Showing posts with label calming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label calming. Show all posts

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Life is Short, Make it Sweet

The Heart of Country Music - More Songs
With all that's going on in this world, it's important to focus on the simple things that make life beautiful.

As the song says, 'life is short, make it sweet'. The lyrics of this tune by Old Dominion remind us to spend time with those we love. Sunsets, fun and sharing time with each other, it doesn't get any simpler than that.

(Lyrics)
"I never gotta wonder where my honey be
I ain't savin' all my sugar for a Saturday Night
Seven days a week I got an appetite
The sunsets like a tangerine
Let's find a road we've never seen
Don't waste another mile or a minute not kissin' me
Life is short, make it sweet"

Make it Sweet is a Cheerful Song 

When you need a musical boost, blast this one on repeat. With life's twists and turns, it's not easy being 'seen'. Lolz. The good news is, when you take control of your thoughts and your environment, being seen is something you can control from within. I know, it all sounds cliché but I speak from experience and I've personally done the work.

For over four years now I've made a conscious effort and practiced that other old cliché, 'control your thoughts control your life'. Sure I'll slip up from time to time and unwittingly let someone rent space in my head, but not very often.

As soon as I feel my mental strength begin to diminish, I work to take back that control. It requires a conscious effort, until it becomes subconscious. The key is practice. It's no different than exercising the body: Takes time, takes repetition.

A quick tool I use to pull my mind away from unproductive tangents is word repetition.

Choose your word. Mine is 'Hope'. When the brain decides it wants to run my life, I take back my control by repeating my word over and over inside my head as many times as it takes until that noggin' of mine has forgotten the tangent it was on.

You'll slip up many times and in the middle of it forget you were using word repetition. No biggie. Just pull yourself back on track and start again. After years of doing this, bad thoughts and energy just begin to avoid you - they'll realize you're like Fort Knox, no getting in.



Music is One Road to Inner Peace

Make it Sweet by Old Dominion is the ideal, bring it back to the basics song. As soon as my husband and I heard it, we both smiled and agreed that the message was calming. The lightness of the tune helped to unweight the heaviness of the day.

Another Relaxation Option - The Zen Channel - Stingray Ambiance

If you have this channel, be sure to use it as a way to control the energy you allow in your home.

We mostly read our news now and our TV sets on the main level have Stingray Ambience on all day. They feature gorgeous scenes from all over the world with light music in the background. In fact we rarely watch regular TV now. We only tune into shows that interest us from time to time. We're not blocking out the world, we keep up-to-date online. We're just actively controlling our home's environment. Makes a big difference. It heals the soul.

Between aromatherapy, the Zen Channel and Make it Sweet, we're creating our own peace.

Here's to your happiness :)




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Sunday, March 3, 2019

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to All the Hype - Don't Hesitate to Get One

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to all the Hype
I've been waiting to review this Christmas gift. It's March now and since the holidays I've used it daily.

I'm ready to blurt out an all caps YES to this product.

Here on ReviewThis the essential oil queen is Lou16, so today's review of the HoMedics Diffuser is strictly from the non-expert, user only, perspective.

AND I LOVE IT.

Lou16 has written quite a bit about essential oils and I've paid attention.

Thanks to my kind Step Daughter's Christmas gift, I've not only tried it, but feel the need to use it every day! The operative words here are 'feel the need', because it's the first thing I do when I enter the family room now.

What I Love About It

The general consensus of essential oils is that they help with stress. In fact, you can read further detail about the benefits in Lou16's article, 'How Aromatherapy Can Enhance Your Life'.

I'm sure I'm using too much oil. I believe the box says to put 5 or 10 drops into the water. Honestly, I forget what it says. The aromas are so relaxing that I put as many drops as needed to fill the room with the gorgeous relaxing chosen scent.

Essential Oils DO NOT Smell Like Chemicals or Sprays

This was the main reason I avoided buying a diffuser - thinking the scent would be similar to an air freshener.

Was I wrong.

The essential oil drops go in a water compartment inside the diffuser. There's absolutely nothing chemical smelling about it. The aroma is magnificent.

My Favorite Essential Oils
My HoMedics Diffuser Beside the TV


Peppermint, Lemon, Orange and Eucalyptus. More than likely I won't try anything with a flowery aroma .. that's not up my alley.

AND yikes, I've used five bottles since Christmas. Yah I'm over doing it. Whatever, can't help it, love it.

The Most Aromatic Essential Oil Winner

Is …. drumroll ...Peppermint.

I use quite a few drops, maybe 15 or more. When people come into our house I usually hear "wow, what smells so amazing". Yep, it's the peppermint oil in the diffuser.

