So what have I learned?

As my birthday approaches, I have been thinking about what I have learned throughout my life that I am sure of now. What lesson could I tell my younger version of me, say if I met her 15 years ago.

I have written this post and erased it at least 10 times. Sure, I have learned a lot in those 15 years. Some valuable hard lessons, some lessons that are hilarious, some lessons that were a joy to experience, and others that I am just on the cusp of internalizing. Would they make a great post, an entertaining one? Definitely. But that is not what I decided to share.


The one lesson that I have learned, I have ignored over and over again. Every single time I ignore it, I do myself a major disservice. The effects are like ripples of tide-water with an ebb and flow. The lesson is that I should always trust my gut instinct. Whether it is about people and their intentions, a life decision, or a frivolous one, I need to always listen to my inner voice.

Now is as good a time as any. My inner voice only wants what is best.

There ya’ go.

Dr. Kendra & Herbs

Contributor Dr. Kendra

As summer abounds and those of us that garden spend tireless hours plucking “weeds” from among our flowers and veggies.  Do you ever think about the usefulness of some of those herbs (yes, herbs as most of what we consider weeds are useful herbs!!).

So this article is dedicated to the persistent and useful yet sometimes bothersome herb.

Bee, bee, marigold, marigold, marigold.

Calendula–also known as marigold is good for many skin problems: eczema, dermatitis, cuts, bruises, scars and the like.  Be careful of the preparation and as calendula ages it degrades so be sure to get “fresh stuff” and do not keep it longer than a year.


Dandelion- yes that pesky yellow flower that tortures our gardens and lawns all summer.  Dandelion has many uses and the entire plant contains medicinal qualities.  There is so much research on this herb alone they we could fill even the largest libraries. Dandelion is eaten in all cultures and has been used for centuries to cure a multitude of ailments.  The best way to use dandelion is to pluck them from your un-pesticided lawn and put them in your salad!!  Dandelion is very useful in pregnancy to reduce swollen ankles.  Also dandelion helps decrease blood pressure in pregnancy (especially associated with swelling).  If you are not pregnant, dandelion is full of nutritious minerals.


Garlic–the ever popular spice can be found all over the world, and for good reason.  Garlic can boost immunity and reduce duration of illness.  Garlic can be consumed before entering a public place that may be filled with germs and viruses and boosting immunity can ward off any potential of becoming sick–of course in this case, quantity is the key and you must consume a fair amount (enough to make you smell) in order to reap the benefits.  Garlic can lower blood pressure and thin blood as well as increase oxygen to the cells!! Eat up- and share it that way if everyone has some you can’t tell who smells.


Lavender- the ever popular, and ever abundant herb, so sweet to smell and good to eat or drink.  Lavender tea is great for calming the nerves, it is also a tasty addition to a martini and that will help you relax for sure).  The dried herb stuffed inside your pillow can assist you into dreamland and contribute to a much more sound sleep.


Mullein- is also sweet to smell and useful for balancing the thyroid function as well as, reducing swelling and glandular inflammation.  Also mullein is a very potent cough reducer, an excellent treatment for that persistent dry cough many of us get in the fall and winter.  Mullein can be used in a tea or liquid herbal preparation.

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Mahonia- the new goldenseal. Mahonia has recently gained popularity with the scarcity of goldenseal.  As goldenseal rhizome (root) takes 5 years to grow big enough to harvest and is now listed as a “protected herb” to eliminate the chance for extinction.  Mahonia has gained popularity, as it has many of the same benefits, even though it is a bit more difficult to grow.  Mahonia is a potent antibacterial, and antiseptic and used to kill staph infections regularly in tropical countries where Mahonia flourishes.


Nettle- is my favorite local species.  Nettle is one of the most nutritious herbs Mother Nature has given us.  Nettle is so rich in bioflavinoids you can give up that expensive juice in a bottle and pick and steep some nettle tea, chances are it is in your backyard if you live in Connecticut.  I have heard you can even make pesto with it—let me know how that goes.

All in all nature and summer are beautiful and exciting.  Enjoy your adventure, as you can see it may start in your back (or front) yard.

Dr. Kendra Becker practices at Family Wellness Centre of CT. She integrates holistic and conventional medicine to best serve her patients

Family Wellness Centre of CT
181 Cross Rd
Waterford, CT 06385


I think my obsession with Coldplay is a little known fact. To say that I would travel the globe to see them would not be a falsehood. I have seen them live over 15 times. I fell in love with their lyrics well before the Gwyneth Era.

I think the one commonality among people who have a favorite band is the words that inspire such melodies. I can find a meaningful experience in almost every lyric that is Coldplay.

I have countless other bands that inspire me as well, but Coldplay really seals the deal. I just hope when they write, they do so in mind  for small audiences, not the stadiums. I think it keeps them humble. As humble as any rock band can be anyway.

Well, my three kids rock out to them almost every day. S in particular LOVES them. He seriously rocks out in the car to them. He rocks out in the backyard to them. He knows the words and his favorite song is either Talk or Paradise. This weekend, we are taking Miss P to see them for the first time. I am beyond thrilled for her and cannot wait for her to experience them live. She is so excited. I would love to take S, but I think he is a bit too young for them. Maybe next go around.

I cannot wait to capture her moments at the concert. To see her expression when the music starts, the room is dark and then the lights go up.


all images via me


I have Paris on my mind. I really have no clue as to why I have been thinking about this magical city. I have never been. Do not speak the language. But the images of the magical city are devine.

Paris Paris Paris paris -

A constant celebration.

Yolanda Villagran Photography

The magic hour illuminated.

Paris Paris Paris

Buildings of character and age.

paris ...

A girl’s first visit remembered forever.

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Summer picnics.


Have you been to Paris?

image 1 via image 2 via Paris wedding photographer, engagments, portraits. image 3 via image 4 via image 5 via From