking and swimming are both perfect examples. 

Recommended activity levels:
Adults: 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week.
Children: 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day.
Targets can be achieved with 10 minute bursts of activity spread throughout the day.

Have a wonderfully hot weekend!  Pamela

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just Another Thursday in Paradise

Sarah J had me paint this quote on the wall of her yoga room:

"Make each moment an occasion to be deeply, happily at peace." (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Simple, but profound. 

Want it worded in Christian?

Jesus said "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you", and his sidekick John used a word that has been translated as "repent", but apparently modern linguists say it also translates as "change your mind."

"Change your mind, for the Kingdom of Heaven is within you." (GB)

Whatever spiritual tradition you follow, the great teachers have all said the same thing:  Happiness is an inside job.  So, when life's challenges start mounding up, I find it useful to remember both those phrases, and then try something called an afformation, which is a question, instead of an affirmation, which is a statement.

Instead of trying to convince yourself with the affirmation "I am deliriously happy", when someone has just delivered you a truckload of bovine byproduct, try saying "Why am I so happy?"  You can try to think up an answer if you want, but I think it's best to just keep repeating the question and letting it percolate.  What happens is your subconscious is designed to make whatever you say be true.  If you keep asking "Why am I so happy?", that little workhorse inside of you will do everything it can to answer the question, and pretty soon you'll find yourself whistling away in a garden of well-fertilized flowers.

Be happy!

Dawn-Marie, "Artist in Wonderland" at on over to see one of my favorite pieces of art on this week's post, and keep an eye on this page for some serious silliness coming in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guidance from Higher Power

I am reading a book called "Inner bonding" written by Margaret Paul.  It  is an amazing book and I would love to share a part of the book that struck me.    We so often forget to dialoge with our higher power or don't realize that we can get guidance  from our higher power.  When we are feeling bad, mad, sad, angry or whatever were feeling we can get an amazing amount of info just by listening to our feelings.  There is always a reason for feeling the way we do.  If you cant tell what your feelings are trying to tell you, you can ask your higher power for guidance.  A couple questions that you can ask your higher power is
1) What is the truth about this belief that is limiting me or causing me pain?
2) What is the loving behavior in this situation?

An example may be if you have an arguement with your spouse, child or friend.  We might feel guilt or shame or feel that there is something wrong with us. That we are flawed in some way.  That is the limiting belief.  The truth may be that everybody disagrees at times and that you and they are entitled to their own opinions.  There is nothing wrong with you. 

When you allow yourself to dissect those beliefs and feel your feelings you can take steps to correct the misperceptions and limiting beliefs.

A loving behavior could be finding support from friends or taking some time to yourself or remove yourself from the situation. 

Thanks for letting me share this with you.  I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. 

Sarah Bran de León

Monday, July 5, 2010

Being as busy as I have been this last month I decided to have a little break this 4th of July weekend.  My brother-in-law has a camping area by Mille Lacs lake in Garrison.  All of the in-laws were there since Friday, my boys included (I refer to my husband and my son of 14 years as "my boys").  After some deep thought I decided to close the shop early on Saturday and head "up-north." The drive was nice, traffic was moving smoothly and I was in a zone making sure I didn't think about anything seriously.  I am on a mini vacation.  Nothing needs to be solved within the next 24 hours.  It can wait.  I would say that I was practicing a form of "walking meditation."  (Except I was driving of course) Being aware of what was going on around me.  What kind of vehicles were on the road, wondering where they were going and what kind of story they had.  Being aware of the trees, what kind of birds and animals were out and how the car felt as it hugged the road.  It was very relaxing just being in the moment.
I arrived at the camping area at 6:30pm.  Everyone was coming in from the lake all bronzed and red faced from the day of boating.  It was nice to see everyone again.  After a great meal of hamburgers and brats on the grill we settled in for the night looking forward to the next day and for my day in the sun.
Seeing everyone wake up was an interesting experience.  I could tell who reapplied the sun screen when they should have and who didn't by the intensity of the red in their faces and exposed skin.  Everyone said how fun it was, how the sun felt great at the time and how the sun was not their favorite today.  Sun is good, sun is bad.  Lucky for them, it was an overcast day but warm non-the-less we headed out on the lake.  Since it was an over-cast day I really didn't slather on the sunscreen.  It was a great day full of jet skiing, tubing and lounging.  Even with the over cast it felt great to be outside.  I could feel all the built-up stagnate energy leave my body.  I needed this!  After being indoors for so long I forgot how invigorating it is to be outside.  It is funny how we get so caught up in what it is we need to do and to get done and how just taking a break and being outdoors once in a while totally recharges the battery.  With that said, I am feeling that instead of being "kissed by the sun" the sun "made out with me" as I am a little burnt in some areas today.  Sun is good, Sun is bad even when it is hiding behind the clouds.  The message here is get outdoors, even if it is for an hour a day and even if it is an overcast day.  It is free therapy but be sure to wear and reapply sun screen even on overcast days.
Sarah Jaeger, Mystic Journey