Alright, Real Talk Time. Also, Pictures Of Things + Le Love List!

June 4th, 2017 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback

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Mother’s Day perfection.

At the beginning of the year I announced, sort of on a whim, that I would be doing a “Pictures Of Things + Le Love List” post every single week in 2017. This one was supposed to be 20/52. But instead of hitting publish that week, I just stalled. And procrastinated. The truth is, I didn’t know how to put into words this thing that I’ve come to realize. I don’t know how else to say . . . I don’t want to be a blogger anymore.

I’ve been trying to find a gentler way of expressing that. And I feel like I owe you guys an explanation, so I’ve been trying to find the right words.

I still don’t think I have them, but here goes nothing.

I’ve been blogging for a long time. I mean, a really long time. And over the course of these 8 years, I have had the opportunity to do so many amazing things, and to travel, and to learn and grow. I’ve shared my highs and my lows, from birth to divorce, and pretty much everything in between. It’s been beautiful, for me, to be able to do that.

And it’s been beautiful to meet all of you. Over the years I have talked to hundreds if not thousands of people. People from all over the world. Interesting, inspiring, unique, fearless, fabulous people. And I am so grateful for that.

Back when I first started this blog, I really felt like I had a lot to share. I was practically bursting at the seems with it, so excited to learn and to grow and to play — and to do it all in public, sharing my process with anyone willing to pull up a keyboard.

But along the way, that feeling has changed for me. And especially over the last half a year or so, I’ve really felt myself transitioning into a new phase of life. And that phase feels, in many ways, a lot smaller. It also feels so much richer, and so much fuller, than my life has felt in a long time. But I’m definitely turning inward. And I just don’t feel compelled to share it in the same way that I used to.


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Beach bums.


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This amazing little person, who is growing up so very fast, and probably deserves to have some more privacy for that process.


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These two hooligans light up my heart.


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And me, so often feeling distracted. I don’t want to feel that way any more.



This poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay has been my sort of creed for the past decade:

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

I’ve always reveled in my frenzied life. A million projects, a million ideas, a million plans. My most frequently asked question from readers is “How do you do it all?” And I don’t know. Honestly I don’t, it’s just always been my way, to overfill and then deal with the consequences (be they good or be they bad — or often, be they both).

But the truth is that a lot of sacrifice goes into living that way. Sacrifice that I was happy to make at the time — I was fine with forfeiting the things that felt less important to me, back then. But those things I’ve forfeited have grown more important to me as I’ve gotten older. I guess my priorities have just changed.

So over the past six months or so, I’ve been paring down my life. I graduated with my masters degree, and said goodbye to graduate school. We closed the wine bar, and Jeremy closed his retail shop. I scaled back my hours in the school gardens, and last week my contract ended. I won’t be renewing it next fall. And although I miss all of them, every single one of these things that I’ve removed has ultimately made my life infinitely more enjoyable. I feel like I have room to breathe for the first time in, well, forever.

So I’m sure you see where this is going. I don’t want to keep burning the candle at both ends. My relationship, my motherhood, my friendships — these are the places where I want to funnel my energy, right now. I want as little stress and pressure as possible, so that I can just enjoy the people and the things that I love.


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Roadside tomatoes? Yes, yes I’ll take three of those, thank you very much.


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An evening with friends, with about 1001 kids between the lot of us. How many kids can you cram into one trampoline? Lemme tell you — a LOT!


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And look, it’s Boo Boo Duck, all grown up! Such a handsome guy.


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Somebody give that pregnant lady a popsicle!


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I re-did my vanity. #notaminimalist


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And I bottled some powerful homemade medicine. ♥

This is a very different way of being, for me. But it’s how I need to be right now. It feels so right. So I’m going to stop blogging, at least in any formal capacity.

I really love having this space, as a record of my life and my kid’s life, and as a way to record our adventures. I look up recipes on here all the time! I love flipping through old posts. These pages hold such visceral and important memories for me. So the site isn’t going anywhere.

And I’ve loved interacting with all of you. I’m not disappearing completely. I imagine I’ll blog a few times a year, maybe even more. But I’m saying goodbye to blogging as “a blogger”.

And I hope that makes at least a little bit of sense.


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First ever class camping trip, and I was lucky enough to get to be there the first day. ♥


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Making new friends.


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~~~

And now, the one, the only . . . and probably the last for quite a while — Le Love List!

