8 Ways to Relax: Show Yourself Some Love

Loving others becomes really hard when you don’t love yourself. I’ve narrowed down my favorite ways to relax and focus on myself. I hope this helps someone who needs it.

1) Drink hot tea.

Decaf Pure Peppermint is my current favorite. Something about the smell, the warmth, and the cool mint flavor just puts me at ease.

2) Do yoga/work out.

I know, super cliche. If I’m not able to attend a class, I love watching Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. Check out this video specifically.

3) Write in a journal.

Rather than taking out your anger on your friends/family, write it down. It is liberating. I learn so much about myself when I write. Often my gloomy writings will turn into prayers of gratitude.

4) Take a bath.

I like to put in some coconut oil, bubbles, and a bath bomb if I have one. Just make a bath cocktail and enjoy the alone time.

5) Clean/declutter.

I like to pick one room and tackle it until I’m happy. This means taking everything out of the drawers or cabinets, reorganizing, and the most important part, throwing stuff away. You cannot truly relax until you’ve gotten rid of stuff you don’t need. I’m not the only one that shares this opinion; just go read The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up.

6) Play/cuddle with a pet.

Pets don’t argue. They don’t judge. They only love. I’m instantly happy when I play a game of tug of war with my dog, or when I scratch that magic spot under his shoulder that makes his leg twitch.

7) Beautify yourself.

Paint your nails, try a new make-up look, put on a pretty dress, curl your hair (or if you’re more adventurous, dye your hair)! Do something to make yourself “selfie” worthy, then take a selfie! No shame.

8) Color.

I’ve saved this for last because it is my most recent endeavor. The adult coloring book craze is hot right now, and I have jumped on the bandwagon. I got my book and thin tip markers at Michael’s.

Now, go show yourself some love. pink-heart-clipart-9TRRGMj5c

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DIY Initial Ornaments

As soon as I put up my Christmas tree this year, I noticed our lack of personalized ornaments. I was on a mission to create something beautiful. My original idea was to paint some of those rustic wood circles, but the local Walmart was in short supply. So I ventured outside of Pinterest and put my creative mind to work. I decided on these wooden letters. I got a few of them to give as gifts if the project turned out like I planned. Here are all of the materials I used, but of course you can use whatever you like to personalize your ornament.

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Don’t forget to get some of those little eye hook screws so you can hang from your tree! I got a pack of 10 for less than $2.

For some of my letters, I printed off some complicated sheet music (that’s what I searched for in Google images). I traced the letters on the sheet, then glued them using Elmer’s Glue. Next, I mixed a little water with some glue on a paper plate and painted that mixture on top of the paper to give it an extra seal. (This is a hack for making copy cat Modge Podge–so much cheaper!)

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My hubby suggested burning the edges to make it look more rustic. This was somewhat a painstaking process, because the wood didn’t burn very fast and my finger got sore from holding the ‘trigger’ on the lighter. (I know, first world problems, right?) I was extremely happy with the ending result, so it was worth the pain.

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For some of the letters I burned the edges first, then roughly painted the inside white. I added song lyrics with sharpie and a gold marker. I was really pleased with how both designs turned out. I finished off by screwing in the eye hook and tying a loop with some twine.

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Here are some close ups:

One more with my ornament hanging on the tree.

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Now I feel our tree has a personal touch. I can’t wait to add more homemade ornaments! Merry Christmas!

 

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Nights at the Barre

On my journey to finding the perfect yoga class, I stumbled upon this amazing group of ladies who do Barre (no, they’re not bartenders as the pun suggests). I attended my first class a few weeks ago after being invited by Melissa, the teacher/trainer. She calls her home studio Meraki Exercise Studio. (“Meraki” is greek, meaning to do something with love, creativity, or soul.)

The class consists of an hour of stretching, pressing, and contracting every muscle in your body. There was a constant reminder to align your spine, which is especially helpful to those of us who tend to slump. I felt like a ballerina, a yogi, and a rock star all at the same time. (I’m pretty sure contracting your hips is the same as twerking). Melissa’s upbeat and positive spirit kept everyone going.  It was a blast.

The zillion thoughts running through my head on a daily basis were put on hold, which is what I was seeking in a yoga class. My muscles were burning and I was sore the next day, which means I will actually see results from attending regularly, and I intend to do so.

