What I read from around the web.

friday recap

 (but first, a visual review of my week)

| “In high school, Hillary Rodham — who grew up in Illinois and was influenced by her die-hard Republican father and high school history teacher — considered herself a Republican and even became a Goldwater Girl.” (here)

| “The people who live in the Blue Zones — five regions in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the U.S. researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world — move their bodies a lot. They have social circles that reinforce healthy behaviors. They take time to de-stress. They’re part of communities, often religious ones. And they’re committed to their families.” (here)

| “But here’s my question- why do you need to see shit piled on my counter or in my sink or my dirty closet for you to think I’m real? Do you lack critical thinking to know or assume those things exist? My social media is not a place for you to go to feel better about yourself. To assuage your guilt or get peace of mind that I’m just as messy as you are. If that’s what you’re using it for, well, that says more about you than it does me.” (here)

| “Most of the time, Halvorson says, people don’t realize they are not coming across the way they think they are. ‘If I ask you,’ Halvorson told me, ‘about how you see yourself—what traits you would say describe you—and I ask someone who knows you well to list your traits, the correlation between what you say and what your friend says will be somewhere between 0.2 and 0.5. There’s a big gap between how other people see us and how we see ourselves.'” (here)

| “That ‘Undisclosed’ might even obliquely prove that a sure editorial hand is not as important as sheer subject matter is a perverse lesson for the journalists who thought of “Serial” as proof-of-concept for the whole profession. ‘Undisclosed’ is set to be an implicit experiment in the role skillful narration plays in elevating the merely interesting to the addictively compelling. If its success continues (and it is of course possible that it won’t), it may indicate that narrative is not so important after all. Once it has achieved escape velocity — under initial power of a juicy story — a person’s notoriety is its own justification, whether for a Kardashian or for Adnan Syed.(here)

Did you read anything this week that made you stop and think?

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Trying something new: essential oils.

Before we get any further into this post, I want you to know I have no clue what I’m doing with essential oils, but I recently tried to incorporate them into my life, and I wanted to let you know my thoughts in case you, like me, are thinking about shelling out some cash to see what these things are all about.

essential oil diffuser

Originally, all I knew was that everyone (except me, until recently) seems to use and love essential oils and evidently they cure almost everything. Since I’m trying (but mainly failing, if we’re being honest) to live a healthier, more chemical-free lifestyle, I thought I’d give these things a try.

So, I bought some essential oils. Then I looked at them, and looked at them some more, and put them away in my cabinet, and wondered what the heck I was supposed to be doing with them.

I scoured the internet for suggestions, of course, but there were almost too many articles out there and really no great explanations on how to just get started. Plus, some people say to put them on your skin, other people warn not to, some women say they can be ingested, some sites say NEVER to ingest them – I was getting more than a bit confused/intimidated.

And then I went to my friend’s apartment and she was using this essential oil diffuser and all of my questions were quickly solved.

People. If you have no idea what you’re doing with essential oils, start with a diffuser! All you need to do is add water and a few drops of whatever essential oils you’d like to have diffused throughout your house, and plug it in! I bought this diffuser from Amazon I found this site that has a few combinations of essential oils I love, so I’ve been using a few of these and my house smells great! To be honest, I have no idea if it’s doing anything for our health, but it can’t be hurting – right?!

essential oil diffuser

My favorite combination is 2 drops lavender, 2 drops rosemary, 2 drops lemon.

 

I also use a few drops of lavender in my baths/showers to relax (or peppermint if I have a stuffy nose – darn cold season).

I haven’t used any oils on Clara yet, but I’ve heard that lavender oil on her feet (mixed with coconut oil as a base) might help her to sleep better – I’ll keep you posted if I get brave enough to try that.

I know this post was kind of all over the place, but so is my brain this morning. Here are my concluding thoughts on essential oils, though:

  • I think essential oils smell great and I love being able to buy plain Epsom salt for my baths and then adding whatever scent I want to it. It’s cheaper than buying ‘fancy’ Epsom salts!
  • I use my diffuser daily and am convinced it’s the best way to start using essential oils in your home, especially if you’re like me and have no idea what you’re doing.
  • I’m still wondering whether people go on and on about essential oils because they’re selling them, or whether people genuinely love them as much as they say they do.
  • Personally, I’m not sure I have yet to believe all of the hype about how essential oils can be used medicinally, but I also haven’t really tried.

Do you use essential oils? Do you have any tips on getting started?

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I’m back to wearing glasses (Firmoo Review)

I received a pair of glasses from Firmoo to review their  products & site, but all opinions are my own!

Firmoo Eyeglasses

I was one of those unfortunate kids who needed glasses at the young age of about 10 years old. I remember in 3rd or 4th grade not being able to see the chalk/dry-erase boards (yep, back then we still used a chalkboard sometimes!) and wondering why I seemed to be the only one having trouble with it.

Eventually I went to the doctor’s office for a check-up and realized I could barely make out the large ‘E’ on the eye chart, and definitely couldn’t read any other letter on it.

So that was a problem.

Needless to say, a trip to the eye doctor quickly followed and I came out with a new pair of glasses.

They were huge frames and I wore them every day. I was amazed at how much clearer the world looked, and although they were inconvenient, I was glad to be able to see!

