Uncategorized

Fibro Friday – Make A Fuss For Your Health

Happy Fibro Friday! I hope you all are doing well! I apologize for the premature postings this week: I’ve been concentrating on Vlog-A-Day-In-May and hadn’t gotten a chance to do much writing over here. Rest assured, the prematurely posted blog will be fleshed out and reposted soon.

Today, I’m sharing a vlog that I posted several weeks ago. In this video, I discussed why it’s important to “speak up” when it comes to your health, especially those that are dealing with fibromyalgia. So many times, our voices are silenced because many medical professionals misunderstand or minimize our experiences. Also, when you suffer from chronic pain, it can be difficult to accurately relay your experiences to medical professionals, which makes it challenging to get diagnoses and treatments.

However, we should always continue to “make a fuss”, sharing how we feel with our care providers and the specialists that we work with. We must persist until our concerns are heard, and we get the treatment that we need.

life curation

Vlog A Day In May – Am I Doing It?

In a word, yes. I’m a little crazy, considering how busy my schedule is ordinarily. But that won’t stop me: I’ll be filming a bunch of videos (think anywhere from 15 to 20) over the next 4 days, so I can have a healthy cushion of videos before the month starts.

Yes, that means that most of these videos won’t technically be “vlogs” – I’m under the impression that the idea of a “vlog” is about having daily quick check-ins. But I don’t want to spend all month getting video-ready every day (so much time involved!) nor do I want to fall short of my vlogging goal by skipping a day when things are hectic. It’s better for me to have some material ready to fill in the gaps, and even if I’m able to do quick vlogs daily in May, I’ll still need those pre-filmed videos for the upcoming months, when I travel or have other obligations.

So yes, there will be vlogs every day during the month of May. I’ll try to keep you all updated with the video topics as these are posted, but I can’t make any promises. Pray for me, y’all!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Time for a New Laptop!

Hi friends! I hope you all are doing well and enjoying the week that you desire. I’ve been tying up some loose ends before I resume regular posting, hence my absence. I know that a post went up yesterday, but that post was premature and will be rewritten and reposted in the near future. Also, I have a little announcement tomorrow that will explain more of the “loose ends” that I have going on in the background.

Anyhoo, you aren’t reading this because you’re interested in my loose ends. This is Writers Wednesday, and I’m bringing up a writing-related discussion.

Y’all. It’s time for a new laptop. And I (low key) dread having to choose one, for multiple reasons.

For those that know me offline, you know why this isn’t my highest joy. For those that don’t, I’ll share a little tidbit about me with you. I’m actually quite tech averse, and I don’t enjoy having to get the “latest and greatest”. I prefer to use what I have until it no longer serves me, and then I upgrade when I don’t have another option for making my existing technology work for me. I don’t “spoil myself” with tech purchases (I prefer experiences and luxury enhancements for my personal environment instead). I’m still very much an analog girl, and, had it not been for my fibromyalgia, I’d prefer to write most of my books longhand. So purchasing new laptops, tablets, phones and the like aren’t things that I enjoy from a consumer or creator standpoint.

All of that being said, I am the possessor of an older laptop/chromebook (2018!) and I’m getting messages about certain apps that will no longer be updated on my device. Also, the device is moving much slower than I prefer (age and amount of files that I have on it are slowing it down), so I plan to put my crucial files on a cloud drive, then retire this device. I’ll probably give it to my daughter for her web surfing needs, since I’ll be able to speed it up a bit once I do a factory reset on it. I know, I could just do a factory reset and use it myself, but it can’t serve me well if I cannot use certain apps. So I’ll get the new device and the one I’m currently using will be the family/web surf computer.

So now, I have to choose a new device. I’m fairly certain that, while I am an iPhone enthusiast, I don’t want a Macbook at this point, nor do I want a standard laptop or desktop. Chromebooks are still my preference for their speed and how the limited space forces me to be selective with the files that I download. I’m considering getting this Acer Chromebook: the screen is just a little smaller than what I’m used to, but it ‘s still a great size and should be fine for my writing endeavors. It also has 64GB eMMC storage (the internal data storage I need).

Now this Acer has the same size screen as my current chromebook but has double the eMMC of my current device (it would be a jump from 16 GB eMMC to 32eMMC). This device has less internal storage than the first one I’m considering but it is one pound lighter than the other device (which matters to me if I’m traveling with it). It’s a little more economical than the first chromebook but the savings is not significant enough to make that a deciding factor in my selection.

