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Turn On Tune Out?

*This post is sponsored by Best Fiends

I've mentioned meditation and mindfulness a few times on the blog-- especially lately. I don't necessarily sit and meditate regularly. I should, but I don't. (One day, k?) But I do mindfully make it a point to take some time to myself almost daily. This 'time to myself' looks different from day to day depending on my mood. Sometimes this means just sitting outside in the sun (sans Marlowe) with a meal. Sometimes this means picking from one of the many books on my 'must read list'. And sometimes this means picking up my phone and playing a puzzle game. Yep... guilty of playing the good ole' puzzle games on my phone... and claiming it's meditative... but hear me out, okay?

Maybe it sounds crazy-- but for me, simple game playing has been a source of sanity for the past.. hmm... 10+ years or so. The game changes from time to time--- (and as technology changes), but for as long as I can remember, I've loved to tune out from the outside and stare at a screen to play some sort of puzzle game. Anyone remember that little snake/pong type game on the first screened cell phones that came out? That was a constant for me, haha.

And now, even as someone well into her adult years, well, I still like to whip out my phone and turn off my mind (just enough) to play games. My game of choice the past few months has been Best Fiends. Challenging enough where I'm not bored and letting my mind overthink everything else. But easy enough where I'm not working my adrenals and stressing myself out over nothing.

Have you guys cued in eye rolls yet? Seriously, let me keep going... it's just that, meditation and "quieting the mind" doesn't always have look like a crunchy, dreadlocked person sitting crosslegged and OM-ing for hours. Sometimes 'quieting the mind' just means turning off the internal worrisome dialogue/noise and focusing on ONE thing.

And I say, if a game can help you do that, then why not?

I like to think that I've advanced quite a bit in terms on mindful living-- truly enjoying each moment of my day and life--- and noting the hard times and the emotions that comes with it and then moving past it. But I can't say that I'm always amazing at quieting the noise in my mind. It's getting better for sure, especially in regards to high anxiety situations-- but sometimes I still struggle with it like anyone else.

So from time to time, my meditation of choice is a phone game. My game of choice lately?  Best Fiends. I was suggested to try it, and I got sucked right in. It's a color/pattern matching game where you build "a team of Fiends" to defeat slugs. Side note: it would be great if I could have a real team of Fiends to defeat garden slugs. Maybe one day, right?

It's just that I don't always want to lay or sit there with my eyes closed. Sometimes that does nothing for me. And sometimes I just don't want to read a book. Paragraphs or pages will go by... and then I'll stop and realize, I've read absolutely nothing-- I'm just skimmed my eyes through the motions... as I let my mind stills tress about something else. So for me, during those hard times, I quiet my mind with a game.

I'm not going to lie, Marlowe and Alex tell me I'm crazy, but jeez, it just feels good sometimes. A few minutes here or thee when I need to TUNE OUT.

Oh, I should mention the game is free. I would totally never pay for my tune-out addictions, haha. So yeah, if you want to try it for yourself, there's no loss or payment involved :) You can download it HERE, totally free on your phone (or tablet). And the first 100 readers who download the game (again, free) will get 5$ worth of gold and diamonds for free (these come in handy in the game, haha).

ps. maybe silly, but Best Fiends just launched a "boot camp" event that you can watch and play. There's a load of in game events + challenges too! Check it out! :) Hooray! Check out a video: HERE :)

Happy quiet time, friends!

pps. my other top trick for tuning out? Put your phone in airplane mode, guys! Seriously. I do this A LOT lately.

My Super Easy + Minimal Makeup Bag + Routine

I'm embarrassed to say that I've been holding off on this post for over a week now because I've had hopes of maybe-possibly adding a video to the post. But today I told myself that I should stop kidding myself--- the video is just not going to happen right now and the post should go up regardless. You guys have been asking for my makeup list lately-- and I have to tell you, it's not exceptionally exciting. Or maybe it is... because it's so incredibly minimalistic. I use three to four products daily. That's it. As you guys know I always try to keep everything as natural as possible... and vegan too. I can't honestly say I've looked into any of these products recently. These are the brands I started using years ago and fell in love with. And unless someone tells me otherwise, I'm pretty sure they're completely vegan and pretty natural :)

Oh and if you guys are interested, this post is supppper old, but mostly still relevant on the beauty products I use daily/often. So yeah, lets talk make up, cool?