Making our first Meadow Tea of the season. Feels like summer! // Coworkers who bring me tangelos (my #1 favorite citrus). // Budgeting like a BOSS. // College bathroom graffiti. // Fellow share-parenting mamas who are on the exact same schedule, so we always have our kids together, and we always *don’t* have our kids together. Beach babes for sunny-baked days with our boys, or a sunset and a bottle of wine for those breezy beachy nights when the kids are away. Our schedules alway match and it makes it all so easy, and I am eternally grateful for that. // Coworkers bringing me homemade coconut yogurt, wow! // When Jeremy cooks for me. // Having a whole day to just putter around the house. Bless those day, ooooh bless them! // Calendula salve = skin magic. // Stability. // Bringing my coworkers big bundles of beautiful rainbow chard from my garden. // Daydreaming of doggos. I really want a dog. // Having a clean house. // Waits and I were on a bike ride and suddenly he hollered “A bird pooped on me!” I was afraid he was going to freak out, but then he started laughing, and he shouted with glee “Mom look! It’s good luck! I’m gonna get GOOD LUCK!!!” And it was so adorable. He’s such a little optimist, and that’s just what the world needs, I think. A little more optimism. ♥

~~~

And with that, my dears, I bid you all adieu. At least for now.

I know myself and I know that old habits die hard, so I imagine I’ll be posting more on Instagram now, as a way to stay connected. Who knows, maybe I’ll just move to microblogging completely. Either way, I’d love to see you there. @sayward

Alright, farewell friends. With love and gratitude,

~Sayward

  • http://www.justthefood.com Joni Marie Ressinger Newman

    This. This post is everything. I love you and completely understand how you are feeling. I don’t even have kids and I know all too well that feeling of loving the frenzy, because that’s all I’ve ever known. The last year has been a trip. In so many ways. Most importantly, the learning to love those closest to me, and making time for them and to deepen and strengthen those bonds. So many of your posts have spoken to me over the years. I’m so fortunate to know you. Thank you for all you’ve done and much love and respect to you. ❤

  • Meredith Kong

    This breaks my heart and I totally understand. Your presence on the internet has always been such a ray sunshine amidst the chaos. You live so authentically, and I support you, as one offbeat mama to another. Much love, sweet lady!

  • Betty Spaghetti

    All the best to you and your family! I always enjoyed coming here and reading you, I am not a vegan, but I did curb my meat intake and I am religiously getting my CSA box every week and I try to be more conscientious about food. So you’ve made a dent in my life and I am sure many others as well. I think you’re in a good place now and you’ll enjoy living a less hectic life, but more fulfilling in many other ways – even a boring weekend with loved ones can give you pleasure and satisfaction. Good luck to you and yours – I will look you up on Instagram! :-)

  • http://marketstreetvegan.com/ Amanda

    Since I may never have this opportunity again, I feel like I should make this confession now: I don’t like Amanda Palmer. There! I said it.

    Absolutely all the luck in living your life how you wanna live it. I spent a lot of years being highly self-contained (mostly due to anxiety), and have just recently begun to learn how incredible relationships are. And that I am, in fact, capable of nurturing them. I (finally) know what you mean about giving big in a small world that you create. Onward!

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com/ Monika {windycityvegan}

    This brought the biggest smile to my face. As someone with deep roots on the other side – I quit blogging a few years ago (which felt monumental at the time), and then a couple of years later I made the much bigger decision to quit law school (and then not share it with the internet) – I feel such a sense of déjà vécu when reading your post.

    I also abandoned commenting on blogs all those years ago, but I feel a love list is in order this time ’round.

    Watching over Nina as she explores social media, with a large safety net and much supervision but also enough room for self-expression // finally, oh finally!, not having to preview every. single. movie. before taking her to see something // my garden // being barefoot in my office // Crimetown, the West Wing Weekly, every film podcast out there, the dulcet tones of Francis Lam on his episodes of the Splendid Table, The Losers’ Club // putting Miyoko’s black ash on everything // yoga // baking every day.

  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com/ Monika {windycityvegan}

    Ha! I don’t care for Amanda Palmer, either. I don’t know why, but it feels so good to say that outside of my head.

  • http://degroenekeuken.be degroenekeuken

    I completely understand why you’re ‘leaving blogging’, nevertheless, I sure will miss your presence in the blogosphere. Bonzai Aphrodite has been my favorite blog since I found it, I think about 7 years ago (actually, it’s one of the 5 I’m currently still reading due to a lack of free time).
