Better Than Yesterday- Restoration Project 2019

Here we are again, we find ourselves in a new year, full of possibilities and hope.  It is starting off with a new slate some may say but another way of looking at it is restoring ourselves through mind, body, and spirit.  Like an old house that has been around for many years and decades, our mind and body has been a part of who we are for many years and decades also.  Rather than cleaning house and tearing down everything old to make room for the new, you would carefully plan out what is an important aspect of the house that is worth keeping and restoring and take out what is not working and strengthen what is losing its form and shape and fortify it to make it stronger. A restoration project may be long and time consuming but at the end of the project, there is much learning and evolving that takes place that transforms an old house into a treasure or historic landmark.  

Our body and mind can become a treasured landmark by simply getting rid of old habits and relationships that are negatively affecting us and restoring weaken habits and relationships that will transform us in character that will eventually make us better than who we were yesterday.  It is an investment in time that will grow our Spirit and make us whole again. The only way to measure success throughout the year is knowing that we were better than who we were yesterday and not comparing ourselves to who other people are today. May 2019 be a year that brings restoration and peace.

Want to make 2019 timeless?  Add a treasured piece to your home or give as a gift to someone.  Let this treasured piece be a reminder that life is a continual cycle of both joy and sadness but we must learn to empty ourselves and be restored by shifting our perspectives and to appreciate the time we have and to make the most of it.

Timeless Gift

Giving Calm and Relaxation a New Name

In the past, our outlet to get chills and thrills were through reading books in the genre of romance, mystery, horror, action and adventure but with the revolutionary onset of technology a new rise of chills and thrills can be found that seem to have the opposite effect.   At first, it is quite odd when you are introduced to it. Some may say it is irritating and skin crawling. No doubt, after a few videos of this, some are drawn or even addicted to its effects and want more of it. This effect brings about feelings of calmness and relaxation that has been introduced to the younger generation making them skip the spa treatments and create calmness and relaxation wherever they are.

The University of Sheffield (source: Science Daily) has performed studies to see if watching these video will produce feelings of relaxation and in effect decrease heart rate in comparison to other stress- reduction techniques like music or mindfulness.  There are more than 13 million ASMR videos on YouTube. ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) the Brain Tingle phenomenon is an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that starts on the scalp and goes down to the neck and upper spine.  It can be compared to “low grade euphoria”, a type of positive feeling. (source: Wikipedia).

These videos appear to have trigger points that intentionally trigger these tingle sensations.    It is the whispering into microphones, chewing sounds, brushing of the hair or even giving a personal makeover.  This phenomenon has a global internet following that has seem to calm some viewers to the point that they would use it as a technique to fall asleep, to help improve digestion, and weight loss.

These days, life is fast paced, we are all working longer hours and finding time to relax and unwind and just enjoy simple things can be hard.  ASMR can be viewed as a way we break down the simple things in life and magnify it to see the beauty within it. When we can appreciate the simple acts of our lifestyle, like chewing, it brings a closeness like hearing yourself breathe and paying more attention to the details that exist in our life.  If we pay more attention to the details in our life, it is then we can be grateful for what we have and impact our communities.


Great Ways To Unwind

Whether you are doing all your shopping online or in the retail stores, there is nothing better than slipping into a cozy robe afterwards and giving yourself a little down time to relax and rejuvenate, so you can give the best of yourself to friends and families during the holidays.



How to Stay Stress-Free When You Travel

Let’s face it,  we can’t be home all the time. Whether you have to go out of town for a friend’s wedding, or you’re finally crossing off that trip to Europe from your bucket list, everybody travels once in a while. Traveling can be stressful for a lot of people, some more than others. If you’re one of them, here are some of our tips to reduce stress while you’re traveling.

Sources: Pixabay

Before you leave

Preparing for travel can be taxing, and you don’t want to be so stressed out before you even get where you’re going. Being prepared is essential when getting ready to go on a trip. Don’t wait until the last minute to start packing. If you pack the day before you leave, you’ll only increase the chances of forgetting something. If you’re leaving on a Friday, start packing the Monday before. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to triple check your bags or remind yourself of anything you might have forgotten. Stay organized and label your luggage with a luggage tag so you don’t lose it at baggage claim. Utilize a  duffel garment hanging bag so that your clothes stay looking nice while you travel. Having all your affairs in order before you leave means you won’t have to stress when it comes time to get in the car or catch your plane.

Sources: Pixabay

While you’re away

Once you get to your destination, you don’t want to have to worry about your home while you can’t keep an eye on it. It’s necessary to keep your home safe while you’re away so that your thoughts aren’t filled with every worst case scenario until you get home. Having a good home security system in place will keep your mind at ease so you can enjoy your trip. SimpliSafe has an abundance of information on how to keep your home safe while traveling. You’ll want to have an alarm system set up to alert you of any break-ins and a security camera so you can watch what’s going on at your house when you can’t be there. When you know your home is safe, you can sit back and relax on your vacation.