The one thing I do every single day before leaving the house is coloring in my brows. I get a lot of brow comments on the insta stories and previously snapchat (sorry, I left you, snapchat)--- my brow shape is OKAY-- sort of lacking on the ends (90's over-plucking anyone?), but the real magic trick is a good eye brow pencil everyday.

I use this eyebrow pencil. The company also makes this, no sharpener required option, but I prefer the one that I have to sharpen myself because I feel like it lasts longer and I get more bang for my buck. I don't mind the super easily, hardly noticeable step of having to sharpen a device myself, haha.

The next super easy thing I do everyday is smear on some cream blush-- no fancy tricks or brushes here. I just take my good ole' pointer finger (preferably a clean finger) and blend some blush on my cheeks. I've tried most of the colors this brand makes and I've gotta tell you, you can't go wrong. I like to use a cream blush because it's SO easy to use and blend. But I'm not against a powder blush either.  Recently I switched back to the cream and I've been really digging it. I also like it because you can use it on your lips if you want too :)

If I'm leaving the house and want to step it up a bit then I use a liquid liner. I personally feel like this makes my face look substantially nicer, haha. I don't use it to go to the gym or beach or anything like that-- but if I'm going out around town or to dinner, I do prefer to give me eyes a bit of a lift with a cat eye :) I've tried a few different liquid eyeliners, but I feel like the tip of this one has been the easiest and cleanest feel and look.

I sometimes, but not always use a pressed powder. I guess it depends on the time of the month. For the most part my face is usually pretty clean-- but about a week a month I get some break outs and cover it up with this. I do have a concealer too, but I maybe use it three times a year/almost never. It works great, but I just don't really need it daily. I like this pressed powder a lot-- it only comes in four colors too, so it's pretty easy to match-- you just use more or less depending on your skin tone.

So yeah, easy easy! There's not a whole lot in my makeup bag. Outside of that I always have a pair of tweezers on me. I do thread about 3-4 times a year, but I pluck strays often. And well, chin hair problems are real, ya know? I also carry floss on me. I know, guys-- my makeup bag is THE COOLEST haha.

So there ya go--- my super easy, minimal makeup routine :) Hope that helps you guys or at least answers your questions :) Have a wonderful day!

photos by my friend Brittany :) 

Because What You Wear Matters

So some of you might remember that I vowed to only buy earth friendly clothing this year. I wanted items that were sustainable, organic, eco-friendly, etc.

I've stuck to it. It's been hard at times, but I've done it.

It obviously and absolutely helps to see more and more companies emerging with conscious clothing. I remember a discussion with my mom the other day where she brought up, "well, I'm not going to eat my clothes so why does it matter if they're organic?" Well, because it matters.

It matters how things are made, how the fabrics are produced, who made them, etc. It all matters.

I cannot even begin to describe how much I love Matter clothing. Socially conscious, SO many organic options, sustainable, and best of all: the most comfortable (and amazing) slow fashion.

You guys know me-- I'm not dressing to impress everyday. I just want to look nice, put together, and of course: be comfortable. I'm so happy that Matter fits all those must have categories AND my conscious clothing vow.

Seriously. Look at these pants. LOOK AT THEM. THEY ARE AMAZING. Okay, I'll stop yelling at you, but seriously.... The most comfortable pants ever--- and so easily dressed up or down (this would be dressed down for me. aka normal day.). You could totally wear these with a nice chunky heel, nice shirt, pretty necklace, and boom, be dressed up too.

I don't really have reasons to dress up (not complaining) so I'll happily wear them every day with my normal tops and slide on shoes.

But seriously. So cool, so comfortable, and so nice. It's basically wearing clothes that feel like pajamas, while looking extremely nice. I swear. And so many colors too. I'm probably going to buy the white ones next (and never wear them while eating... or cooking... or doing any of my normal activities because I'm a slob and spill on myself constantly).

