Thursday, June 22, 2017

Three on Thursday

Can I be frank with all of you? How do we on;y have one full week of June left? How. How is this even happening? I have no concept of time anymore and I feel like this year in particular is speeding by. 

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, today's Three on Thursday is going to be more of a here's-three-things-that-are-presently-taking-place-because-I've-got-nothing. Yup. 



1| Basics

In the interest of brevity, and because I'm going to turn this into a different post, let's just say that I feel like my life is completely out of control and that it's all just "going through the motions" lately. 

2| Little Miss gave me conjunctivitis a/k/a pink eye

This is awesome. Said no one ever. Last Monday my eye felt bothered and was kind of watery. I just figured my mascara had flaked and ended up in my eye. When I woke up the next day and it was visibly pink I knew something was up. Little Miss had been on medication for hers two days before I saw her so I figured I would be fine since she was no longer contagious. Long story short... my mom never washed her blankie and I was around it all weekend. "Pink eye" sounds much worse than it is. It just means the inside of your eyelid is irritated. I'm now on my own drops. 32 and I'm being brought down by a 5 year old....

3| The Dress

Remember the dress I posted about a few weeks ago? The one that was $400 and fit perfectly? Yeah... I bought it. I kept telling myself that if it was marked down again I could by it. After being reminded about it on Monday I called Neiman's and asked if they still had it. At first she said no. And I was fine with that. Then she came back all excited and said she found it mixed in with another size. So i purchased it over the phone right then and there. It was marked down almost another $100 and I ultimately paid less than $300 for a $650 dress. #allthewins



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Chakras Kahn Make a Difference

In the summer of 2015 I started taking steps on my spiritual journey. At the time, I didn't fully understand what that meant and was simply aiming to "get to a better place" emotionally and mentally. My relationship was a constant headache, I didn't like my job, and life was feeling very blah. 

Fast forward to the end of 2015 and start of 2016 and I started reading and learning about using crystals to help my energetic vibrations. For some, crystal healing or energy work can sound like a load of bullshit. Others swear by it. Personally, as is my stance on most things of this nature, if you're not hurting anyone and it makes YOU feel better, go for it.

To understand crystals I feel it best to understand the chakras.
The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, this term refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualize a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy. ~The Chopra Center
For a visual reference, it looks like this:



These energy wheels serve as nerve centers for different parts of the body. For example, your Anahata, or heart chakra is in control of your energy surrounding love and compassion. Your Muladhara, or root chakra, is the center for feeling grounded or safe. Each chakra has psychological, emotional, and spiritual effects on the body. At any given time multiple chakras can be open, closed, or cloudy. Ideally we want them all to be open so that our energy flows freely. Every day life makes this a struggle, but it can be maintained.

These swirling wheels of energy correspond to massive nerve centers in the body. Each of the seven main chakras contains bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Since everything is moving, it’s essential that our seven main chakras stay open, aligned, and fluid. Since mind, body, soul, and spirit are intimately connected, awareness of an imbalance in one area will help bring the others back into balance. The Chopra Center
These are the ones I use

What I once believed to be nothing more than "pretty, shiny rocks" are actually crystals that naturally occur. There are hundreds of crystals and they each have special properties. Some crystals can heal more than one area, some are good in water, others, like selenite, can't get wet at all. Crystals can have specific or a variety of uses. They're a great way to work on your chakras.

The root chakra is tied ro the crystals, agate, hematite {personal favorite}, and bloodstone.

The sacral chakra uses carnelian or moonstone.

The solar plexus chakra uses tiger's eye, amber, or citrine.

Throat uses aquamarine, turquoise, or chalcedony

Third Eye uses lapis, sapphire, or sodalite.

Crown uses amethyst, clear quartz, or suglite.


Keep in mind these are just suggestions. Crystals are a personal thing so you should always use whichever one speaks to you.



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When Life Gets Real

Way back when Stephanie posted about what her real life looked like. The idea inspired me. We spend so much time crafting the "perfect" image that we want people to see that we tend to forget about the reality in which we're all living. You know, the one we as humans actually relate to others with.

Real life is.... 


+ letting the dishes pile up until 30 minutes before someone is on their way over.

+ not taking the garbage out because you don't feel like carrying it down the stairs.

+ ordering laundry service pickup and delivery because you can't bear the idea of hauling it all to the laundromat and then sitting there for the next two-and-a-half hours.