I have peaceful outlet, new friends, a fun hobby, and a toned butt. What more could a girl ask for? Oh, that’s right! Retail therapy 🙂

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Restaurant Spotlight–Taziki’s

When you discover a new restaurant and you end up eating there three times in one week, you know you’ve found a favorite. Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe just opened less than a month ago in a new shopping center (only two minutes from our apartment I might add). I’ve been to small Greek-style restaurants before but was not overly impressed. But THIS place…wow.

Let me just give you a tour. So, you walk in, and there is this cute little welcome sign.

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A friendly employee comes up and introduces him/herself, and asks if you’ve been there before. They then hand you a menu and point you to the ordering line.

There are SO many yummy options to choose from, and all of them are super healthy. For a complete list, check out their online menu. During our most recent visit, I opted for the Grilled Chicken Gyros (pronounced YEE-ros). My Hubby got the grilled beef tenderloin feast, which comes with greek salad and a side of your choice. He also, being the over zealous meat-eater that he is, got a side of shrimp. We both ordered the new potatoes for our side, which are seasoned so perfectly that it literally surprises you every time you take a bite. The appetizer we ordered is the Taziki dip with soft pita bread. (Hubby couldn’t wait to dig in before I snapped the picture.)

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At another time I ordered the shrimp feast, which was too beautiful to not post on my Instagram 🙂

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Most recently we went on a Sunday at around 3pm, (hence the empty restaurant pictures). We enjoyed the personal attention from the staff and we even chatted with the owner, who told us that they make EVERYTHING from scratch–even the salad dressings and horseradish sauce. He said they cut the fruit and veggies 2 times a day to ensure freshness.

20150705_153743        20150705_153735  For a casual cafe, they are a little pricey, but SO worth it. We paid about $30-$40 for the two of us each time we went. We weren’t sure how to tip since you pay at the beginning, so we asked the manager. She said to simply tip at the beginning next time if you are satisfied this time. Makes sense to me.

I can’t wait to try out more things on their menu. See you there!

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First Yoga Class!

yoga east

Today I went to my first ever yoga class! I’ve been doing home practice for over a year, so I thought it was time to transition from YouTube videos to seeing a live instructor! I did some research online for local yoga studios. I choose Yoga East in Greer based on their scheduling and pricing. They were cheaper than some other places I had looked into, and they offer lots of evening and weekend classes that will fit into my schedule. I signed up for the beginner’s yoga class at 6:00pm.

I was immediately impressed with how nice the facility was. It looks to be fairly new, it was VERY clean, and it smelled amazing. I knew right off the bat I would be able to relax and enjoy myself. The instructor, who introduced herself as Karen, was extremely welcoming. She had me fill out a “new student” form, then personally took me to the studio room and showed me where everything was. You do not have to bring your own mat, and you do not have to “rent” a mat like some yoga studios. “You can bring everything, or nothing!” she said. They had comfortable mats, yoga blocks, bolsters, and blankets for everyone. Karen recommended I get 2 blocks, a bolster, and a blanket. I took her advice and set up my mat on the floor.

You can bring everything, or nothing!

There were only 2 other students in the class, which made it very personal and spacious. Karen began by asking if anyone had any injuries or pulled muscles that she needed to know about. We started on our backs and transitioned into other poses. There was soft, soothing music playing on a speaker in the back of the room. We were reminded often to check our breath and to relax tense muscles. Karen’s voice was soothing, and she paid attention to us without standing over our shoulders the whole time.

During Shavasana (the pose at the end of a yoga session where you lay flat on your back in total relaxation), Karen told us to use whatever we needed to get comfortable, and she even offered to cover us up with our blanket.

After the session we were invited to get hot tea and/or water. Karen struck up a conversation with me and we ended up chatting until everyone else had left. I was impressed with everything about the studio and the experience. I will definitely be going back for more sessions and trying new classes out. Namaste!

Check out their website by clicking here.

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Why Blog?

Hey friends! I am starting this blog as a new hobby. If by some chance I help, encourage, or entertain someone, that will be an added bonus. This is also a chance for reflection and personal growth. As the sentimental person I am, I will thank myself in the future for recording life. Enjoy!

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