    So, I’m a bit sad, but I’m glad you’re happy with your life as it is right now and that you can focus on those things that are important to you. And also I’m glad that I can still stay connected via instagram :-) I wish you the best of luck Sayward and so much happiness! You’re a wonderful person!
    Love, Sara

    PS: “Daydreaming of doggos. I really want a dog. // Having a clean house.” It’s one or the other ;-) (but I’ll always prefer a less-clean house over not having our dogs around)

  • Bianca Phillips

    Awwwww, man I WILL MISS YOU! But I totally understand, and you’ve got to be true to what feels right to you right now. Glad you’ll be checking in occasionally, and I’m so glad we’re friends on social media so we can keep up that way. Your blog has been an amazing presence in my life and you’re such an inspiration. I’m sooooo grateful that blogging has caused us to meet up in real life! Best wishes to you and Waits and Jeremy!!

  • Dani Logan

    Thank you for sharing your love, presence, and journey. Bonzai Aphrodite helped me along my path into Veganism 7 years ago and it has been one of the only blogs that I’ve felt “part” of, if that makes sense? I extoll BA’s awesomeness on the regular and just today I’ve been searching the site for your ACV conditioner recipe! You’ve truly inspired me in so many ways. Thank you.

    Catch you on IG <3

  • http://www.thegreenpenn.com/ Lindsey P

    As much as I’m going to miss your regular posts, I totally get it. I’ve neglected my own blog space since February just because I’ve not been ready to share all of the changes that have happened this year. Your posts have been so inspirational to me and helped me along this vegan parenting journey in so many ways. Enjoy your private time with those you love most, and if you decide to stop by here once in a while, I know we’ll still be around. Sending good vibes and much love your way.

  • Cara

    I will miss checking this blog and seeing how you all are doing in the very different, progressive city you live in. All the best in your future Sayward!

  • Anna

    I’m sad to see you go, but happy for you all the same! Good luck!

  • April

    Oh how I’ll miss you! But I get this feeling. I’ve been cutting back online too. Feeling the pull toward a simpler way of moving through my life, parenting my littles. You have helped and inspired me tremendously in my journey through vegan pregnancy and parenting. Many a night did your words calm my anxiety and confirm my inner voice. Thank you!!! Enjoy your loved ones and a bit of peace and quiet (at least as much as a mom can) .

  • Olgui

    Farewell Sayward. Thank you for all. You’ve been an inspiration through all of these years. And you’ve helped me a lot with veganism. So thank you again and enjoy your new life :-D

  • Amelia

    Aww so so sad to hear this :( I was afraid this was coming. Blogging is dying and used to be such a souce of joy and community for my introverted self. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You made me feel less alone in the crazy world of ours.

  • Rebecca Carnes

    Oh I will miss you and your posts!!! But I totally understand and cannot imagine how hectic it was to do everything you do and still make time for blogging. Making your family and yourself a priority is a must. Onto new adventures!
    I am so grateful to you for putting your life out here and sharing everything with us…You have definitely helped me become a better momma to my P :) XOXO

  • chantel

    Aww! I will miss you Sayward! I found your blog back in 2011 while googling “homemade dishwasher detergent.” While I ultimately opted to just buy Tropical Traditions, I fell in love with your blog and found you so refreshing and delightful. I spent a few days going back to the beginning and reading all of your posts (my favorite being What I Ate Wednesdays)! I was sad when you took a year off but was so happy to see you blogging again. I wish you the best! I’m so happy for you to spend more time with Waits and Jeremy!

  • Donika

    Sayward,
    your blog has truly been one of my favorite things. I wish you well in your full and happy life !
    Your blog inspired me years ago to stay outside the box. I am now living on a 40 acre homestead in the eastern sierras with a goat , a pig, 13 turkeys, 31 chickens, 2 dogs, 3 cats and five kids haha . I haven’t been on social media in about 9 years but my daughter Katrina (17) follows you so I’ll peek at some pictures as you post to instagram :)

  • CrystalB

    I don’t comment often, but I just want to say awesome! It’s so awesome to see people trying to live their best life- whatever it might be. You inspired me four years ago to try vegan for a bit. It didn’t ultimately stick, but I kept coming to your site anyway. I loved your approach to natural products, veganism, animal activism, political activism, and your kiddo. As an overachieving, high-strung, stressed out mom I always thought your interactions with Waits looked like such a sweet and perfect relationship. I know that’s probably not true, but you inspired me to be a better mom. I was also inspired by you to start gardening this year. I took the plunge, and even if it sucks I will probably still have something to show for it. :) I see a lot of bloggers stepping away lately (Gluten Free Girl, Bring Joy, etc) and it feels…nice. To see people cut out the clutter and figure out what’s important makes me happy, even as I am sad I have less to read. Good luck on your next adventure!

