Relaxing Rituals: Candlelight Meditation

I can’t believe it’s already March! Where did the first two and a half months of the year go? I noted last month that a big part of my life lately has consisted of studying and taking certification exams. I’m sad to say I’m still stuck in the worst of it with a big exam coming up in just a few days. Luckily I’ll have a brief respite from testing after this one, but the light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t make it any less painful of a slog! To be honest, I’m certain I’ve only survived the grueling cycle of work, housework and studying for this long with the support of my husband (he is a saint!) and because of the habits I’d been working to build up over the last couple years. If I were to pin my sanity on just one factor, though, I would say I owe a lot of the credit to meditation.

Please don’t imagine, though, that I spend an hour each day, eyes closed and legs akimbo, in peaceful contemplation. My days are as full as anyone else’s, so I don’t think an hour a day will ever be realistic, but 5-10 minutes? Too easy! And five minutes is about all it takes for me to really get focused in the morning or get my head straight to settle down in the afternoon. Continue reading

It’s So Easy Being Green (with Bamboo and Pyrex)

It was my sincere hope to kick off 2017 with weekly blogging, but life just has to get in the way of our favorite hobbies, doesn’t it? January went by in a blur of working, working out, and so much studying for my Network+ certification exam. (Side note: if you find yourself studying for the same certification, Professormesser.com is the best study tool for it!) Unfortunately I still have a very long studying marathon ahead of me, but I hope writing here can still be a relaxing break for creativity when I can’t force myself to look at my books anymore. Continue reading

Life is Garbage: A Reflection on New Year Resolutions

I try to keep things relatively positive when I put things on the internet. This is in part because my life is pretty good by all accounts and doesn’t warrant too much complaining, but also because there is already enough negativity in cyberspace as it is. It occurred to me recently, though, that this isn’t just true of the internet, but increasingly of life in general, especially here in America. Our lives are full of garbage. Actually, I might even go so far as to say that life is garbage. Continue reading

Latte Love: Easy Matcha Latte

Some time ago I wrote about the mind-calming, mood-lifting power of carving out time for a morning latte. While escape from our daily woes might come more easily for you in the form of time stolen for a walk, a workout, some knitting, or a bit of dancing, a morning latte is still what does the trick for me. Since turning the clocks back, though, I’ve gotten into the habit of sleeping 8-9 hours a night. This change has unfortunately transformed my typically calming coffee-based latte into a very jittery way to start the day. Luckily for me, a good friend of mine introduced me to a very delicious alternative many years ago: the matcha latte.

img_0003 Continue reading

The Little Things

What makes life feel luxurious? I’ve been mulling this over lately and trying to distill some formula for elevating the mundane into the marvelous.

I traveled for work recently and had the good fortune to have a beautiful room all to myself for a couple days. Despite its simplicity–the room only housed a bed, a desk, two nightstands, a television, and a couple chairs on either side of a small table–everything in the room was well-appointed. Each morning I found myself wishing I could linger a few hours longer in the plush, cozy bed, wrapped in a cocoon of soft linens and fluffy pillows. Evenings found me reading in one of the chairs, completely relaxed in its not-too-firm-but-not-too-soft goldilocks comfort. The contentment I felt in that room is a rare feeling for me outside of my own home, but I can’t say that I was surprised. The hotel got right what so many others get wrong: the details, all the little things that elevate the quality of an experience. Continue reading

Escape the Heat–At Least for A Meal

It’s hot, hot, hot!

No, I’m not starring in my own cheesy 80’s-style musical performance. Hot, hot, hot, is what I find myself saying these last few days–okay, many days–every time I sit down in my car, touch our front door’s handle, or foolishly step outside without shoes on. The heat and humidity have gotten so bad that my new favorite hobby is cruising the AirBnB app for possible places of refuge. Maybe like Alaska.

Unfortunately our vacation budget for 2016 has already been spent on our upcoming beach getaway next month (woohoo!), so Alaska will have to wait. For now the best I can do is try to turn this weather-induced frown upside down, and what better way to do that than with a bit of imagination? No, the heat isn’t melting my brain–this weather is wonderfully tropical! Code red air quality my arse–let’s enjoy this wonderful equatorial weather.

Still not convinced by these lies that the weather’s nice? Well, maybe our imaginations need some props to help us along… Continue reading

Finding Happiness, One Latte at a Time

I never like to start things on a negative note, but the last couple months have been a bit rough.  To be fair, I still live in a nice little house in a relatively nice neighborhood, and I still have a job and enough money to eat. Believe me–I can hear the peanut gallery asking what’s so rough about my 1st world life. I’ll tell you:

  • My ill-conceived wish to be part of my neighborhood’s HOA recently came true. I now spend a chunk of my leisure time–already missing 6 hours a week because of a class I’m taking–on that weekly when I’d rather be enjoying time with family and friends.
  • Our cute little puppy has been having anxiety attacks. At least, that’s the only explanation I can find for him eating massive holes out of the carpet and scratching up the walls near our front door.
  • Bonus: Our older dog revenge-pooped all over the house because we gave the puppy so much attention. The carpet is trashed.

On top of it all, I still spend pretty much every day/week doing my best to balance work, school, and maintenance of a household with my selfish goals of improving my physical fitness and finding time for the occasional bubble bath. Despite the hustle and bustle of this day-to-day grind of an existence, I don’t actually find myself stressed at bed time or wishing for a lie in when my alarm goes off on a weekday. I think I may have actually found the cure for being stressed out by a busy life.

Are you ready for this? It’s revolutionary: Continue reading