Take Time

Day three of my self imposed challenge! I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t log in today. I started thinking about social media and our need to be virtually connected all the time. The idea that Facebook plays a huge role in many lives across the US is quite daunting.

I’ve decided that after this “blog every day for a month” challenge is over, I’d like to try getting on to Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress only once a week for a month and using more traditional sources for communication and obtaining pressing news. Six out of the seven days, I plan on reading a newspaper, watching the news on TV (a fond memory I have of first moving to California: listening to KTVU/FOX 2 10 o’clock news from my bedroom), calling and texting my friends, and listening to NPR/KQED. I’ll be honest, I might not stick to that, but I am going to try. I’d love to get back to basics and enjoy my 30’s like my parents did. They survived very well and with immense joy without social media, computers, the internet, and smart phones. They did really well with land line phones, basic TV, newspapers, radios, and a great community of friends. I feel that I will be able to cultivate more honest relationships if I am able to distance myself from the virtual networks I am completely immersed in.

How do you feel about Social Media and Social Networking? How often do you find yourself checking Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.? Would you happily take a week vacation without internet access, a computer, or a cell phone?

Gratitude Is Glorious

Happy Treat Yourself Thursday!

Oh Rainn Wilson, thank you for creating SoulPancake.

Everyone, in this new year, please take lead here and have a little grace and gratitude in your life. A simple thank you with a smile goes a very long way. We all enjoy a little appreciation once in awhile. Thank the cashier who rang you up for your cup of coffee, then thank the barista who made it. Thank your body for keeping you alive for one more day. Thank your family members who show you love and support.

We often forget to take two seconds to express gratitude, but our brains our wired to feel happier when we say thank you (not to mention being thanked).

Who do you appreciate the most? Why?
Comment below… Then tell that person how much you appreciate them!

Love me!!

In an attempt to gain views and followers, I’ve devised a little plan. I am trying to get to 500 views by 11.59pm PST on December 31. So, if that happens, I will make my first YouTube video, share it here, and entice y’all even more to keep coming back.

What will I do in my YouTube video? I’m not sure yet. I might recite a poem. I might tell some jokes. I might do a goofy dance. Or I might just say hello, thank you, and a little snippet about myself. Whatever I decide, I do promise you a YouTube video.

So, get reading! Get sharing! And while you’re at it, please mosey on over to my two other blogs: DJ Toaster Biscuit & A Life In Paperback.

Thank you all so very much!

Free Stuff! Giveaway…

Hi dears!! Everyone loves the opportunity to get free stuff, right? I know I do. Free hugs, free food, free petrol, free love…

So, I’ve been formulating a giveaway to do. I’ve been collecting things over the last few months that I’m happy to pass on to others. Why not make it interesting?

Here are the rules:
1. Follow or subscribe to me me on at least one of the social media sites I am on
This blog, or
DJ ToasterBiscuit, or
A Life In Paperback, or
FaceBook, or
Twitter, or
Bloglovin’, and
2. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite thing about winter and your current music/movie/literature/art obsession. If you can hit the like button, even better! Also, please share which form of social media you have chosen to connect with me if it is not directly here.
3. This step is optional. If you could give me a shout out on your favorite social media site, I’ll be forever grateful! If you do, email me a screen capture or leave a link in your comment. Who knows, if you do this optional step, you might get two chances to win!?
4. The deadline is 11.59pm PST, December 30th, 2013.

What am I giving away? I’m putting together a box of treat yourself goodies. Included will be a pear scented candle, some dry body oil, a face exfoliator, a face serum or two, a moisturizer, and possibly even a $20 gift card of your choosing (within reason). I will definitely include more, I promise. Guys, check this out: the exfoliator is a cult favorite in the GQ/Esquire/Entourage watching circle of men. (Ladies, it’s amazing. I have a few tubes of it. That’s why I’m willing to part with one.) Plus guys, if you have any women you care about, everything else can make great gifts.

If I only get one comment, I will either nix the giveaway or reboot it and start over in January. So participate please!!!

Take Care: Treat Yourself Thursday

It’s no secret that I’m an Aveda fan. I use at least two things from the brand every single day. The two I use most often are Rosemary Mint Hand & Body Wash and Hand Relief Hand Cream.
I find that the hand wash gets my hands clean without drying them out. I’ve never been a fan of hand washes with Triclosan in it. I’d rather just wash my hands well and regularly. Plus, synthetic antibacterials seem to be drying on my skin. Aveda’s hand wash smells great and doesn’t dry my hands.
Coming into winter, my already dry skin has a tendency to become more dry. About a year ago, my mother get me a tube of Aveda’s hand cream and I’ve been hooked ever since. It is extremely hydrating, but absorbs very fast. Those seems to be the two most important factors when people shop for hand creams.
So, dear readers, my treat yourself suggestion today is taking care of your hands. Happy hands (and feet) help set the tone for the day. I do suggest Aveda’s Rosemary Mint hand wash, but any gentle wash without synthetic antibacterials will work. Wash your hands regularly, especially during heightened times of the cold & flu. Make sure you have a great hand cream. My favorite is Aveda’s, but another amazing hand cream that works just as well is Caudalie’s Hand & Nail Cream, which is nourishing and also absorbs well.
And, remember to keep your hand active. During cold weather, joints may have a tendency to stiffen up more often. While putting on hand cream, give your hands a mini massage. This will boost circulation to keep them warm as well as keep fluid moving well.
Enjoy!!