  • https://livedtoward.wordpress.com/ Beth Watkins

    I’ve been a reader of yours for years and years and years. I’ve never commented, but have loved reading everything you write, and have loved the little inspirations in your What I Ate Wednesday & Picture of Things & Le Love List posts. Thanks for all of your inspiration over the years and I so respect you doing what you need/wanna do. And thanks for keeping the site up! All the best in all you do!

  • Melissa

    Peace…

  • B M

    Refreshing read, as always. Take care dear Sayward, you have been a true inspiration to many. Looking forward to your future posts –B

  • http://veryorderly.tumblr.com Claudia

    I’m so sad that you’re not going to blog further, but I COMPLETELY understand why you don’t want to do it. I know it can be so tough, and I think people tend to grow out of it eventually. You will be missed. And I didn’t really think about it until this post, but I’ve followed you for a really long time, since before your boy was born!

  • Brie

    Understandable. Sad to see you go but I hope it gives you the space and privacy to start or continue something good. Thank you for keeping the site up. TBH, I have been using your toothpaste and deodorant recipe for nearly 5 years! This site is a great resource for us baby vegan environmentalists. Hope to hear from or about you here or on social media in the future. For now, Happy trails! <3

  • laramarie

    thank you thank you! for sharing so much of yourself. it has meant more than you probably even know. and also, hooray for moving on and taking time to enjoy the quiet and the simple, and for being strong enough to know it’s OKAY to not burn the candle at both ends! for choosing to fully enjoy this beautiful life. xxx

  • Tatiana Draper

    This blog was one of the first I discovered when I started transitioning to veganism (mid-2011), and it quickly became my favorite and has stayed my favorite in all these years. I will miss reading regularly, but understand and support that you have to do what is best for you and your family. Thank you for keeping the page, I still search frequently for recipes and your opinions on various topics. I have especially appreciated reading your thoughts on matters as a scientist – it lends a different perspective and more thorough back up than most blogs. I will continue following you on social media, and thanks for all you do and sharing so much with us.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Joni! I love you so much and your support means a lot to me. I know we’ve been in similar places, but I feel like you’ve always been better than me at prioritizing your “real” life over your online life. I admire that and aspire to be more like that! And I can’t *wait* to hang out with you and catch up and talk about all this. LBC Vegan Festival???

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Meredith. Your support means a lot, and I hope you know how much I have loved and appreciated your comments over the years. Lots of love to you, and I hope I’ll see you around the ‘net! ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Blasphemers, both of you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you so much Betty, I always appreciated reading your comments, so thank you for taking the time to be a part of this community. And good luck to you as well! ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    HOW DARE YOU??! J/k, I know she’s not for everyone. Thanks for the luck and well wishes, and the same back atchya Amanda, especially as you’re beginning to explore more outwardly in your own life. That’s so exciting, and I wish you all the best. Onward indeed!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    WOW, you did keep good secrets, I had no idea! Congrats Monika, on [always] following your heart and having the courage to make the best decisions for you and your family. Love to you!

  • Julie

    So very pleased for you. I’ve enjoyed your very interesting and high quality blogging over the years and also hoped you’d know the right time for you to stop running so hard. Brava.

  • Jenn

    ill miss you Seyward, you’ve been a beacon for me when I am feeling like I’m not on the right path, PEACE!

  • Anne241

    Thank you for everything Sayward, wishing you all the best!!!

  • Annelise Seifer

    Thank you for everything. I’ve been reading for such a long time and it’s definitely had an impact on my life. Your book helped get me through my pregnancy, and reading about your divorce helped me not feel as alone with mine. I am so glad you are making this choice – it definitely sounds like it was the right one for you. I’m glad I’ll be able to follow you on instagram! Best of luck to y’all and CONGRATS ON GRADUATING!