We Got Bed Bugs!!!

September was not kind to this household and nightmares really do come true.

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Fall Hair Care: Natural Ways to Keep Hair Healthy

I got my first, ever, ipsy bag! I don’t wear make-up daily or regularly, so I was glad that it wasn’t all foundations, concealers and such. I also appreciate that each user can customize their preferences to ensure, every month, they get items they’re most likely to use.

My October Glam Bag Goodies:

  • Essence Satin Touch Blush
  • Nail Medic Charcoal-Infused Polish from Pretty Woman NYC
  • MDM Flow Liquid Lipstick in Retro
  • IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Finishing Powder
  • Neon & Co Treatment Oil

Of these bad boys, I’m most excited about the Neon & Co. Treatment Oil because fall has arrived and winter will be here before we know it, which means it’s time to make some changes to my hair care routine.

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Painted Succulent Pots

Flower and plant pots are expensive! Your know the ones.

I’d be willing to bet that they litter your Instagram feed, filled with lush hanging plants, succulents, and ivy.

These pots, the ones we envision populating our various urban jungles aren’t cheap. But, if like most millennials, you’re on a budget or have other places your hard-earned dollars need to go, splurging on that beautifully glazed, locally made pot you saw at the art fair probably isn’t realistic. That, however, doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of splendid indoor plants!

Decorate basic terracotta pots to your own tastes! It’s a perfect way to save a few dollars and let your creative side shine; small pots are around $1-2/each and are just the right size for starting herbs and succulents.

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  1. Buy a plain, terracotta pot.
  2. Choose your paint colors. I used acrylic paints we already had from another arts and crafts night.
  3. If you want a simple geometric design as shown above, layout with masking tape. If your design is more detailed or abstract, free-hand may be the better option. You can also free-hand geo designs, if you want, the tape just ensures clean lines.
  4. Paint your pot and let air dry. It shouldn’t take too long since the pots are slightly porous, but do make sure they’re fully dry before you begin planting!
  5. Fill with dirt and plant your chosen green baby.

Last month, The Washington Post explored why so many millennials are filling their homes with houseplants. In part, there’s been a growing interest in gardening among our generation, however, most of us live in urban environments or in homes with little-to-no space to achieve all our gardening goals. Enter indoor plants.

For me, keeping a few philodendrons, succulents and cacti help satisfy my desire to garden and hone my green thumb. We’ve maintained balcony gardens in the past, but no longer have a balcony. Soon, we’ll be adding herbs to our windowsills and shelves. I’d love to add a fiddle-leaf fig to a corner by the window and English ivy in the bathroom.

Even if gardening isn’t your interest, indoor plants add color, life and vibrancy to any space. Apartment dwellers can break up the monotonous white walls with splashes of green. Plus, they can help purify air and have been shown to improve mood, concentration and productivity.

The Benefits of Baths

Or, Why You Should Take More Baths.

Bathing has a looong history, and us human folk have been enjoying it all along. However, ancient civilizations seemed much more prone to indulge in the relaxing, sometimes social, habit than we are.

Perhaps there was more leisure time available without the 40+ hour work week, television and internet. People weren’t constantly engaged in some other, seemingly more important activity to put off their bathing ritual. But whether it’s plunging into cool water after hitting the sauna, swimming in the ocean or filling up the tub at home, baths serve us in more ways than just the relaxing, quiet, me-time we’ve come to crave.

Reduce Pain and Muscle Aches

Cramps included!

Similar to using a heating pad or Icy-Hot and other “heating” pain relief creams, a hot bath may be just the ticket to squelching aches and pains. A cool bath, on the other hand, can help reduce the lactic acid build-up to speed recovery time following intense work-outs.

You can also ease chronic pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia and other inflammatory-induced conditions by soaking in a salt bath (use Epsom or your favorite natural salt). Adding salt reduces swelling and has been used since Ancient Greece to relieve pain.

Heart and Digestive Health

Although a piping hot bath isn’t recommended and can add more strain to the heart, a warm, soothing temperature increases heart rate which can improve blood circulation throughout the body. It may also help lower blood pressure and keep your heart functioning well. The improved circulation will also aid with proper digestion!

Alleviate Cold Symptoms

As we head into cooler months, its bound to happen: cold and flu season.

Warms baths do more than improve blood flow, they also allow the blood to become more oxygenated as you relax and breathe deeply, inhaling steam. This can aid in ridding your body of illness-causing bacteria, clear sinus and chest congestion while, also, boosting immunity.

Pamper Your Skin

Exposure to water and steam can be cleansing and moisturizing for the entire body. Hot or warm water opens our pores and induces sweating, allowing the body to naturally cleanse itself. Plus, the steam and contact with water is a great way to hydrate skin and hair!

