Green Garden Party: Urban Edition

Nashville’s sustainability education nonprofit, Urban Green Lab, invites you to join us for our 3rd annual Green Garden Party!

This year’s ‘Urban Edition’ features a new venue – the beautifully modern studio of Nashville designer Elizabeth Suzann – along with our Mobile Lab classroom, silent auction, and music by Nashville Symphony cellist, Michael Samis, and Rutherford Beat Hayes. Enjoy local Blackstone beer, wine, specialty-brewed kombucha cocktails, and hors d’oeuvre dinner by Alexander’s Catering and Mitchell’s.

Tickets are $65 per person @

Proceeds from the event will support Urban Green Lab’s community education and Mobile Lab programs. We look forward to celebrating with you!

What are my transport/parking options?
Free parking is provided. Ridesharing, carpooling and biking encouraged!

Who can I contact with questions?
Please email or call Jennifer Westerholm at or 615-442-7072.

“Rediscovering the Joys in Fitness & Life”

Laid off. I found myself having all the time in the world to do what I wanted to do. But what did I want to do? After about a week of rollercoaster emotions, with my husband’s encouragement, I made myself a list of daily tasks to complete. First, I knew I needed to get back into a regular exercise routine, to keep myself busy & active and lift my mood. So my list started with waking up early, eating breakfast, exercising in some way, then spending a few hours looking and applying for jobs. I’m branching out; I found that I really enjoy zumba classes. And I realized that I still enjoy running. But let me tell you, it’s been a few years! Breathing in the fresh air, feeling the warm sunshine on my skin, listening to encouraging music.. all help me enjoy the experience of running outside. Recently, my husband joined me running at a nearby park, and just having him beside me helped me reach a small personal goal to run the whole length of the paved track without stopping. Finally! This week, I met that goal and doubled it! And I discovered a few blessings along the way– the delightful smell of honeysuckle trees in bloom… and the familiar smell of pine trees. Then, I gasped at a beautiful surprise- a blue jay landed on a branch near me. It was as if I found an unexpected treasure. I don’t see those often. I stood there watching it for few minutes. I felt like a kid again, enjoying the beauty of nature. More than that, the joy of accomplishing something that I know will make me feel better overall, lower my stress, and benefit me so much in the long run… makes it all worth it.

Let me encourage you to carve away some time to rediscover the things you enjoyed years ago– the things that make you feel like a kid again, staring in awe and beauty.

Shared With Love,

Maria S.

Help improve Nashville’s students wellness through sustainability education

Urban Green Lab, Nashville’s nonprofit dedicated to improving wellbeing through sustainable living, just launched an Indiegogo campaign to bring sustainability education to local students. Check it out our video, story and the perks we’re offering here:

In a study with Vanderbilt, 91% of students reported absent or infrequent sustainability education, but 83% said they want to learn how to protect the planet. They will inherent the earth, but haven’t had access to critical information that will allow them to protect it.

The mobile lab is an interactive sustainability exhibit that will move between Nashville’s middle and high schools. Its engaging activities and practical content will teach kids how sustainability applies to them and what they can do about it in their daily lives.

We only have a few weeks to reach our goal – Please empower our kids to improve their health and communities by contributing and spreading the word!

Liberate Your Loveliness: BIY (Be It Yourself) Health & Beauty

Some of my favorite simple ingredients and recipes for a (virtually) waste-free, cheap, and all-natural Toil-Free Kit.

1. Inner Detox Drink: Apple Cider Vinegar. Where to begin? My love affair with apple cider vinegar has been taken to the extreme at times. My taste buds tend towards the sour side of things, so in the past, I have probably overdosed on drinking this zippy elixir. However, it is an incredibly powerful yet gentle, all purpose yet site specific tonic for overall healthy and beauty. My mom gave me this old, folk remedy book on the wonders of apple cider vinegar, and it claims that if there was a fountain of youth, it would be flowing with this sour wine (the word ‘vinegar” is a derivative of “sour wine”). Just as it cleans your insides, it’s also an incredibly effective all-purpose cleaner for tiles, windows, mirrors, etc.

