Savor The Quiet Moments

It’s early and I’m the only one awake. I like times like these, mornings like these, because I get to enjoy the quiet. Life is so busy, so active. We are always doing something, going somewhere, living our lives. It feels like we don’t get many moments of just quiet. Moments to unwind, moments to relax.

Mornings are the time I usually get by myself. I seem to have an internal alarm clock that has me up by 7:45am even on the weekends. If I’ve gotten enough sleep the night before, I’ll go ahead and get up early. If not, I can usually fall back asleep.

Today was one of those early mornings. My house is quiet, everyone else is asleep. The weather here has been unpredictable. Yesterday it rained all day. I woke up this morning to a soft fall of rain and snow on all the cars. It snowed up in the mountains a lot. We are having what looks to be a mid Spring winter!

I’ve put the coffee on and as I wait for it, I work around the house with only the sound of the rain falling softly in the background. It’s really wonderful. The quiet is a good time to reflect and feel centered after a long week. It’s a good time to not have to talk or interact with anyone. It’s peaceful and calming for me.

When we don’t set aside down time for ourselves it can affect us. We need time to recharge, time to de-stress, time to unwind. Even the most go go go people need this, even if it’s just a small amount of time. If I don’t get these moments I am a lot more snappy and less patient. I’ve reached my limit of stimulus and doing things. I just need a breather.

I recommend finding some YOU time. Take a nice hot bath. Chill out and listen to the bubbles of your bubble bath pop. Take an evening with a glass of wine in front of the fireplace and just listen to the sounds of the fire. Sit outside and watch the stars. Do yoga outside while the sun rises over you. Or get up early in the morning like I do and enjoy the quiet of the house and the morning sounds outside.

Find what works for YOU. What will feed your soul, unwind you, and bring you calmness. Each person is different and what works for one may not work for another. I think you are very important and so is your well-being. Make you sure you are remembering to take some time for you so you can be at your best and feel at your best. It’s okay to do things just for you! We cannot give and be there for others if we are running on empty all the time.

Sometimes you just need to stop and breathe. Relax. Find your peace of mind. ❤

I Save Jars

The title of this post does not mean that I run down the streets in a cape and mask, rescuing jars in distress everywhere…. But that sounds like it could be fun! (^.^) The title of this post refers to me choosing not to throw jars away, but to wash them out and reuse them. I have many,many jars in all shapes and sizes in my cupboards!

Years ago, during on of my researches on healthier living, I discovered how bad plastic is. Not only is it often unable to be recycled, but it is also very bad for you because the chemicals it’s made of leech out of it into your food and drink. This concerned me, so I started looking for other methods to store food and drinks in. Enter the glass jar! This lovely item has been around for a very long time and it provides a way to store edible and drinkable things in a safer way.

I began collecting glass jars then. Whenever I’d buy food that came in a glass jar I would wash it out and reuse it. From time to time I’ve had to cut down on the amount I’ve had if they’ve started adding up way more than I can use. I sell them, give them away, or recycle them.

One of my favorite types of jar is the canning jar. I like these jars because they usually have a 2 part lid system that makes them very good for home canning and preserving. They come in several shapes and sizes as well, which gives me more variety for storage. I’ve ordered replacement canning jar lids many a time over the years! Sometimes it seems the lids will need to be replaced long before the jars.

As you can see from the picture at the top of the post, I use jars to store most things in my pantry. I have a kiddo who eats a lot of gluten free food, and when I find GF snacks for her I buy them in bulk and store them in jars. It helps me with bulk items in general because I save money buying in bulk and I can store it well at home.

FYI – Yes there are some snacks in my picture that are not in jars. The reason for this is that we volunteer at an animal shelter every week and I have to pack my kiddo a lunch. Those snacks were super marked down at our local grocery store and they go into lunches easily. I shop both for sales and for health. We have a great grocery store that constantly is marking food down super cheap so I look for ways to stretch my money and eat as healthy as possible!