TYT Again!!!

Happy Thursday everyone! You know what that means!? It’s another Treat Yourself Thursday post! w00t!!

Last week, I got y’all started with a playlist to take yourself on a walk with. I hope you were inspired to get out there and move. I know I was!

I work retail, so I interact with a slew of personalities. Most of them are amazing & positive, but like life, there are always a select group of “interesting” people. I’m sure you’ve all met these kinds of people. You know, the ones that leave you saying to yourself “shake it off…”

So this week, I’m going to share with you my way of relaxing and recharging after a long day on my feet.

I am a huge fan of aromatherapy. As humans, we are all wired to associate different smells with different emotions and reactions. My bathroom and bedroom are both always stocked with specific essential oils: Lemon, Orange, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus. For many people, the true scent citrus fruits are refreshing and uplifting. They help clarify the mind. Peppermint does the same, as well as offers a cooling sensation. For me, rosemary is grounding as well as clarifying. And, we all know how well eucalyptus works for our sinuses during colds. Like peppermint, it opens up nasal passages & cools any heat or discomfort we may feel.

These five essential oils aren’t very expensive, which is why I am happy to keep a constant supply of them. Depending on the brand and amount you are purchasing, they range anywhere from $3-$12 per vial. Not too bad, as you don’t need much of any of them during each use.

I use essential oils in many different things. But, I won’t overload you! Instead, I’ll share a couple different ways of using aromatherapy to help relax yourself.

[Lil’ legal disclaimer: I am not a licensed aromatherapist, naturopath, nurse, MD, et cetera. These are things that have worked for me safely and work for many people. However, I do suggest you please consult a licensed ND or MD if you have any major health concerns. Thank you!]

Refreshing & Calming Foot Soak:
Tub big enough to soak feet and ankles in (use bathtub if you must)
Warm water (I like fairly hot water myself)
10-15 drops Peppermint Oil
10-15 drops Eucalyptus Oil
10 drops Rosemary Oil (optional)
After you have filled your bucket/tub/bath with enough warm/hot water, add the essential oils. Please make sure the temperature is safe enough to submerge your feet and ankles in! Get settled in a comfy seating position & soak your feet. I like to soak my feet for 15-25 minutes, adding hot water a couple times. After soaking, dry off your feet and follow with any lotion you like. I usually use the Aveda foot lotion or argan oil with peppermint & rosemary essential oils. The heat, water, and essential oils will help with any pressure, swelling, and circulation issues standing for extended periods of time can cause. The weightlessness of the water takes pressure off joints & tendons, allowing blood to circulate better, which assists with any swelling. Peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary all assist with circulation, drainage, and detoxification. [Again, not a chemist, naturopath, ND, MD, nurse, or aromatherapist. Not everything works the same for everyone. Capisce?]

Uplifting Body Hydration & Stimulation:
Argan Oil, Coconut Oil, or Unscented Body Lotion
5-15 drops Lemon Essential Oil
5-15 drops Orange Essential Oil
5-15 drops Lime Essential Oil
5-10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
5-10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
This works best right after a shower. The reason why there is such a variance in the drop amount is because it depends on how much of your body you are going to massage. You’ll see the main focus is the citrus oils. They are naturally happiness inducing. For most people, we associate citrus smells with warmth, joy, happiness, and cleanliness. The citrus oils also help brighten the skin. And, the rosemary & peppermint essential oils are there to help with circulation, detoxification, and fluid drainage. What I find easiest to do is to work section by section. In your hands get just enough argan or coconut oil or body lotion, add a few drops of each essential oil, then work it into your skin. For my skin & body long circular motions seem to work the best. I’ll do one thigh, then the other, then each calf seperatly. Then I’ll do each arm seperately, then I’ll do my torso last. The two places I save for absolute last are the back of my neck and chest. These two places are where I seem to hold most of my tension. Also, it is nice to have the scent of the essential oils still fresh when I get into bed.

I do hope you enjoy these little things to pamper yourself with. If you don’t have the time or patience to do either of those, you can still do aromatherapy! One drop of an essential oil warmed up in the palms of your hands will still brighten your day! Find one you love, and a few times throughout the day place one drop in the palm of your hand, warm it up with both palms, then cup your hands around your mouth & nose and inhale/exhale slowly & deeply a few times. This is a great way to take a one minute break to reset your mind. You’re smelling something that has a positive effect on your brain, you are slowing down for a minute, and you are getting some good oxygen flow to your heart & brain.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, all you Americans reading this!!