Categories
conscious living mindful at home

Simple Ways To Live Beautifully Each Day

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It’s the small things in life that bring the biggest joy.

“Living beautifully” is my MO, from engaging in self care to noticing all of the lovely things around me.  Living mindfully has helped me appreciate life on a whole new level, and it doesn’t take much to live a beautiful life.

Here are a few things that will help you live beautifully, too.

1.  Go for a morning walk.  Whether you are able to enjoy time in nature or breathe in the city air, being outside lifts your spirits and gets you moving in the morning.

2.  Arrange a bouquet- either from your front yard or the local florist- to display at home. There’s nothing like fresh flowers to brighten your soul and create a stylish home.

3.  Create a cozy environment with pieces near and dear to your heart.  Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world!  Adding personal touches is important when decorating your little zen den.

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4.  Indulge in a tasty tea or hibiscus drink the next time you go out for errands.  Even day-to-day tasks such as going to the bank or post office can be fun when you have something to look forward to.

5.  Use a pretty day planner.  I LOVE crossing items off my to-do list, and having a cute agenda makes daily life less daunting.

6. Embrace your inner goddess by creating a self-care routine each morning. I invested in a Jade roller, cocoa butter cream, and luxurious face serum to start my morning off right after taking a shower.  Bring the spa home!

7.  Drink from your favorite cup.  I have a great variety of mugs and glasses to make my morning coffee or seltzer water feel like a special treat.  Enjoy it!

What do you do to live beautifully?  Let me know!

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Categories
conscious living mindful at home

Simple Glam- Making the Most of a Small Space

Over the weekend I gave my bathroom a makeover.  Despite living minimally, I’ve made an effort to give my humble abode a few little luxuries.

It’s not always easy to make an old room look shiny and new!  Ever since moving into my first San Francisco apartment ten years ago, I’ve grown accustomed to outdated (and overpriced) spaces that need a creative touch.  Although my bathroom wasn’t that bad, it definitely needed a little face lift.

Knowing I had blue tiles and plastic light fixtures to work with, I wanted to go for a clean, simple look.  As I was browsing through Marshalls, I stumbled across a sea-stripe shower curtain by Kate Spade– and although it wasn’t what I had initially been looking for, it was perfect for a New England girl.

Decorating Tip #1~ Find a staple piece and work everything else around it.

Now that I had my theme, I was ready to accessorize.  I had been living bare-bones since moving in; mismatched towels, a broken towel hook, and an old shower curtain had been holding me over these past seven months.  Needless to say, it was time to show the room some love.

I picked up the necessities- matching towels, a towel hook, bathmat, and a couple accessories to warm up the space.  It took me three days and several stores to find the perfect shades of blue, but once I made it to Primark, my search was over.  For just $26, I got two new bath towels, two hand towels and a bath mat- all to perfectly match my shower curtain.

Organization is huge for me.  I no longer keep “extras” in my house, either- if it’s old, broken, or useless, I toss it.  Long are the days of hoarding old nail polish, extra eyeshadow shades, or almost-gone lipstick.

Decorating Tip #2~ When arranging things, be sure they’re in a logical area- separate items such as lotions, beauty tools, perfumes, etc.  Not only will your area be tidy, it will be much easier to find everything!

It’s amazing what a few tiny touches can do!  In addition to this weekend’s purchases, I refurbished and reorganized a few things I already had.  I moved a few pictures on the wall, painted the vanity trim gold, and re-purposed a jewelry stand to hold my lotions.  With rose-gold accents and Tiffany-blue trimming, my chic and simple bathroom was complete.

Decorating Tip #3~ You don’t need to buy new everything- just move things around!