+ eating out all the time because you don't feel like going to the grocery store.

+ selling your planners because you're starting to get bored.

+ buying new underwear because you were running low and didn't want to do the aforementioned laundry.

+ dealing with frustrating clients and working OT because bills don't ever seem to go down.

+ cancelling HH plans with coworkers because you'd rather see the guy you're dating

+ ignoring your group chat because you're just "over" all the conversation

+ taking a mental health afternoon even though you told yourself no more days until July

+ buying the dress because you know it looked amazing

+ forgetting to put sunblock on your niece and then feeling like the world's worst aunt when she turns bright red


I'm telling you, life has been real around here lately!




Monday, June 5, 2017

Get Screened

This shop has been compensated by CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias


I'll be honest - I just started using sunscreen. Anyone who has ever spent time with me in the summer, or in life, knows that I'm a sun sponge. I will happily spend hours enjoying the weather and soaking up the sun. But when I started burning a few years ago I knew that my days without sun protection were over. 



As I've recently found out my skin, or the sun has changed. As such, I'm not cognizant of the steps needed to be sun safe. Here are three ways I stay safe. 

1| Sun Clothing
I prefer to be out in the sun so I don't use UFB clothing but I do love a good sun hat. Not only is it functional, it also looks good!



2| Sunblock/sunscreen
When I was in Jamaica in 2015 I didn't bring sunscreen. I didn't think I'd need it. How wrong I was. When I went back recently, I made sure to bring sunscreen with me because I had unfortunately learned how strong the sun could be. 



I had been against using it because I didn't like the way it felt on my skin, or the smell. But I've finally found something I do like! This is where Blue Lizard®Australian Sunscreen comes to my rescue. Dermatologist recommended for over 15 years Blue Lizard® provides excellent UVA/UVB coverage from the sun.  

I ran to Walmart for some last minute items. You can easily find Blue Lizard® at Walmart stores in the sun-care aisle and in The Sun Zone, the seasonal display. I opted for the sensitive formula, which is both paraben and fragrance-free, but Blue Lizard® also comes in Sport, Face, and Baby formulas. Blue Lizard® is a brand not only trusted by dermatologists and pediatricians, but especially moms!



When I tested this out and applied it, I was pleasantly surprised that not only did it absorb quickly, without leaving my skin feeling greasy, but it also didn't have that annoying zinc smell like so many other brands. 

Blue Lizard® products have a unique zinc oxide formulation and provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection (SPF30+). The Sport formula is extremely water resistant and can stay on for up to 2 hours in whirlpool water.  




One of my favorite things about Blue Lizard® is the patented Smart Bottle™ technology. The bottle itself actually changes color when exposed to harmful UV sunlight. It's a great reminder for when to re-apply. I actually took it outside yesterday when it was overcast and drizzling and it started turning blue almost immediately. 





3| Get Shady
I have always been one to wear sunglasses at all time. I still continue to do this but now I also make a point to sit in the shade rather than just getting in the water. 




If there's one thing I've learned, the sun is stronger than ever and I, you, WE need to be diligent about protecting ourselves. I'm also happy to say, sunscreen and I have become friends and I now use it any time I'm outside. It doesn't stop me from getting a tan {yay!} but it certainly reduces the harmful rays and protects my skin, which is now important to me. 

As an added bonus, if you join iBotta and earn $4.00 when you purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen - Sensitive, 5 oz. bottle only.


How are you staying sun safe this summer? 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Currently

Has it really been a full month since the last link up? Is it really June first? Has it seriously been rainy and overcast for the past two weeks????

I'm telling you, I have no idea where time goes anymore. In any event, here's what's been going on:

What's New With You

Listening to: my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify. There was a time it was 1000% on point... and then it went to the other extreme. It's had some decent stuff on it lately so I'm giving it another chance. 

Planning for: early retirement? Ugh, I wish. Actually, I want to take a weekend trip to Baltimore/DC this summer so probably in July. And I want to road trip around the southwest for a long weekend this summer as well. 

Watching: The Keepers. My heart breaks for these women. And honestly, I'm saying this because it's my blog and fuck yes to the 1st Amendment: the Catholic church disgusts me. 

Reading: Blogs. I figured it was finally time to play catch-up. I need to pick up an actual book though. I don't know where my reading mojo went but I've seriously been burned out for months now. 