The power of apple cider vinegar (ACV) is in its perfect pH that quite magically accommodates both the needs of our inner and outer organs- namely our skin and our stomach and intestines (How does it do this!? The scientist in me wants to dissect, but I’d rather just marvel in its dizzyingly complex, soothingly simple perfection). In the body, ACV has an alkalizing effect, breaking down the build-up of toxins, kidney stones, and other inner-crud. It’s alkalinity aligns with our inner good gut-flora and rights the wrongs of the overly acidic (typically) Western diet (think red meat, cheese, processed foods, and stress- these all have acidic effects in the body). At the same time, ACV helps maintain the crucial “acid mantle” that covers the skin of a healthy body. Comprised of a delicate balance of sebum oil and perspiration, the acid mantle is the skin’s natural defense against dehydration, wind, sun, bad bacteria, attitudes, and fungi. Many popular soaps are alkalizing in nature, stripping away the acid mantle like turpentine on an oil canvas. This is bad! With no acid mantle of healthy protection, acne, rashes, and pimples run loose. So you scrub and scrub more with alkalizing soap products, only to be met by the same defeat. Stop the madness! Return to balance. Stop, drop, and ACV.

A strict (yet easy) regimen of drinking 1-4 tbsp of ACV throughout the day- with lots of water and fresh vegetables- is key to cleansing your skin. In order to dispel those pesky microbes that feed on your perfume-stank, simply mix a tbsp. with water (and juice or honey if you like sweet) and sip throughout the day. Drink hot or cold. Dilute it with water 1:4 and splash it on your face, your pits – get right to the source! Rinse it in your hair for a squeaky clean finish (it really will make your hair squeak!). For imbibing, I like Bragg’s raw, organic, unfiltered with the “mother” ; for body-washing, opt for the cheaper generic versions (but if you can afford it, stick with Bragg’s for everything!)

2. General Face Exfoliant/Cleaner/Moisturizer: Coffee grounds, honey, and coconut oil (1:½:2) – exfoliant scrub, anti-bacterial, moisturizing, and UV protection. I do this moisturizing scrub in the morning, in the shower, or before bed.

3. General Astringent/Freshener: Witch Hazel and Tea Tree Oil (1 c : 5 drops) – Perky face splash after Coffee-Honey-Coco scrub, after a work-out, feeling tired, end of day – it cools, refreshes, and cleanses. If I have time, I’ll boil lemon rind in water for an hour or 2, strain out the peels, and then add this to the mix in a 1:1 with the Witch Hazel.

4. Pimple Killer : Tea Tree Oil – place 1 drop on the crime scene and let it absorb overnight. This will dry out the infection and keep the bacteria at bay

5. Instant Stress Relief: Lavender Essential Oil (outer) and Chamomile Tea (inner) – for easy airplane flights and pre-date jitters, go for a drop of lavender oil on your palms and behind your ears and relax with a cup of Chamomile Tea. I find that adding local honey to my tea quells my anxieties even more.

6. Tooth-paste: 1 c coconut oil, 1 tbsp baking soda, pinch of good sea salt, 3-6 drops peppermint/spearmint/lemon essential oil. I love this stuff and since I’ve been using it, my teeth feel stronger than ever. I also highly recommend flossing regularly and brushing your tongue. Don’t spit this toothpaste down the drain though. For a gum-healthy punch, massage your gums with sesame oil once-a-day.

7. Shampoo: Dissolve 1 tsp baking soda in 1 c of water. Work into wet hair like you would lather in shampoo. Then rinse with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I like ylang ylang and grapefruit; my mom prefers rosewood. Everyone is different- find the scent that most harmoniously merries with your microbes, pheromones, and all that other good stuff! You know the balance you need, it just takes time and practice to find it.