The only issue I have with glass jars is freezing. I cannot find a way to freeze liquid in glass jars without it breaking. I will leave room for the liquid to expand at the top, fill it only halfway, cool it before freezing it, etc. But the jars often end up breaking anyway. I found some neat looking stainless steel containers I am going to try for freezing instead. The reviews are mixed, mostly due to people not liking the containers getting dents or having issues with the lids. Dents don’t bother me and lids can be replaced with cloth or other wraps. I just need a good freezing container!

Food stays fresher in my cupboard in jars and seems to last longer. I also feel it’s safer from any sort of critter that might go visiting your pantry at night because of all the food there…. Food in jars doesn’t smell either. I noticed recently that I could smell the food through the packages, even the ones they come in from the store. I put them all into jars instead and no more food smell. No food leaking out either, as they can from store packages.

My cabinets seriously look OCD. EVERYTHING is in jars, cans and sealed containers. This is what keeps my food the best stored though! It’s a little extra work to clean out jars and remove the labels, but I feel it is worth it!

What do you use to store your food in that is free of harsh chemicals and toxins?

 

Daily Dose of Tea

Health and wellness are important to me. I believe if we take care of our bodies and well-being, it benefits us in so many ways! I try to keep this thought in mind in everything I do.

I created a new daily routine for myself that is very simple – drink a cup of tea a day. Not too long ago a friend who was going caffeine/tea/coffee free gave us her whole tea stash. We now have A LOT of tea! I love tea so I was quite excited to receive it. Yet I have rarely made myself a cup since. As I reorganized my kitchen this week, I decided that I needed to start drinking more tea!

Tea has a lot of great health benefits if you are drinking natural and organic tea. The pre-made stuff in bottles is often full of a lot of sugar, which you don’t need! In order to start using my large tea stash and to benefit my body, I’ve made it part of my daily routine to have at least one cup of tea a day. We have such a large variety of teas in our kitchen that I don’t get bored with any one. And even if I have my favorites, which I do, I keep myself willing to try out the different teas so I get a variety of yummy goodness!

My tea for today is Good Earth Sweet and Spicy Tea. This tea has a nice mix of flavors that often make me think of fall and cooler nights. It’s not an expensive brand, which I also like. I feel the flavor is good without being over-powering.

I do drink a cup of coffee some days, and I drink water all day every day. I think water is the number one thing we should all be putting into our bodies! On days when I forget to drink enough water I don’t feel as great. Also, having a cup of tea instead of a second or third cup of coffee helps you keep coffee intake down and gives you the goodness of a tea.

I find there to be something really relaxing about sipping a cup of hot tea. A cup of hot coffee invigorates me and gets me going. A cup of hot tea is soothing and peaceful. Which is why I drink both! (^.^)

What’s your favorite tea to drink?

Review – April Box From Birchbox

 Last month was my birthday month (yay!) and I really wanted to do some sweet things for myself. Both Julep and Birchbox were having great deals so I signed up for both. I cancelled Julep at the end of the month though, simply because the cost of the boxes going forward were not worth the products I got in them. Birchbox had a lower monthly cost of $10 and I got at least 5 samples in each box. For the month of March, I got a whole second mystery box for free! ❤

This month I received 6 samples. I will go through each one with you and tell you what I thought about each product, as well as where you can buy them from!

* As with any company you get samples from, ALWAYS CHECK AMAZONG AND OTHER SITES FOR CHEAPER PRICES BEFORE BUYING FULL SIZE FROM THE COMPLANY! If price isn’t an issue for you, buy wherever you like. However, if you are looking to get the best bang for your buck, look on Amazon and other sites because they often have lower prices! I’ve listed the links to other sites like Amazon where you can find each product! *

First up was Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow. I have to say, I really liked this product! The color went on well without looking like foundation. It was a very natural look and a very light feeling cream. I have worn it with and without makeup over it, and both times I didn’t have any issues with it. Also, it did not make my skin break out which is a big deal! I really like this BB cream.

You can find it at Birchbox.

You can also find it on Amazon.