If you’re wondering why I’m only looking at Acer Chromebooks, I can assure you, the reason is simple: I’ve had good experiences with the two Acers I’ve had, and I find their design simple enough to not be overwhelming but fast enough and powerful enough (when they’re still new-ish) to get the job done. I’ve used other laptops and chromebooks, but Acer is perfect for someone like me, that isn’t really interested in having all of the bells and whistles.

I’ll be choosing my device by the end of this week,and I’m excited! I’m looking forward to working on a new chromebook.

That’s it for today! Have a good one, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

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This post contains affiliate links.

goals · life curation · luxury · relaxation

Dream Life – How I’m Connecting With It Daily

Last week, I shared with you all how I am adding glimmers of my desired (future) life to my present life. I wanted to write a little more about that, since this is a topic that I’ve pondered for several years.

I believe that the best way to create a life of your dreams is to connect with your dream daily. A lot of people think that the only way to connect to their desired life is through daydreaming, which can be a good first step. But you can do so much more than that, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first glance.

Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

I believe is connecting to my dream life through the five senses: sight, sound (hearing), smell, taste and touch. So I try to connect with that desired existence through each of those senses every day. I make sure to look at the things in my world that would also be in my future life: for me, that includes my family, my finest clothing and shoes, and some of my “treasures” (jewelry, fine china, keepsake items I’ve collected over the course of my life, etc.).I listen out for sounds of nature that I know I’ll enjoy in years to come (birds chirping, rain on stormy days, etc.). I wear perfumes that smell incredible, and I also make my own fragrances that capture the emotions and aromas that I delight me and now best reflect the scents I want to surround me in my future life. I drink beverages and eat foods that I will enjoy frequently in my future life (lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lovely wines, fine chocolates, etc.,). I am always touching textures that reflect the life of my dreams (primarily silk, satin and – during the cooler months – cashmere).

It seems really simple, but just connecting to my ideal life through my senses does wonders for helping me stay focused on what I prefer, which is a life full of the things that I enjoy most. I am creating a life full of joy, ease, and delightful experiences, and I use my senses to help me with this. I think I’ll be sharing more posts in the future, discussing how I do this in more concrete terms (specific things that I do to connect my senses to my desired life). Look out for more of these posts soon!

beauty · nature · relaxation

Spring Has Sprung! Early Spring Blooms

I spent part of my week bemoaning the haggard look of my yard. With the warmer weather and more sunshine, my grass has been flourishing… And so have my “weeds”.

I’m inclined to quickly schedule someone to tend to the yard but, as a baby herbalist, I know that the new growth cropping up in my yard has a purpose. I also know that it’s to my benefit to be very familiar with local “weeds”, especially the ones in my own yard. So, before I get the first lawn mowing of the season, I decided to learn more about these early spring weeds.

My mini violet bouquet

I have a ton of purple dead nettle in my yard. These pretty little plants are among the first to shoot up when the seasons change. I harvested some and dried them, and I plan to try making a tea with them. These are purported to help with seasonal allergies and are also supposedly anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, diuretic, purgative, etc.,. Luckily, these plants – and their lookalike, henbit – are edible. Unluckily, I dislike the flavor of fresh purple dead nettle. I’m hoping that the dried leaves can be combined with another herb to make a pleasant tea.

A patch of purple dead nettle

I found a narrow leaf plantain coming up near my driveway. I don’t plan on doing anything that requires me to use plantain, as this is commonly used to numb the sting from stinging nettle and from insect bites and stings. But, it’s good to have it nearby, just in case I get a bug bite that needs attention.

Narrow leaf plantain

My yard also gets quite a few mock strawberries (snake berries) later in the season. These little devils are harmless and edible but they have no flavor. For now, I’m seeing their pretty flowers and sighing about how those little tasteless berries will be popping up soon. Though the resulting fruit tastes like water, the blooms are sunny spots in my yard.

Mock strawberry (snake berry) bloom

Finally, my favorite weed has appeared! Violets are all over one particular patch of grass, and I love it! These delicate blooms add such pretty colors to my yard. I have “confederate violets) a cultivated subgroup of the larger blue violet family. These are edible but I’m not interested in consuming them: I just love to look at them.

Blue violet

I’m looking forward to seeing what will bloom at the end of this month, and in May. I planted a few seeds, so I’m hoping that those flowers will be blooming in a few weeks.