There are so many healthy, easy, cheap options out there for maintaining your inner glow. It’s fun to find the ones that work for you.

For all of these DIY recipes and their functions listed, remember that the list of benefits and effects in/on the body is no where near complete- nor can it ever be!

Be happy, be healthy, be beautiful- be you!

A wise person ought to realize that health is one’s most valuable possession. – Hippocrates


Farmer’s Almanac

Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Remedies

To order high-quality, ecologically-grown essential oils and herbs- Rose Mountain Herbs

About the Writer

My name is Eileen. I work for Urban Green Lab as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Communications & Community Engagement. Urban Green Lab is Nashville’s only nonprofit dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our city through sustainability. We fill a gap by offering programs that inspire people of all ages to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives through workshops and school programming . If you are interested in any of our programming and/or getting more involved, check out our website, Facebook, or email Now go play outside!

Green Garden Party

Chirping birds, wafts of flower perfume, and chartreuse tree tops- it is officially spring and time for Urban Green Lab’s Green Garden Party. It’s our biggest (and only!) fundraising event of the year. With Blackstone Brews, creative canapes from local Alexander’s catering, live classical guitar, silent auction, and excellent meeting- this is a night you don’t want to miss. 100% of the proceeds goes towards supporting innovative sustainable education in Nashville. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased here:

When: May 16th , 5-7 PM
Where: the lovely home of Michael and Randy Gross (4416 Harding Place, 37205
How: Purchase tickets here: or mail check to Urban Green Lab, P.O. Box 68348, Nashville, TN 37206
Why: Because Nashville need sustainable education!
Questions? Email or call 615-785-0872

Yoga Camp May 1-3, LaVergne TN

Attention all hippies!

Please Join me as I offer up the first of many annual Yoga Camps!!!
Re discover your youthful spirit and the essence of play! email

$333- 3 Days
Camp Youth Incorporated, LaVergne Tn

Fresh Juices, superfood vegetarian fruit and salad bar daily (bring your own meat and alcohol)
Daily lectures on vegetarian food and healthy eating!

Yoga: (firm schedule coming soon with mealtimes)
Dynamic morning practice with Megan Kipp
Beginners Yoga Class
Runner Therapeutics Workshop
Indoor and Outdoor Yoga Practices

Daily Guided Morning Meditations with Megan Kipp

Ayurveda Workshop- Megan Kipp of Yogassage
Vegetarian Kitchen Workshops by Dan Forberg of Actual Food.
Natural Body Care- Bari Miley of Ashwood Estates
Belly Dancing Workshop by Allison Gibbs of Blaque Masque Productions.
Hiking , Canoes unlimited
SUPER RUSTIC LODGING 20 cabins on the lake- Cabins are not air conditioned

A Lemon A Day!

Hello friends! My love of lemons started sometime around the elementary school lemonade stand and it continues today in the form of the juice of half a lemon in warm water every morning!

There are several lists online about the benefits and origins of this idea but to be fair, when I Googled “a lemon a day” this is the first page and it says it pretty well.

As with anything, do your own research but here is what I use
1/2 organic lemon juiced
filtered water
a mug (extra points if you love the mug)
1:11 in my microwave on high

Something to read, a few good tunes or whatever else grabs ya!

I started this practice about a year ago and am hooked! My life got especially awesome when my parents bought me the juicer in the picture…but fear not, I used my hands for 10 months and did juuuuust fine! 🙂



I am so glad that I have such a caring & loving daughter! Love You Robin! Your website is Beautiful just like You. Love Mom

Spring Yoga Retreat @ Bethany Hills

Think Spring! Join Linda Mills and friends for a yoga retreat Fri. March 20-Sunday, March 22. You can do all the 5 yoga classes or hike or just rest and relax instead at beautiful Bethany Hills Retreat in Kingston Springs, TN. We are combining aromatherapy and reflexology into our week-end. Massage appointments and Raindrop therapy are available and MORE! Contact Linda for more info at:, or 615-952-4864.

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