When you get home

The stress of traveling doesn’t necessarily stop once you get home. It can be tough to get back into the swing of things after being away for a while. The last thing you’ll want to do is figure out what’s for dinner, so sign up for a subscription box like  Hello Fresh. Meal subscriptions make choosing and preparing dinner easy since they provide all of the ingredients and directions. Take the extra few minutes to unpack your suitcase and put everything in place before going to bed. As tempting as it might be to crash in bed the minute you get home, you’ll thank yourself later when the mess isn’t piling up a week after your vacation is over.

Sources: Pixabay

The physical preparation for traveling can be easier to remember to do but you must not forget to incorporate the art of stillness during your travels.   Find moments everyday to meditate and reflect on what you experience. This will help your mind absorb all the new and different things you have experience and not have it overwhelm you or let it be lost from your memory after you return home.  Bring along a journal or use your phone or laptop to document your experiences. Being able to to find quiet time during your travel really helps heighten your sense of awareness of the culture and the people. Do a little bit of people watching, you would be surprise that you may learn something new  about yourself by simply doing some “people watching”. By finding stillness in your travels, you will return home feeling refreshed and renewed and not feel exhausted and going back to the same 9 to 5 grind mentality. Instead you will feel a sense of gratitude and hope.

5 Tips for Acing Your Engagement Photos

With the holidays quickly approaching, engagement season is right around the corner! Whether you’re in the middle of planning your special day or you think your partner may be poppin’ the question soon, your engagement photos are one of the first steps in planning your wedding. From what to where to choosing a perfect location, check out these five helpful tips for beautiful engagement photos that will last a lifetime!

Wear something that you’re comfortable in

While this may seem obvious, it’s the most important thing when it comes to taking engagement photos. In order to look good in your photos, it’s important that you feel good! If you or your partner wear clothes that are too clingy or tight, you’ll end up spending your entire photo session adjusting them or picking at them. If you purchase something new to wear in your photos, be sure to try the outfit on prior to your photo session to insure that it fits properly and you feel comfortable in it. You can even have someone take a picture of you in your new outfit so that you can see how it will photograph.

Courtesy of Blue Nile

Prepare everything prior to your session

To ensure a stress-free photo session, plan out you and your partner’s outfits ahead of time and steam or iron them so that they are wrinkle free in your photos. If you plan on wearing any jewelry or accessories be sure to have them picked out prior to your photo session. Last but certainly not least, what bride-to-be doesn’t want a ring shot?! Be sure to clean your ring so that your breathtaking ring sparkles and shines in the photos!

Location, location, location

When choosing the perfect location for your engagement session, consider what you and your fiancé love as a couple and which places reflect that. If you’re an adventurous couple who loves to hike, take your photos in the mountains wearing your hiking gear. Do you and your partner love cuddling on the couch binge-watching your favorite Netflix series? An at-home session may be best for you! Don’t be afraid to incorporate your favorite activities into your photo session! If you’re struggling to pick a location, check out these helpful tips for choosing a fun location for your shoot.

Courtesy of Blue Nile

Make a date out of it

Being engaged is one of the most special, exciting times of a couple’s life together. While planning your wedding can have its stressful moments, your engagement is only a short period of your lifetime of love. It’s important to take a step back and enjoy the moment! One of the biggest pieces of advice that many photographers offer is to make a date out of your engagement photo session. This allows you and your fiancé to feel connected and romantic heading into your shoot. It will also help ease any nerves that you or your partner may have!

Hire a professional photographer

Booking your engagement photo session with a professional photographer will get you the best photos imaginable that you can look back on for years to come. Many couples have never been photographed professionally prior to their engagement session and may need some guidance. Professional photographers have years of experience shooting couples and will know exactly how to guide and direct you and your partner throughout the photo session. This is also a great opportunity to get comfortable and familiar with your photographer prior to your wedding day, making for even better photos from your wedding.

When love is genuine and real between two people, there will always be a natural chemistry which the photographer will pick up.  Looking natural and at ease is always the key to a great photo shoot.  Preparing your heart and mind before the photo shoot will allow you to express yourself naturally without feeling forced to smile or embrace one another awkwardly.   Listen to upbeat music that will set the mood beforehand that will bring a smile to both your faces.  Music has a way of relaxing the nerves and creating a sense of well-being and overall feel good mood.  Remember you are creating not just one day of memories but creating a story of your life together and the love that you both have for one another.  It is a glimpse to the beginning of a new life together.

Your engagement photos are meant to celebrate the love of you and your fiancé, so above all have fun and be yourself! If you’re looking for more wedding planning advice or ways to personalize your wedding, check out these helpful posts.