I try to ignore the big “shopping weekend” right after a day of thanks, but some years I do better than others. This year I spent my weekend sleeping in and binge watching Netflix for so long that I almost forgot about it all together! Actually… by forgot I mean that I even forgot to post a sale of my own on Etsy! But a day I really don’t like to miss? Giving Tuesday!
According to the website, “#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.” To me, this is a great way to show some extra thanks and give back after a truly gluttonous week. Giving Tuesday is a way for me to get back to what’s important, and between community events and companies with a mission to give, there are a countless number of ways to get involved.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this flashing cursor on wordpress, but something has been calling me to post lately. I feel like a whole different person since the last few times I’ve been here. I’ve changed jobs, moved to a new state, donated half of my belongings and started rebuying and rebuilding different parts of my life. I haven’t really been able to keep up with the blog world over the last few years, but lately I’ve found myself browsing some old favorites. So let’s think of this post as a little mic test. (Hello? Is this thing on?) and a long overdue set of some links I’ve been digging.
Stephanie Gerber (the blogger behind Hello Glow) posted about some great natural diffusers andddddd her new book! I have this sitting in my amazon cart just waiting to be purchased as we speak!
Have I told you that we got rid of cable? We tried (and failed) to do this before, but 15 months cable-less, I think we’re over that hiccup. Most days I don’t miss it, but here and there I feel a longing for HGTV. So last time I was at my dad’s I spent a little bit of time on the couch catching up on what I’ve been missing.
Tiny Houses? Cool!
New Property Brothers? Love!
Good Bones? How do I become these women!
No, really. I want to be Mina and Karen. They’re super cool and cute and their designs are awesome. Basically I think their lives look pretty fun and I’m jealous. In fact I was so inspired that I double checked my bank account (still not enough for house flipping) and then settled on creating a mood board on Polyvore.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m available for hire should you need a professional mood board for your next reno. (I’m also available for house flipping, should you have the funds to spare.)
So my neighbors started composting and lucky for me they created a VERY large composting box..which means it’s time to take my recycling and earth-friendly habits to the next level.
To be honest, when they first told me that this box was being created, I didn’t know much about composting. I mean, I knew it cut down on garbage/waste and helped with growing a garden, but that’s kind of sad, basic information, right? After a quick google search I can formally share that “Composting is the transformation of organic material (plant matter) through decomposition into a soil-like material called compost”.
Okay, so how do you do it?
You start by getting yourself a composting bin. My neighbors took care of this for us by making one out of pallets. You can also choose to follow the DIY route, or you can buy one. Then you just start filling it up!
Different websites take different approaches. Some are very methodical (think layering different kind of organic material and putting leaves through a paper shredder), others are a little more natural. We’re heading down that second road, throwing in various items as they become available and taking care of the pile as we go. The big thing to remember of course, is that the point is for this organic material to break down and create this nutrient-rich soil or compost. As we all know, all waste is not created equal and therefore all waste can not just be tossed in your bin.
Here is a quick list of organic materials you can add:
Fruit and veggies
Newspaper (with no color print)
Herbivorous animal waste (no meat eaters, please!)
Things you can NOT add:
Anything with dairy
I also learned that it’s a good idea to keep a healthy mix of the “yes” items above. Most things that I read split this list up into two categories: Green and Brown materials. They break down in different ways and produce different materials. It’s a good idea to water and turn your pile regularly, to keep air flow and discourage any foul odors.
To be honest I’m a little nervous about this endeavor. South Florida is known for an early summer and I’m just going to guess that heat and humidity probably play a rather smelly part in decomposition… sooo wish us luck! If you have tips, please leave them in the comments.. I’m sure I’m going to need them.
A good night’s sleep is sometimes all you need to get your energy levels out of the red zone. Getting enough quality sleep throughout your life is essential for your health. In fact, sleep is so important for your well-being that Amnesty International marked sleep deprivation as a form of torture.
To reach the optimal amount of sleep, you should aim to get around 8 hours of shut-eye per night. Sounds easy, right? What happens when you simply cannot shut your eyes and it is already 3 a.m. and your alarm clock is set to 7 a.m.? Or when you wake up every two or three hours?
There are some ways to fall asleep easier and to sleep better.
Know What to Avoid:
Some things are simply bad for your sleep. Remember when your parents forbade you to eat candies before bedtime? Well, that ban still stands. Also, steer away from caffeine (found in coffee, cola, chocolate and some pain relievers…).
Though it is true that a glass of beer (or any other alcohol) will help you fall asleep faster, it will also work as a stimulant a few hours later and increase the number of awakenings and decrease the overall amount of sleep. Do not eat heavy meals before sleep.
Find Your Peace:
When you go to bed, when everything is quiet and peaceful, your thoughts seem to be the loudest. All of your plans, worries and fears gather together in a single mission to sabotage you. In such moments it would be helpful to find your inner peace so you could shut your eyes and get the necessary rest.
According to many studies, mindfulness meditation focused on breathing can help people who have trouble sleeping. So, before going to bed, take a moment to relax. Choose a calming focus (a sound, your breath, positive word) and let go and relax. Keeping stress at bay on a daily basis will also help you. If you cannot achieve it by yourself, try counseling at a spiritual retreat.
Adapt Your Bedroom:
Your bedroom should be a sleep-inducing environment – dark, quiet and cool. First, you will need to minimize the outside noise. Do that with earplugs or relaxing music. Use heavy curtains to reduce the amount of light or block it with an eye mask. The temperature should be comfortably cool and your bedroom as comfortable as it can be.
Do not go to bed right after a set of stressful and exhausting activities. Instead, take some time to do something to help you ease the transition between wake time and sleep time. Read a few pages of a book, or take a warm bubbly bath. Pour a few drops of lavender oil into your bath and let lavender essential oil permeate the air before going to bed and you will sleep more soundly and wake up more energized, asresearch shows.
Use Tricks and Hacks:
Sometimes no routine helps and you simply need some trick to help you sleep faster. Keep a “worry journal” by your bed and write down whatever is bugging you. Once you unwind, it will be easier to relax.
You can also try to visualize some ideal, calm and sleep-inducing place. Relaxing the muscles throughout the body (progressive muscle relaxation) can help you fall asleep faster, improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue. Have a cup of caffeine-free herbal tea before going to bed or take a calming evening walk. If you aresharing a bed with your partner, cuddle up – it can be more effective than sleeping pills!
As you sleep, your body restores and repairs itself to provide sufficient amount of energy for all the challenges ahead of you. Do your best to enable it the optimal conditions for quality sleep and it will pay you back tenfold.
Sophia Smith is Australian based fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger. She is also very passionate about organic beauty products and healthy lifestyle.Sophia writes mostly in beauty related topics, mainly through blogs and articles. She is regular contributor at High Style Life on topics related to beauty and fashion.