The next product was Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo. This stuff was wonderful! I loved how my hair felt after using it! The smell was mild, not super perfume-y like some products. My hair isn’t super frizzy but it is drier towards the ends due to dying it (thank you Harley Quinn cosplay….). This shampoo made my hair feel smoother even before it dried. The only downside to it is the chemicals in it. I try to keep my products as chemical free as I can, and this shampoo has some harsh chemicals in it that aren’t deemed safe on EWG.org/SkinDeep. If they can work on dropping some of the chemicals it would be great stuff to use every day!

You can find it at Birchbox.

You can also find it on the Davines website.

This next product goes hand in hand with the shampoo above, as it’s the matching Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner. Again, the product worked VERY well for me! After using this conditioner and the shampoo above, my hair was super silky and soft. It felt great! I loved the very mild scent and the conditioner was very thick – no watered down mess here. As with the shampoo, the only downside is the chemicals in it. I check EWG.org/SkinDeep especially with shampoo and conditioner. This set just has too many things in it that I’m not okay with using day to day.

You can find it at Birchbox.

You can also find it at Davines website.

The next product I received was Number 4 Jour d’Automne Smoothing Balm. This stuff stinks! I popped open the lid to smell it and some of the crème leaked out of the opening. I thought I’d rub that little bit on my hair to test it, but the smell was SO strong it immediately gave me a headache. Any time I turned and my head and my hair moved closer to my face, my head would start pounding super hard. It wasn’t until I washed it all out of my hair and off my hands that my headache went away! I do not recommend the product simply on that fact alone. Maybe others can use it without that issues, but I could not. The smell was VERY strong!

You can find it at Birchbox.

You can also find it at the Number4 website.

The next product I tried was one I had requested before the box shipped. They gave me the option to pick out one item that I for sure wanted to be in this box. I picked this Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream. I chose it because the info said it was a calming cream good for skin with redness, blemishes, irritations, and inflammation. My skin can sometimes be a pain so I thought this cream might help. I loved the product! It didn’t have a strong scent, it wasn’t greasy, it made my skin feel softer, and it seemed to help it feel better in general. I didn’t notice a magic overnight difference but I like using it in the morning on my skin because it goes under face powder well and calms my skin. Also a bonus – it doesn’t make me break out! I would definitely recommend this product!

You can find it at Birchbox.

You can also find it at Amazon.

The last product in my April Birchbox was The Beauty Crop Liquid Lipstick in Imma Bawse shade. This is from their GRLPWR collection. The tube is frosted so on the outside the lipstick looks way lighter. When you take off the lid you will see that this shade is a very dark red. That would be great – except this lipstick comes off VERY easily! With my first bite of dinner, I had reddish-pink color all over my food. When I tried to wipe it up I ended up with pink all over my hand and my mouth too. Not an attractive look! It bleeds a hot pink color and comes off with food or water. It stained my hand as well… I do not recommend this product due to the fact that it is not long lasting and will stain when it bleeds off. Great color but poor product. It went straight into the trash along with the Number4 Smoothing Balm.

You can find it at Birchbox.

You can also find it at The Beauty Crop website.

My April Birchbox was a combo of hits and misses. I don’t ever expect a perfect box, though I’ve gotten some pretty close ones! I’ve also gotten some real duds in my boxes as well. This box had a face cream and a BB cream that I enjoyed and am happy to use! The shampoo and conditioner I will finish up but I won’t buy full size due to the chemicals. The hair balm and the liquid lipstick were major DISCARDS FOR ME.

I’m excited to see what’s in May’s Birchbox! (^.^) New subscribers get a FREE item with their first box! If you’d like to sign up CLICK HERE to get started! Remember, you can cancel at any time! And it’s only $10 each month with free shipping!

Leave a comment below letting me know what you thought about your April Birchbox!


Don’t forget – if you’re looking for one of a kind handmade jewelry, goodies inspired by video games and awesome characters, busy bags for kids, artwork or prints… check out my Esty Shoppe: Dragon Fire Rose! ❤