Creating: a life of less. I'm still purging and not just things. Accounts, people, hobbies.... it's all on the chopping block.

Saving for: the Bahamas. When I was in Jamaica I applied for the Sandals card {not sorry}, was approved, and then put a deposit down for a week in the Bahamas next May. I can push it back {and will} but it's still costly. 

Buying: I'm *trying* not to buy anything! I need to get rid of some of these credit cards and then I can sit pretty. I did pay off my gas card a few months ago and haven't used it since. 

Eating: I finished my carb challenge and decided to stay on a modified paleo diet for the long haul. Lately I've had too many traditional carbs in my life so I'm buckling down and eating as many fish, fruits, and veggies as I can. 

Wearing: all the warm clothing! We had a freak heat wave two weeks ago and now it's fucking cold and rainy. I can't even get into it because it just annoys me. 

Going: I'm still freshly back from Jamaica but next weekend I'm off to the Poconos for the weekend. I've decided that's how the summer will go - lots of mini weekend trips when and where I can. 

Saying: It was brought to my attention that I say "apparently" a lot. Like, more than necessary. Now that I'm aware of it I'm trying to stop. I'm not sure how it happened but apparently it's become a problem. {see what I did there?}

Coveting: this dress. I tried it on while I was at the mall with mom over the holiday weekend and it fit perfectly. It's marked down to $390 from $650 {which is a good deal} but even then, I have nowhere to wear it and it would end up being worn to the laundromat and grocery store. Not that I have a problem with that. 



And that wraps up what's new with me! 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Three on Thursday

At this point I'm beginning to think Thursdays trump Fridays. 



Deva Curl
I did an entire post about how I care for my curls but I really feel I need to spotlight this stuff. Zulily recently had a deal and I stocked up since it was cheaper than buying from Ulta or the salon. I've been using Deva products consistently for about 6 months now and I absolutely notice a difference in both the health and ease of doing my hair. Deva is made for curls so it gives all the hydration and curl care you could possibly need. I mean, I guess you could use it on straight hair too, but don't you guys have enough products as it is?!


Backpack
Even though I love my Longchamp bags they were giving me shoulder pain. I switched to a cross-body but the issue was the same on the opposite side. I finally acknowledged that I needed something that would evenly distribute the weight of my stuff {side note: any time I think about "my stuff" I immediately think about George Carlin's skit about stuff} so I ordered this backpack from Amazon last week. It's roomier than I expected and I've already got compliments on it. Plus, no more shoulder pain. 


The Keepers
A Netflix original documentary series, I started watching this yesterday and I'm hooked. The series follows two former students of a Baltimore nun who was slain in 1969 and the mystery and secrets surrounding her death. I will say I'm immediately hooked to anything true crime. I will also warn you that some of the episodes are rough to watch yet well worth it.



Are you guys ready for the long weekend?  I know I am! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Why I'm Switching to a {Modified} Paleo Lifestyle

Back in April the scale, and my clothes, finally told me something I could no longer ignore. I was weighing in higher than was acceptable and I decided to do something about it. I did a 21 day low/no carb challenge. 



It was a true challenge but it was also educational. I needed to keep myself fueled and full but stick within my parameters while keeping portions in check. As I started my third week, one very clear thought came to me: I don't need carbs {or added sugar}.

Sure they're delicious and all my favorite foods are carb based, but I can do without them. I didn't want to abandon all the progress I'd made so I revisited a paleo link a friend had sent me in my first week. It was pretty similar to what I had been doing for the past 3 weeks.

In case you're really confused about what I mean when I say "modified paleo", it looks like this:


Andouille sausage egg scramble with grape tomatoes and avocado; baked zucchini stuffed with mushrooms and pepper with goat cheese; and riced cauliflower and a grilled chicken sandwich


Quinoa "oatmeal" with scrambled eggs; roasted salmon and spinach and feta stuffed flounder with veggies; quinoa bowl; and tacos


It's a lot of veggies and meat. And because I refuse to give up cheese and beans, that too.

For me, eating this way allowed me to lose weight but not feel as though I was depriving myself. I love to get creative in the kitchen and knowing that bread, pasta, and rice were off the table forced me to get even more creative with my dishes.

It's all about balance. I now have pizza and pasta dishes as an indulgence instead of them being the regular choice. Does this or will this work for everyone, no. But it does for me and that's what matters.

Do you have any grain free or low-carb recipes/ideas you've tried and loved?