The greedy side of me would also like this jumpsuitthis top, and these pants too.

It's just that, I want to always make every purchase count. I want clothes that are versatile and will work whether I'm here in Florida or somewhere far away. I want clothes that can last through the seasons--- seasonal seasons and the unnecessarily fast moving clothing industry seasons). Clothes that do no harm to the earth and to the people who make them.

I don't know, I'll never be perfect. And every single purchase I make for the rest of my life may not be perfect, but I do know that every little effort makes a difference. And I'm so so so grateful to see so many companies popping up with amazing options. I'm forever grateful that I found Matter this year. Their clothes are long lasting, multi-seasonal perfection. I can't wait to wear these pants everywhere (get used to seeing them in a lot of photos, haha). Looking forward to slowly filling my closet with more thoughtful pieces from Matter as my wardrobe needs :)

Looking for some nice new pieces? Check Matter out for sure. You will not be disappointed :)

I hope you guys had an AMAZING weekend. Ours was really good-- exhausting in the good way. Lots of sunshine, dirt, sand, and laughter. You know, the way weekends should be :) Happy Monday, friends!

ps. doing a giveaway this week on the blog with these guys. Keep an eye out for that!

photos by my friend, brittany de jesus--- who I went canoeing with today and ended up in many bushes and trees with.

shoes/sunglasses/ both hat and shirt were thrifted <3

Outside. NOW.

We had one of those days yesterday where we just needed to get outside.



The week has been a great week. But after days and days of tackling (much needed) tasks inside, well, we were antsy. I can last about two days inside before I start to lose it. Hence my total disdain for winter. And my total disdain for rainy season too.

Marlowe and I sit outside every single morning to eat breakfast. It's become an accidental ritual. It started out of necessity. Cold food and a chilly air-conditioning system blowing overhead (even set to 78 degrees) created a need for our small framed, very tropical thriving bodies to head outside in search of heat. And so every morning, no matter the state of out appearance, or how crazy it might look we grab our smoothies or acai bowls and make our way to the porch (or lately right tot he sidewalk) to enjoy our meal.

But this isn't enough outside time. Not by any means.

After three + days of being cooped inside (with the exception of one dinner out of the house) --- we broke. We tackled all our morning to do lists and drove west for something new. Anything new.

Alex suggested the everglades. I bit my tongue to all the downer thoughts I had about the place. And held my breath as we stepped out of the car-- in preparation for the swans of mosquitos I anticipated.

We sprayed on natural big spray (you know, the good home made stuff) and made our way down the path. And much to my pleasant surprise, the bugs never came. The trees provided enough coverage from the sun. And for whatever amazing reason, a breeze actually blew across Florida. We were thankful.

We explored the little details of nature.

And we made a friend. I named him... a name I already forget. Good friends, I know. I think he was hiding from his own kind... because not too much longer after this trail. We found another. Which led us to about, 2,000 of his friends.

(what most of our photos look like. me: on the look out for alligators. her: probably picking up a rock). And we spent the next hour or so exploring the grasslands. And every not so cautious step I took, I held my breath and hoped to not here the crunch of a giant new grasshopper friend.

For whatever reason, I'm the only one of the three of us who can deal with bugs (except roaches), snakes, rats, etc. Give me something weird, I'll hold it. (That can be taken the wrong way.... let's move on).

I'm grateful we picked up and went. Nothing extraordinary. Not some grand, life changing adventure. But something good. Definitely something good.

Homeschool has been going pretty well, but these are the moments I'm especially grateful for it. When we can just pick up and go. That she can actually spend time with Alex now-- They're schedules don't completely clash-- she can spend an entire day-- or days with him. We can learn from text books-- and real life adventures.

Still working on that life balance. And for sure, this week and month has turned into a busy one... basically overnight. But sometimes you just gotta get up and get the heck outside--- and hope you don't throw the whole balance thing too much off kilter.

Hope you guys are having a killer week. Inside and out. Hope you find sunshine... and lots of friends too. <3<3

What's On My Bedside / What I'm Currently Reading (Self Help / Homeschool / Cooking Books)

Hi friends! How is your Monday? Mine is dirty. And unorganized. But not bad.

