January Tonics

violet tube flower

What a sad week to be in this world and to be an American. Beauty feels more important than ever to hold on to, in order to ignite hope. I’ve been hanging on to every little bit of light coming my way, and trying to keep it bouncing around me, through gardening, and finding strength in the community that rises during these times.

Tending my tiny apartment garden has been a joy, dividing up my little arugula seedlings, coaxing on some forced ranunculus, and planting some lily of the valley. Music is essential. I’ve recently discovered a few favorites. Marching with 700 women here in Portugal, participating in a candlelight vigil, and making my voice heard to my representatives back at home has helped me turn anger into something more productive. Below a list of antidotes that have carried me through the week. I’d love to hear yours!

violet tube flower

January Tonics:

learning about one of Lisbon’s most gorgeous spring flowers, violet tubeflower (Iochroma cyaneum), pictured above!

maggie rogers

making soup (this one looks comforting)

gardening is a form of resistance

turning rage into action

gardening for happiness (such a wonderful idea!)


people rising up

Sending love to you.

Photos: Frolic!


  1. It’s so hard not to fall into despair. Things are dark now, but you’re so right that filling the body and soul with beauty is what will carry us through. That, and showing up in support of what we believe. I loved seeing the photographs of the Lisbon march! How wonderful that people around the world are coming together to make change and have their voices heard. Thank you for sharing that, and for not being neutral at a time when taking a stand means so much.

  2. Wow, I am shocked to hear you’re sorry to be an American. I always love my country, even when I don’t love the person in charge.

    I have unsubscribed from your mailing list.

    1. Hi Tammryn, Thanks so much for your comment. I am so happy we have the freedom to be able to have differing opinions. I am not sorry to be an American. To me this is actually not politics, but human rights. I very much understand that you have a different opinion. Thank you for sharing it. All my best to you!

  3. Chelsea, I appreciate your solidarity from across the ocean! It’s been a crazy heart wrenching week. I too am sad for our country. I know what is currently happening doesn’t represent the wishes of most Americans. I know we will stand strong and over come these dark times. You are with us in spirit, carrying signs and standing up for those who are at risk. Thank you for these lovely examples of ways to fill our souls so we can keep fighting for what is right. <3

  4. You are so gracious Chelsea! Thank you for all these comforting ways we can seek
    a little solace in our country’s time of stress and division. I found comfort in all the yummy soup recipes… especially the kale stew! The picture of it is also a work of art!!
    Hold tight! This soon shall pass…. xoxoxox

  5. Just what I needed to hear today! I went for a long walk just to get out of my head from a stressful day of work and not wanting to get on social media.
    thanks for sharing!

  6. You are very very fortunate to be so far away right now. As an expat who chose the U.S., like many others, it’s very tempting now to want to re-patriate and flee. But that feels cowardly and once deeply implanted, not practical either.

    I am seeing a lot of social media posts now as we try to balance self-care/beauty/respite with rage/action/strategy and tactics.

    Very bad times here.

    1. Sending lots of love, Caitlin. Trying to do what I can from here. I am part of a local action group and have been making all the calls I can. Hoping for the best, but I think it’s going to be a long haul. I am learning the hard way, that we need to hang on to beauty and self-care in order to keep ourselves going. Sending a virtual hug.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *