life curation · reading list

Book Review: The Crystal Fix by Juliette Thornbury

Happy Monday, friends! This is my first official book review of the year, and it’s a good one.

The book I’m reviewing today is The Crystal Fix by Juliette Thornbury. I purchased the book from Barnes and Noble last fall. I’ve been eager to read it, but other things took priority, so I didn’t get around to reading it until a few days ago.

This book is an excellent reference for crystal newbies (like myself). It gives a thorough, but not overwhelming, overview of crystal healing theory, as well as a list of crystals that are best for specific parts of the home. Then, the book dives deeper into a multitude of crystals and minerals, their properties, and how to combine them for best results.

I think what’s really special about the book is how it makes the worlds of crystals ACCESSIBLE and easy to incorporate. I wasn’t inundated by lots of technical jargon or too much information. It’s a reference guide but it’s so much more than that: it reads like a fun how-to book. There are instructions for incorporating crystals into your life, such as making crystal grids, meditation and rituals with crystals, and even beauty treatments that are infused with crystals.

To be fair, this guide is not all exhaustive: there are many crystals that are not listed (I can think of a few off of the top of my head, such as prehnite and quantum quattro). But the book isn’t made to be all-encompassing: it has just enough information to give you a great introduction to crystals and common ways to use them.

I think what’s really special about this book is that, as you read, you’ll find certain crystals resonate with you, and you’ll be inspired to buy those crystals. It’s funny: the crystals end up picking YOU, instead of you picking them. I awaiting my shipment of rhodochrosite and shungite now.

I encourage anyone that is interested in crystals to purchase this book and learn more. There is some great information in this book and it’s a wonderful introduction to the world of crystals.

That’s it for today. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

*This post contains affiliate links.

life curation · relaxation

How to Do a Tea Meditation

Happy Tuesday friends! I hope you all are enjoying a comfortable and happy day wherever you are.

In light of the recent events in the United States, I thought about how I could contribute to the collective energy of peace and kindness. It may sound a little simplistic, but I truly believe that good intentions, prayer, and self-mastery are foundational to creating a more peaceful world. Indeed, if I can create peace within my personal world, I can radiate this out to others, and eventually this energy can start to encourage a peaceful attitude around the world.

I looked around my home to see if I had anything that would create an immediate mood lift. I reached for what has always worked for me: a cup of hot tea. But, instead of simply drinking the tea, I decided to do something a little different. I created a tea meditation around my ritual of enjoying hot tea. After I finished my cup, I felt so much more relaxed and grounded. I figure, if this process can have that effect on me, perhaps it will be of use to you, too.

So here are the steps involved in my tea meditation. If you prefer to watch a video on it, you can see a video demonstration below. Also, if you’re interested in reading more about the rich history of tea and the culture behind the tea ceremony, you should check out The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura. I found the book unexpectedly enlightening and thoroughly inspiring.

  • Pay close attention to every step that you take in preparing your tea: select your tea carefully, listen to the sound of the water as it goes from simmering to boiling, feel the weight of the cup in your hand before and after adding water.
  • Select your sweetener carefully (if you choose to indulge). If you’re inclined. do a taste test of the different sweeteners available and see which one makes your taste buds dance.
  • Gently, slowly and intentionally pour the hot water over your tea. Look intently as the water changes from clear to colored. Look closely to see if the herbs or tea leaves make swirls in the water as it infuses. Get lost in the slow transformation from clear liquid to flavorful beverage.
  • Add your sweetener a little at a time. Taste the difference between levels of sweetness. Connect those levels of sweetness to emotions or actions (perhaps you can compare lightly sweetened to a mild happiness, and the perfect level of sweetness to bliss [maybe like a passionate kiss]).
  • Stir the tea gently with a spoon, to ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed. Immerse all of your senses into the process.
  • Allow the tea to cool a bit before drinking. Take deep, cleansing breaths while you wait, and concentrate on what you want to experience as a result of drinking your tea (happiness, peace, satisfaction, etc.,).
  • Bring the cup up to your lips but, before sipping, deeply inhale the aroma. Try to identify each of the components of the tea by smell.
  • Take a sip, noting the feel of the cup against your lip, the weight of the cup in your hand, and the smell of the tea.
  • Allow the tea to gently swish in your mouth, coming into contact with all of your taste buds. Try to pick up notes of sweetness, bitterness, sourness, or saltiness (an exquisite tea can have elements of each). As you swallow, concentrate once more on what you want to experience.
  • With every sip, engage all of your senses and focus on what you desire.
  • Upon finishing your tea, speak a few words of gratitude, and complete a few more deep, cleansing breaths.

That’s it for today. I hope that this meditation blesses you and helps you tap into a feeling of peace and relaxation, as it has done for me. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

*This post contains affiliate links.

life curation

Vibe Lifters – A Key Part of Self Care

Hello friends. I hope this post finds you in peace and living well.

Last week, less than 150 miles from my home, the US Capitol Building, was raided by rioters that disagreed with election results and the overall management of the United States. This terrifying act has put many Americans on high alert, but it has also served as a source of great stress. In the midst of a global pandemic and considerable financial unpredictability, this act of terrorism exacerbates an already tense situation.

While I was disheartened by what happened at the Capitol, I knew that I didn’t have to allow it to cause me stress. I reached for a few of my reliable vibe lifting activities, and I instantly felt my body shift from tense to relaxed. I’m thankful that I had these activities in my self-care kit, so I could utilize them as soon as I found myself feeling anxious over the events happening not too far from my home.

What are vibe lifting activities? These are things that you can do whenever you’re feeling stressed or depressed. These aren’t a substitution for therapy or prescription medication, but these can offer a bit of relief when you need it most.

The key to a good list of vibe lifters is to make sure that the activities you include are things that can be done for free or inexpensively. The last thing you want is to rely on costly activities to lift your vibration: emotion should never been attached exclusively to financial ability. The best vibe lifters can be deployed instantly and connect you to your core values or favorite things.

Here is a portion of my list of vibe lifters, just to give you an idea of what this list can look like:

  • Drinking hot tea (tea is a favorite thing, and this can be done inexpensively and quickly)
  • Taking deep cleansing breaths (connects to one of my values: relaxation)
  • Yoga (another favorite thing, that can be done for free by follow YouTube yogi videos; also relates to one of my values [relaxation])
  • Read a mystery novel (can be done for free, so long as I have the book nearby, and is a favorite thing of mine)
  • Burn incense or light a candle (can be done inexpensively, and has aromatherapeutic benefits)
  • Take a nap (FREE! And connects to one of my values [relaxation])
  • Throw away something broken/unnecessary (free and speaks to one of my values [streamlining my lifestyle])

As you can see, there are a multitude of things that can be done to lift your vibration. Think of what makes you feel better and list those things. Having a list can really help when you need to quickly refer to an activity to lift your vibe.

What we saw last week isn’t the first or last example of stressful political incidences. However, having a handy list of activities to calm you down and improve your mood can help you to handle these stressors with grace and ease. Make your list, and let me know what things you can rely on to improve your vibration!

life curation

Living Your Best Life: Managing Overwhelm

As part of this ongoing discussion about living my best life, I’m taking the time to assess what worked – and what didn’t work – when crafting a better lifestyle. What good is knowledge if I’m hoarding it instead of sharing?

Early in my separation (leading up to my divorce) I felt like I was going in 1000 different directions. There was so much to attend to and so little time and energy to handle it all. I wanted a business, a successful federal career, a healthier body, more sleep, better relationships with my family and friends, a writing career, a financial benefactor, etc.,. So many things to do and I was trying to do them ALL!


Look, we all have too many tasks and not enough time. We ALL are overwhelmed to some degree or in some area. The overwhelm may not be ever present but it comes up at the most inopportune times. Here are a few things that I did when I was crushed under the weight of all of my “to-dos”. I hope this list helps you!

  1. I took naps. Naps are such an underrated source of stress management. When things were just too much to handle, I’d lay down and sleep for a bit. I was always more clearheaded and rational after I got a little rest.
  2. I delegated and outsourced. As much as I could, I entrusted some of my tasks to family or friends that were invested in helping me during that difficult period. Just having an extra set of hands on the scene can do wonders for managing overwhelming situations.
  3. I focused on tackling the smallest items first and let my momentum build up. Instead of doing it all, I focused on one thing at a time. That really worked wonders for helping me feel accomplished, which lead to me feeling more relaxed and energized to tackle the rest of my to-do list.
  4. I confided in friends. Sometimes, just vocalizing my frustrations would work wonders for my stress levels. I made sure to reciprocate: I’d let my friends vent to me, as well.
  5. I journaled. When I didn’t want to use my voice, I’d reach for my pen and journal. Writing my thoughts really helped me to get those confusing thoughts out of my head and into a tangible form that I could read and process at my leisure.

Do you have any tips for managing overwhelming situations? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

life curation · relaxation

My Desk Altar

Happy Tuesday, dear friends! I wanted to share the space that has helped refresh and restore me, even when I’m hard at work.

When I transitioned into my dream job last year, I was determined to make the best of it (one of these days, I’ll tell the story of how I landed this job). I was really maintaining my positivity and wanted nothing more than to create a much healthier environment than what I’d experienced in previous positions.

So I brainstormed how to best create my ideal workspace. And thus, my desk altar was born.


No, I don’t actually worship at this altar. In fact, it’s mainly trinkets from my travels and memorabilia from previous positions. It’s a tribute to where I’ve been, and all of the magnificent experiences that have made me the woman that I am. I wanted a sacred space that was infused with positive energy: indeed, even the items from previous jobs were items that brought back good memories.

I started a practice to help set my day on a positive note. I would think about someone that inspired me and I’d search on Google for quotes that were attributed to him or her. Then, I’d write the quotes on small, ornate notepaper, and place it on the altar. Whenever I’d hit a low point during my week, I’d look through the quotes and it would be an instant mood lifter. I’d also flip through my “Joy in Every Moment” book and find a passage or two that spoke to me.

Admittedly, I didn’t need this mood lifting practice often. In fact, the only thing that I can recall making me feel less-than-delighted with my new position was the fact that I missed my old teammates and felt kind of isolated. Other than that, my position was interesting enough and fulfilling enough to keep me happy most of the time.

Since I believe that our spaces should reflect our ever-changing selves, I’ll be updating my desk altar soon. When I’ve finished adding/removing/rearranging items, I’ll be sure to post an updated photo.

Do you all have altars or sacred spaces? Or do you have practices that help you get into a positive headspace? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!