So, when all was said and done, I completed my bathroom makeover for under $70.  How did I do it?  Here’s the breakdown:

Shower Curtain: Marshalls, $20

Hand Towels: Primark, 2 pack, $13

Towels: Primark, 2 pack, $7

Bath Mat: Primark, $6

Over-the-Door Hanger: TJ Maxx, $6

Decorative Tree: Target, $6

Jar: Marshalls, $2

Candle: Marshalls, $6

Total Bathroom Makeover: $66.00

Not bad for a small space, is it?

Categories
empowerment self discovery

Embracing Feminine Energy

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Over the past few months I have started to notice a shift in my behavior and mindset.  My defensive, aggressive nature has started to lift and I am beginning to embrace my nurturing, peaceful side.  I have been provided many opportunities to focus my energy on caregiving; tending to plants, helping other women and learning from Clarissa the cat.

This may sound silly, but I have learned many lessons from animals and nature. These earthly blessings are also forms of my higher power; I believe we receive messages through other living things.  I have learned to open my mind and heart in order to receive these messages from the universe through spending time near the water, caring for Clarissa, and bringing my wilting plants back to life.  These simple, yet meaningful activities have also helped me to have the ability to have compassion for others, resulting in being able to lend a hand to other women who have gone through the same struggles as I have.

After a very full and happy day, I drew a Goddess Card last night to guide me in my “next step.”  I am currently in a career transition and have developed an amazing community here in the Boston area, but I still have wonders about where my path may lead.

Clarissa may have picked up on my energy, because she jumped right in to assist.  I focused my intention on my next move; where do I direct my energy?  While my life is very positive and whole, I knew there was something I was lacking or needed to embrace.

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Then, I drew Hathor.

Hathor: “Allow yourself to receive. This will increase your intuition, energy, and ability to give to others.”

Message from Hathor: “You have a maternal side to you that naturally cares for those in need, yet this must be balanced with receptivity or the flow is blocked. Receiving is the essence of feminine energy, and it means allowing yourself to receive with grace and gratitude. If you feel guilty when asking others for help, or if you feel bad about receiving gifts, then you block your feminine energy. Your receptivity is must as natural as your nurturing, giving energy. Receptivity allows you to better hear the voices of the angels. When you receive, you have more resources to give to others. Begin by noticing the hundreds of gifts you receive each day, whether it is seeing beauty in nature, witnessing a touching human moment, or being hugged by a loved one. Simply say “Thank you” for each gift, and know that they are filling up your store house, keeping the Divine flow going strong.”

The Divine flow!  Just last night I spoke with a friend (who is a therapist and mindfulness teacher) about feminine energy and having the ability to receive.  Accepting love and receiving positive energy used to be such a struggle for me.  She mentioned the “divine shift” of 2012, which was my first time hearing of this!  I got goosebumps once I dug into my own research on this shift.

In a world full of ego, power struggles and greed, I was amazed and inspired- perhaps this is what I am experiencing!  While I used to block love, help or nurturing as a defense mechanism from getting hurt or being abandoned, today I am beginning to live in faith, not fear, and allowing others into my life.  Each lesson, animal, day spent in nature or person who reaches out to me is a blessing (and a sign) that I do need to embrace my  feminine side in order to love, and receive that same love in return.

Learning to live in peace, not pride, creates such a bigger world for ourselves.  It is easy to get tied up in power, money and ego, but by allowing that feminine energy to flow, you can step out of the darkness and into a loving, content life.

This morning I am grateful- and I look forward to the gifts the rest of the day brings.

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Categories
self discovery

Boston: Chapter Two

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It has been about five months since I started this blog, just six days after I took a one-way flight to Boston.

Prior to coming here I had no idea what my plan was- after over two years in New York City, a failed attempt at trying out Chicago, and finally taking a much-needed month long reset in Mississippi, I followed my intuition and spiritual guides… and found myself back on the East Coast.  It feels wonderful to be on the water, where I belong; where I feel at peace.