Right now Marlowe is doing a bit of homeschool next to me while I get a bit of work done on the computer. Trying to still find the balance of getting everything I need to get done, done. You know? I thin I'm actually going o put together a little FAQ page specifically for c. diff. As most of my emails have unfortunately shifted from single mom-dom to c. diff recovery. And I totally don't mind getting emails-- I do enjoy it, you guys know this, but it might be easy to have a place to point to all the information. You know? Usually I just ramble on about all the things that help me and link a few books that helped me along the way.

One of the perks of getting sick was finding my love for reading again. My reading life paused for a bit of time-- but it picked up a lot in the past two years. I mostly read books on nutrition or self help type books, but every once in a while I mix it up with something else.

My bedside table usually only has a three book queue on it, but I found some books that made me VERY excited during some recent bookstore stops :)

What I'm Currently Reading

10% Happier --
I read through half of this book within a day or two, then got caught up with life and projects and slowed down bit. But then I forced myself to get off the computer last week and really start reading again-- and this was the first book I went back to. It's basically a story on how Dan Harris (tv reporter) found his way from hectic overthinking to a calmer, more focused life through meditation. I feel like I'm not doing this book justice in my description of it, but I have to say this was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. Not only could I relate to the story, anxiety break downs, constant self criticism, process of wanting to find usefulness in meditation, etc. but I would think it would be a helpful tool for anyone wanting to discover meditation for themselves. This was also in some way or another the start of me working on conquering more fears/ advancing even more in terms of completely overcoming my anxiety.

Some Thoughts On Relationships --
A really good, common sense (that we often forget) book on relationships. All types, not just romantic. A good read for people who might struggle to really flourish in the world of intimate relationships.

Creative Schools --
I am SUPER excited to dive into this book. I think it might be the next one I pick up. I squealed when I found this book in the bookstore a few weeks ago. I had no idea Ken Robinson had written it. If you haven't heard of Ken Robinson, he is the guy who gave the most popular Ted Talk to date-- one of my absolute favorites. The whole talk is on whole schools kill creativity and we need to re-think our schooling process. I can't wait to start this one.

The Homeschooling Handbook --
I started this book when I knew I was ready to pull Marlowe out of school and homeschool. I got about an 1/8th of the way into this book and then pulled her out of school, haha. So we might not actually homeschool her next year. It's complicated--- but in a good way. More on that later. But regardless, I'm looking forward to finishing this book during the summer. Whether we homeschool next year or not, we plan to do it again in the future and do it part time at home, just like we always have. We'll see. But yeah, if you're considering homeschool, (from what I've read so far) this is a good, straight to the point, easy to read book on the process. Breaks it down by types of homeschooling, laws by state, common sense things to think about when it comes to homeschool, etc.

Burma Superstar --
A cookbook! Do you guys read cookbooks? Haha, I do! When I have time to spare-- it's like a magazine for me. Something casual to enjoy reading through in my spare time. Burma Superstar was my favorite stop in San Fransisco. I dream of going back. I should mention that this cookbook is not a vegan book-- which for me is fine, I like the challenge of veganizing things :) And/but there are vegan recipes if you guys want those too :)

Alright friends! I'm off to keep organizing this house. I moved Marlowe's room around for the third time this month. But I think I finally like it! Going to get this house in shape today and tomorrow so that I can hopefully kick my feet up and read some more by the end of this week :) If you guys are reading any good self help type books or homeschooling books that you'd recommend, please comment and let me know! I'm always looking for more books to read! Andddd I'm actually going to go buy this book right now (per suggestion) to add to my must read soon pile :)

ps. Speaking of meditiation/mindfulness/self help/whatever-- I am going to do a post on self help stuff soon. How I started working out/my goals for meditation/ etc soon. (Many of you were surprised I'm going to the gym now, haha. I don't blame you!) If you have specific questions, do feel free to ask! K, bye!

pps. You can see my last book list HERE-- though I think I like this current set of books much better :) And you can see my more food/gut health book list HERE.