In a recent study published in Temperature, researchers found that an hour-long soak in a hot bath resulted in similar effects as an hour of moderate exercise. For anyone unable to exercise regularly or with certain chronic illnesses, such as type II diabetes or chronic inflammation, this could be huge!

Featured image by StockSnap/Pixabay.

His & Hers: 3 Easy Recipes

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a vegetarian but my partner definitely is not. This means that our dinner selections are generally selected based on my dietary choices. More often than not, he’s perfectly content with eating my vegetarian or vegan concoctions (and likes them!). However, there are times when he’d like to have a little animal protein in his meal.

I find most recipes pretty easy to make veg-friendly (vegetarian/vegan). But over the past five years, his meaty preference has resulted in seeking out recipes and meals that are easy to make His&Hers versions of. What determines their ease?

  • No extra time required to, essentially, make two meals.
  • How many ingredients we can both use (aka: affordability).
  • Accessibility of necessary kitchen tools, for both of us.

Go-To His & Hers Recipes

  1. TACOS. Who doesn’t love tacos? No one in their right mind! They’re super-versatile, easy to prepare and cheap. All qualities we look for. Most of the time, he’ll make a chicken or beef topping, while I prepare lentils, rice or beans for myself. Sometimes we keep things standard with tortillas. Other times we opt for taco “boats” with romaine lettuce leaves in place of the tortillas.
  2. PIZZA. Another super-versatile recipe with endless topping combinations. When we order pizza, my go-to is pineapple or mushroom with banana pepper; his is pepperoni and black olive. Homemade pizza is infinitely cheaper–and probably healthier–than Domino’s and Pizza Hut, and allows you to add as many flavors as you want. When we go for pizza, we make one crust: half with pepperoni, half without.
  3. BURGERS. My go-to recipe: black bean burgers. And he likes those just fine but sometimes wants a real cheeseburger. So, obviously, he gets hamburger and makes that.
Featured image via Pixabay.

2017 Goal Update

I started this renewed foray into blogging at the beginning of the year by setting some goals for the coming months. And although some are going better than others, a few have shifted or altered in some way.

So, how are things going at this mid-point, or so, in the year? I’d say fairly decent. Let’s revisit.

  1. Write more. I think I’ve been pretty successful at this, so far. Sure, there were a few weeks missed here and there, but life does happen sometimes. Overall, I’ve managed to write plenty of posts well in advance or have them ready weekly.
  2. Experience more. Well, this is probably the least successful of them all. We’ve officially been relocated for about a year and I can’t say I’ve experienced much of Colorado…due to funds and my general attitude—it’s kinda been a rough year and half! In addition, we’re now the proud parents of a diabetic fur-baby, which does put some constraints on what I’m able to do and still ensure he’s properly taken care of.
  3. Minimize. According to our lease, we actually live in a smaller apartment than last year. I don’t totally buy it because it feels much roomier and homey, but whatever. We haven’t gotten rid of much more, but we do use most of the items we currently have.
  4. Poetry collection. While I like to consider myself a poet, I’m probably not publication material and that’s okay. However, there is something about self-publishing a chapbook or collection that rubs me the wrong away. That something is called my ego and it would much prefer to be an actual published poet, even if it’s just one poem. This is THE goal that has shifted…I’m working on creating a simple zine template to collect, share and house my poems, perhaps by general theme. This would also allow me to create a few editions and create special editions for the very, very few pieces of flash fiction I’ve written. Once completed, I’d create limited initial runs to share with family and super-close friends. Then, if other people were interested, I could trade them or sell them for a extra-nominal fee. In all honesty, I’m even more excited about this zine incarnation because it’s much more hands-on and creative for me to produce 100% by myself, at the kitchen table.
  5. Natural home efforts. So far, so good. Since moving, I’ve used primarily homemade, natural cleaners around the house. We’ve also cleaned up our diet/eating routines quite a bit! And I’m currently in the process of getting my hair care routine closer to the “no poo method” I had been aiming for before cutting it back into a pixie (for shame!).

Did you set any goals for the year? If so, what are they and how are they coming along for you?

FEATURED IMAGE BY GREEN CHAMELEON/UNSPLASH.

Common Misconceptions About Plant-Based Diets

Vegetarianism doesn’t get too much flack in popular media, but does get some in day-to-day life on occasion. Veganism, on the other hand, tends to get the shit end of the stick, as it were, from all angles.

The main concerns that most people seem to voice about plant-based diets are:

  • It’s too expensive.
  • They’re somehow deficient, be it in nutrients, variety or flavor.
  • Whether it’s actually a sustainable/maintainable choice for the long-term.

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Learn to Listen: Intuition

in-tu-i-tion n.
the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.

The word intuition has been around since late Middle English and, at that time, specifically meant “spiritual insight or immediate spiritual communication” (according to Google).

intuition
Photo by Yeshi Kangrang via Unsplash.

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