Did you do any planting or foraging yet? I’d love to hear all about it!

health

Fibro Fridays: Morning Routine for Relief

Happy Fibro Friday! I’m glad that we’ve completed another beautiful week, and I’m hoping that all of you are feeling refreshed and relaxed.

On this fibro journey, one thing that I’d been resistant to was routine. I enjoy doing things at the spur of the moment, and I used to feel that routines kept me from living a fun and spontaneous life. As it turns out, routine has been a saving grace for me. Between getting into the regular habit of taking certain prescription medications, having regularly scheduled visits to physical therapists, and creating better sleep hygiene, I can see where routine is critical to my pain management strategy.

I noticed that I had morning, mid-day, and evening routines that have helped a lot with minimizing my pain and discomfort. So, I took note of my current practices and decided to film my lists. For this week, I filmed my morning routine. You can watch the video here:

The four things I’m currently doing are as follows:

1) Drink 8-16 oz of room temperature water upon waking. I’m always so thirsty when I first wake up, so this is crucial to helping me gently start my day.

2) Complete 5-10 minutes of bed yoga and stretching. Again, starting my day gently is vital: part of keeping my nervous system calm is to avoid overstimulating routines, such as hopping right out of bed and throwing myself directly into the activities of the day. Gentle stretches warm my body up and get me mentally prepared for the day.

3) Moisturize my skin thoroughly. For me, a hyper-sensitive nervous system has meant more sensitive skin. Fabric that was once fine is now uncomfortable against my skin, but I notice that this discomfort is minimized if I’m well moisturized. I use a body butter formulated by one of my friends, but prior to that, I used a light layer of petroleum jelly. It works great and it keeps my skin from getting dry throughout my day.

4) Consume mostly liquid supplements. When I start my day, I’m not usually in the mood for solid or heavy foods. Likewise, I am almost never in the mood for pills or other supplements that cannot be sipped or added into beverages. I try to make most of my morning supplements some sort of liquid: I find these easier to digest and much more effective for me.

This additional point is something that I’d like to try in the upcoming weeks. I have noticed a little more tooth sensitivity than normal, so I’m going to try using a desensitizing toothpaste (like Sensodyne) to help with that. I’ll try it for a few weeks and I’ll follow up to let you all know whether it’s something I’m going to keep in my rotation.

So that’s my morning routine in a nutshell. I find that these steps help me to have a smooth, gentle and effective start to my day.

That’s all for today! Have a great day and a fantastic weekend, and I’ll talk to you all next week. Take care!

beauty · life curation · luxury · relaxation · wine

Glimmers of My Future Life

I completed a workshop a few days ago, and the goal of the entire program was to see my future life and lining up with that reality. Here’s the thing: if you have a vision, you can absolutely create it. But there’s a catch: you can unravel your dream by being unprepared and overwhelmed. The best way to create a dream life that you can sustain is to get ready for it now.

One of the exercises I completed was to bring an object from my future reality into my current world. I sat quietly and the idea came to me: champagne flutes. My future self always has something to celebrate, so she’d have gorgeous champagne flutes at the ready. I went ahead and ordered glasses from a collection named after one of my totem animals, the Black Swan.

I realized that my recent order history has several items that reflect my future self and what’s normal for her. I had essential oils that smell incredible and have cultural significance (both scents are Southern-inspired). I combined these to make a lusciously scented body oil. My future self is always glowing, hydrated and smelling fabulous.

Speaking to my hydrated, silky-skinned future self, I also know that maintaining the softness of my skin is a priority, both now and in the future. So I invest regularly in exfoliating products and debriding creams. I re-purchased my debriding cream recently (I just finished up my supply), and I will be repurchasing my facial exfoliating pads if I don’t get the result I desire from some of the other exfoliating products I want to try.

Finally, my future self is prepared for emergencies and makes sure that herself and her family. My future self isn’t undertaking this responsibility by herself (my future husband is at my side, being even more prepared than I am!) But, having emergency supplies always ready is something she prioritizes. I ordered some additional “bug out” bags a few days ago, for my grandmother and her sister (I already have some at my house).

Those are some of the glimmers of my future self, as well as little ways that I’m acclimating to my dream life. How have you all been injecting little bits of your “dream life” into your current reality? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Uncategorized

500+ Followers! Wow and Thanks!

