Archive | January 2014

Everything Birds!

male indigo bunting from Rebecca's blogI think I can safely say Spring is my favorite season at the house. Everything is growing and lush and the critters are finally starting to pop out of the woodwork. I’m getting back to the garden and setting up the outdoors for meals and phone calls with Mom and birdwatching.

In my efforts to freshen up the yard (for basically the first time,) I’ve revisited my Pinterest account – what a dangerous thing! :D I love the long winding paths you can take on Pinterest – from from a picture to a recipe to a blog to another blog to a picture and back to do it all over again…

Well in my searches, I came across this lovely birdwatching/feeding blog and I thought I’d share it. Not only are there some really great bird photos (with captions so I can practice my birding skills!) but there are some great DIY feeder designs and beautiful birdhouse ideas. Not only that, but Rebecca has an etsy shop where many of her creations are sold.

Definitely check out Rebecca’s Bird Gardens Blog!

7 Feng Shui Tips from MindBodyGreen!

I’m gonna share a post from MindBodyGreen today because I think it was something I needed to hear.

Spring cleaning will be more stressful than usual this year because of the wedding. Not only will I need the space for DIY wedding pieces and storage, but we most definitely want to show off the house while family and friends are in LA.

That being said, it’s a lot harder to rally spirits when there’s so much more pressure on the state of things. I’d love to say it keeps me more motivated, but it’s really keeping me more apprehensive. The second I take on a project I have to wonder if it’s the highest priority. Then I don’t know where to start and I end up not starting at all. (Good thing we’re 5+ months out!)

Now these feng shui tips are all very to-the-point; I don’t think there’s anything here that surprised me, but it was exactly what I needed to read today. Hope you can enjoy it, too!

*for the whole article by Dana Claudat, click here!

1. Declutter.

Clutter is stuck energy in your home. This may be the hardest step for many of you, but clearing clutter can be a total life revolution in itself. Examples: papers you have been saving for the last decade “just in case” you might need them, clothes you haven’t worn in years, art you don’t like. I encourage you to dive in and recycle/donate/regift it all!

2. Lighten any drudgery!

What chores in your home do you dread? Today, find a way to make them fun. If washing your dishes is a nightmare, can you put an iPod dock in your kitchen? If you can’t stand doing laundry, maybe you get really cool artisanal linen wash and a gorgeous laundry basket? Reduce the drudgery and you’ll embrace the care of your space more artfully.

3. Find a good view!

If you have a great view of nature or the city, leave your blinds or curtains open to bring that expansive view inside. If you don’t have a view, can you create one with a great piece of art? Even an abstract but meditative piece of art, something you like to contemplate, will do the trick.

4. Dim the lights at night.

Bright light, as illuminating and refreshing as it is, can throw your sleep cycles off kilter. If you start to dim lights progressively in the evenings, switching more light off as it gets later in the evening, your body will be able to unwind more easily.

5. Appeal to your senses.

Explore aromatherapy bubble baths, essential oil diffusers and even pure incense to flood the air with layers of sensory goodness. Add a soft knit throw to your sofa. Get some fuzzy slippers! When is the last time you downloaded some jazz with its watery improvisation, or a classical score to steady the rhythm of your mind?

6. Clear the air of static.

One massive amount of clutter we all tend to ignore: Pent-up anger, frustration and hurt feelings that linger in your home. Just because you’re not speaking them doesn’t mean that other people aren’t feeling them. In my personal and professional experience, roommates, couples and families that take the time to calmly talk out their issues have far less stress at home. If you live alone, keep a journal to air out your feelings when you need to relax.

If you find it hard to express yourself, you may want to try clearing more clutter (back to #1 on the list!). Our homes are a mirror of our mind and our life. So if you can clear more space in the physical environment, it often helps open up emotional space in your life as well.

7. Add more nature.

Nature is the ultimate relaxation nirvana. There’s fascinating research underway on nature as therapy, with some studies suggesting that 20 minutes immersed in nature can significantly decrease stress hormones in the body. Psychologist Roger Ulrich’s research, dating back to 1984, has shown that when patients in a hospital gaze out at a garden they tend to heal faster and with fewer complications then those who had no view as they healed.

Plants, trees, rocks, crystals … I’m an advocate of adding tons more nature to your home.

In feng shui, it’s your personal experience of your own space that matters, so feel free to explore and improvise any of the steps above to make them work in your home for you. In pursuit of your own haven at home, you can do no wrong!

2014 Already?!

I can’t believe how long I’ve been away from the blog, but in following with standard new year traditions, it’s time to get back on the wagon!

Lots has happened since my last post, so catching up will be slow and steady (hopefully) but I wanted to make sure SOMETHING went up… I guess we should call this a “to be continued” post…

So, until then, Happy New Year!!

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