Over the years I had a lot of shame in telling my story, but now I finally feel ready to free myself of this.  People often look at me strangely when I explain the past decade of my life.  Somehow, for some reason, it’s unfathomable for a 20-something year old from the Midwest to have lived in various cities across the US.  They can’t wrap their heads around the fact that I’ve tried different types of jobs, been in several different relationships, and lived in the North, South, East and West.

Most of society seems to enjoy consistency and stability.  Personally, I like to challenge myself- and what better time to learn who you are than when you’re young and unattached?  I am always searching, always seeking a deeper purpose or meaning.  That’s just me.

Back in November, I had no idea what I would find in Boston.  I didn’t know where I would work, where I would live, who I would be friends with or how I would fill my spare time, but I knew it would work.  This time it just had to.

I absolutely love it here.  While it has taken me some time to get comfortable with my surroundings and develop a community, I am finally feeling more at home.  Recently I realized that despite my wonderful surroundings, I still have a lot of work to do on myself- and I am just figuring out the root of my issue.

I need to love myself more- for you can’t truly love something else until you love yourself.

This next chapter of my life isn’t so much about working on what’s happening on the outside, but focusing on the inside.  Once I am comfortable in my own home- within myself- I know that my mind will be much more at ease, and I’ll be able to give more to others.  We all have a purpose, and my current mission is to “clean house” and get rid of the negative self-talk, cognitive distortions and my warped self-esteem that holds me back.  I must let go of my fears- whether it is abandonment, shame or pride, and learn to finally believe in myself the way the ones I love do.

Here’s to the next chapter and a clean house- both physically and mentally.

“Peace comes from within. Don’t seek it without.” -Buddha

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Categories
self discovery

Creating Your Happy Space

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Home is where the heart is! After two weeks in my new apartment, I decided it was finally time to put a personal touch on my place. Since I arrived in Massachusetts with just a few weeks of clothing and my bare essentials, I was in need of a (minimal) shopping trip to find some cozy bedroom decor.

Since living a “less is more” mentality, I decided to keep my room clutter-free and organized. I used to think it was necessary to go over-the-top when buying home goods, but continually found myself purging everything with each move. This time I shopped for things to keep me organized, yet won’t be a huge burden when I do decide to move (hopefully not in the near future!).

Stay Minimal

It’s easy to start picking up unnecessary knick-knacks. I only keep- and put out- things that have meaning or bring positive energy into my life. Everything I have sitting out serves a purpose- storage, easy access or decoration.

My one exception to my minimalist rule is with pillows- I can never have too many pillows. I picked up a Buddah pillow to start my new collection- there is nothing better than snuggling in a nest of pillows with a good book!

Personal Touches

After finding my Buddah pillow I decided to stick with classic golds to accent my space. I found a few pineapple pieces while shopping, which is a symbol of hospitality, friendship and warmth. The pineapple keyholder was a perfect complement to my wall, and prevents me from misplacing my keys! I find so much more in control of my life when everything has a place, with rhyme and reason.

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Affirmations

A lot of the decor I chose was my own art- coloring pages, inspirational quotes and doodles. I was told once by a therapist to write down positive affirmations on a post-it note and stick on my mirror every day, so I followed this advice and chose some of my favorite Gabrielle Bernstein wisdoms for my wall.

The more you subject yourself to positivity and uplifting statements, the power of thought will become apparent in your life. Take a look at these affirmations thanks to the Huffington Post. Remember- you are what you think!

Serene Space

A calming bedroom is key to relaxation and serenity. I love coming home to a cozy space with a warm aura- candles are a must. It’s also important for me to be able to set the mood with lighting- open windows, candles, my overhead dimmer or with a lamp.

For those moments of mindfulness, I picked up a new mat for yoga and meditation. Having the mat out is a great reminder for the times I forget to take a breather and need a quick meditation. My day is always better when I start out with stretches!

Having mindful reminders throughout my bedroom helps me stay in the moment, creates a sense of home and sets a positive tone for the day.

How have you created a more mindful home? I’d love to see it! Share with me on Instagram or Twitter.

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