A few years later I got contacts and never looked back. Contacts made sports (especially running) easier, and I looked more like my friends, who didn’t need to wear glasses.

I’ve been a loyal contact-wearer for about 15 years now!

Well, imagine my disappointment surprise when I went to the eye doctor this past year and he told me that I should really be wearing my glasses more frequently, because now that I’m getting older (SAY WHAT?! We’re already having these conversations?!) I should be trying to keep my eyes from straining.

Well, I told him that I couldn’t wear glasses because I actually look awful in them – and thought the case would be closed.

Instead, he suggested that I invest in some new glasses that I maybe don’t look terrible in.

I guess this doctor really wanted to save my eyes – the nerve.

Firmoo Eyeglasses

Enter: Firmoo.

I loved this site/shop because:

  • I could upload a pic of myself and ‘try on’ lots of different frames from the comfort of my home. I also found it easier to compare looks this way as opposed to trying on a bijillion pairs at a store.
  • The product I received was high-quality.
  • They had a variety of frames to choose from.
  • Ordering was very easy.
  • I received my glasses quickly.
  • Customer service was excellent.

I ended up with a pair of glasses that reminds me of what I wore in elementary school and junior high back in the day. The type of glasses I made fun of my parents for wearing in the 80’s/90’s. Oh well, I (for one) am glad that bigger frames are back in style, because if I’m going to wear glasses I want them to look like a statement, and not like puny glasses I’m being forced to wear so I don’t strain my aging eyes.

Now I wear these for a few hours a day and am quite pleased! I highly recommend Firmoo if you’re considering a new pair of glasses!

But seriously, I can’t believe I’m old enough to worry about eye strain.

Do you wear glasses or contacts?! Are you as self-conscious as I am?

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Investing in myself.

For the first time in quite a while, I’m excited and motivated and enthusiastic about myself and my personal journey going forward.

Pregnancy and the transformation into a new mom was (and continues to be) so consuming (physically, mentally, and emotionally) that I’ve been neglecting myself for about a year now. I’ve been trying my best to be a great mom and wife, but I’ve been struggling to figure out what was going to bring me the most personal fulfillment outside of these two roles.

Remember last week when I talked about asking God for direction? Well, I’ve been consistently praying for a few weeks now, asking Him about how I should be spending ‘me time’, and I truly think He has answered quite clearly – I think He has been telling me that I need to be investing in myself and spending my time learning new skills that I’m truly passionate about, as opposed to spending my time half-heartedly doing tasks that I don’t care about.

(Actually, I think He’s been steering me in this direction for months, and I simply haven’t been paying attention.)

Springtime

Trying new things isn’t always comfortable, but I’m ready to be uncomfortable for a while. When I look at my daughter and think about what I truly want for her life, I think that I want her to take risks and learn new things and explore the world around her and learn as much as she can.

So that’s what I’m going to be doing for a bit: learning.

Not going-back-to-school learning, but investing in becoming better at things I enjoy.

| A few weeks ago Tim and I took a knife skills class (at The Chopping Block).

| I started taking a photography class – which is an item that has been on my bucket list since high school.

| I volunteered as a tax preparer for low income families during this year’s tax season, even though I had really never prepared taxes before in my life (despite being a CPA). I even got ambitious and prepared our own taxes instead of paying someone else to do it!

| Next up are piano lessons.

| And I’m 90% certain I will soon be taking training to learn something new that could also be a possible  part-time job in the future – I’m excited about the possibility and I’ll share more details when I’m a little more certain about it.

I am someone who loves learning, so these things excite me! I finally have the luxury of time and resources to enrich my life in these ways, and I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity. Thankfully, I also have a husband who supports me in these (and all of my) endeavors, which makes this whole thing exponentially easier.

I’m still praying that God will continue to guide me with how I should be spending my time each and every day, but I think He has helped me outline the areas in which I should be growing in for myself, and for that I’m thankful and excited! It feels great to be able to invest in myself again.

 What have you been doing lately to enrich your life?

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What I read from around the web.

| I solved this and felt really proud of myself: (here)
Cheryl's Birthday Word Problem

| Evidently, I’m following too many fashion bloggers (or just bloggers in general) on Instagram. I thought this was so true – and hilarious! (eg. 1. “You get confused when you sit down to a meal because you’re not seeing it from an aerial perspective.”) (here)

| “These people are far too rare—or at least, they do not get enough recognition. Instead, it seems ingrained in us to desire and appreciate the praise and the admiration of others. And because of that, many people will compromise greater and more worthwhile pursuits for the facade of temporal, worldly success.” (here)

| “There was such an outpouring of grief when he announced he was stepping down, that he mused on air the following day, ‘Did I die?’ Even the normally dispassionate New Yorker magazine claimed, under the headline Jon Stewart, We Need You In 2016, ‘the last hope for bringing some rationality to the 2016 Presidential field died’. Not since Oprah Winfrey announced her retirement from network television has a US TV host’s departure received such international coverage, but Stewart bridles when I make the Winfrey comparison: ‘If Oprah can leave and the world still spins, I honestly think it will survive me.'” (here)

| “All this got me thinking: Maybe the world would be a better place if all entrepreneurs think of social good as part of their business plan. But until that utopia arrives, maybe the phrase “social entrepreneur” is the best way to describe … social entrepreneurs.” (here)

Have you read anything this week that made you stop and think?

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