Hey everyone! I am not really a “stats watcher”: I don’t spend much time focusing on the numbers because I love this blog regardless of how it performs. I will occasionally throw out a follower goal, but it isn’t my motivator. My main joy is sharing my world and connecting with others.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

So imagine my delight and surprise when I saw that my baby blog has exceeded 500 followers! Thank you for following and reading. It means so much to me that you all are here, and spending a little bit of your day with me.

That’s it for today, because gratitude is always enough. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

beauty

Spring is Here! Let’s Try New Perfumes!

Happy Monday, my friends! Today is the second day of spring, and I’m so happy to be enjoying these warmer days. The past few days were consistently warm, and left me so hopeful about the fact that my favorite season, summer, is on its way and will be here soon!

I’m going to have some spring themed videos for the next few weeks, discussing fragrances, clothing, beverages, and hobbies (like gardening). This week, I’ll share some of my perfume videos, as well as my most recent video, highlighting a fragrance that is perfect for this season.

Earlier today, I posted a video reviewing CLEAN Rain Reserve, a fragrance that is ideal for this season, as well as the summer. It’s fresh, floral and conveys a lot of watery notes, making the fragrance profile “light” enough for warmer days.

Last week, I posted a different perfume review. This review featured MIX:BAR scents, a collection of fragrances that are made for layering and customizing into your own signature aroma. This discovery set has a 5 different scents, but I’ll note that Tangerine Squeeze, Glass Rose and Coconut Palm, in particular, are lovely for warmer days.

A slightly older video that I posted is this one featuring another CLEAN fragrance: this time, it was Solar Bloom, which I didn’t really like, but you may find it to be wearable for you. It made me think of hair grease (you’ll have to watch the video to see what I mean).

There are more fragrance reviews over on my channel, but these three are great if you’re looking for a starting point for researching which scent is perfect for the springtime.

Do you have my favorite fragrances? I’d love to hear all about them!

art · beauty · style

Three Easy Ways to Clarify and Confirm Your Kibbe Style ID

Last year, I posted about my Kibbe style ID and some of the revelations that I had related to that. After I published that post, I realized that some of my readers may find the Kibbe system confusing and even a bit overwhelming. I had some subsequent posts about the Kibbe system (like this one and this one) but these may not be clear enough for someone that is hearing about the system for the first time. Admittedly, I had no problem interpreting my original results from doing the self-typing test, but I can imagine how someone with no experience with analyzing their bone structure and flesh may not be able to come up with a conclusive answer.

I checked out a few videos that attempted to clarify how to get a good set of Kibbe results, but I found that there are a few other things that you can try to give you more clarity on what your true style ID is. Here are three things that you can try, to get a better “guess” of your Kibbe type.

Reface yourself with a celebrity that shares your Kibbe style ID. I stumbled across this method when I was curious about trying a new hairstyle. While playing around on the app, I refaced myself as Marion Cotillard, Teyonah Parris (an unconfirmed Kibbe SC), Grace Kelly, Veronica Lake and Dita Von Teese (another unconfirmed Kibbe SC). At the end, I noticed that I looked more seamless when I refaced as a SC. But, when I refaced myself as Dorothy Dandridge (Kibbe Theatrical Romantic), Halle Berry (Kibbe Soft Gamine) and Diahann Carroll (Kibbe Soft Dramatic). While the final videos were cute, none of them looked as “true to me” as the SC Refaced clips.

Get a friend to do the test for you. Sometimes, we cannot see ourselves accurately. In fact, one blogger than I came across recently couldn’t see her own type, though quite a few of her readers advised her of what they suspected her Kibbe ID was. After many months of experimenting, she finally determined that yes, her readers were correct and had typed her accurately. What you may want to do is get a friend (or two) to complete the Kibbe ID test for you. Though David Kibbe no longer recommends the test as a way to get an accurate interpretation of your body’s lines, the test is not completely inaccurate, and having your friends complete the test based on what they observe about your body can be tremendously helpful in getting a more objective understanding of your personal lines.

Try the “squint” method. Instead of looking at your physique head on, try squinting to give a less defined but more wholistic view of your body. Sometimes, zooming out and blurring the fine details can help you take in the overall silhouette. It may not be the surest method for determining your style ID, but it can help with getting a better sense of your shape.

Those are my three tips for finding your Kibbe style ID when you’re struggling with identifying your body type. I hope these tips can help! Take care, and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.