Get this, I hate peppermint, to eat it that is.

Apparently I was a colicky baby and mom used to put peppermint on my soother to calm me. Well thanks to that little solution, I grew up hating the taste of peppermint. Spearmint and wintergreen are fine, love to eat those, but still can't stand peppermint.

The subconscious mind is truly powerful, because strangely enough, the one thing peppermint I now love is it's aroma from essential oil. I don't even like peppermint tea (although I drink it from time to time), or to smell peppermint candies. However, in essential oil, I find it soothing, calming and I swear it makes my head feel clearer.

Guess what, I'm out of peppermint essential oil and am currently using 'orange'. It's really nice too, but for me, peppermint is king. I love lemon everything, and had anticipated loving lemon the best, but nope, it's my second fave.

What Kind of Diffuser Do I Have

The brand given to me was HoMedics. It's easy to use. The rotating colored lights gives the room a lovely ambience as well. The picture above shows it positioned next to our TV. That way, I not only smell it, I see the lovely lights when watching the tube.

Featured below are a few HoMedics Diffusers & Essential Oils

Scroll to see them all. The first diffuser featured is closest to the one I own.




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Sunday, October 28, 2018

The App Calm - A Personal Review

I Finally Downloaded the App 'Calm' onto My Cell Phone

Since our computers spit ads and suggestions based on what we might like or want, it figured out I could use a little 'Calm' in my life.

After ignoring the App for several years, it finally got me! I downloaded it a few days ago.

The App has a free version and a paid version. I'm using the free features at the moment.

Scenes - The Feature I'm Currently Into

I use Scenes for relaxation and as a sleep aid.  However, it's the sounds of the scenes, not the visuals that I'm focused on. The scenes are beautiful and you can also watch while listening.

Scenes is essentially the same as the radios from back-in-the-day that feature a choice of background sounds such as waves, thunderstorms, forests, and more.

Simply, choose the scene and calming background sound you prefer. Put the headphones on, listen and relax. 

What We Get with 'Calm' Premium

A full library of music, meditation, and stories.
  • Guided meditations for stress, gratitude and more
  • Sleep stories are pretty cool! Put in your earphones and listen to a relaxing story to help you fall asleep. I've listened to one story included with the free portion of the App. It was hauntingly relaxing.
  • There's also music to help you focus, relax and of course, the obvious, to sleep.
  • They have Masterclasses by world-renowned mindfulness experts designed to help you take control of your thinking and guide you towards living in the now. I haven't tried this yet. However, this feature absolutely appeals to me.
Why Use Calm

With the internet and YouTube you might be asking yourself why would you need to use an App. After-all, why not just listen to videos from YouTube on your phone, or read articles you find via search. That was my original thinking as well.

The answers:
  • Convenience, no commercials
  • No need to search YouTube or the Internet for Meditation or Relaxation tools
  • Your calming tools are conveniently located in one place
  • Quick access on your phone when you need a calming break
  • Daily Calm inspirations added
  • Body Calm programs included
  • Masterclasses on Mindfulness
  • They add new music weekly
  • A full library of stories to fall asleep by, and new stories always being added
My gift to myself this Christmas, is to upgrade to premium. I do love the convenience of this App.

Here's to your peace of mind.



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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Create a Tech Free Sanctuary in Your Home

Photo via Pixabay
Are You Digitally Exhausted?

Information overload may be the understatement of this century. From the internet to social media, to 24-7 texts, news flashes, and emails on our phones, we are an overwhelmed society.

As we approach the end of this decade, people are facing this fact and looking for viable solutions that enable them to disconnect for a time.

Not everyone can take an off-the-grid holiday, and that's where controlling our own environment holds the power.

We can't change the outside world but we CAN change our inside world.

This Fall Season Go for More than Warm and Cozy in Your Home Décor - Create a Space that's Absolutely Disconnected and Tech Free

It's not easy to disconnect. According to Business Insider, as of 2016, 72% of the United States population uses a Smartphone. Globally that number continues to grow.

With artificial intelligence soon to become the new norm, and augmented reality already in use, the opportunities to disconnect at work and in our daily life activities are very few.

For this reason a dedicated 'calming space' in the home is more essential than it's ever been. The world won't stop just because we want it to and the oft repeated cliché, 'the only thing we can control is ourselves', means more than it ever has.

The control we do have is in how we design our homes. Digital free spaces, or calming disconnected rooms are becoming a design inclusion that more people are factoring into their décor.

Let's Review 5 Ways to Create a Calming Space:

1. Create a playroom that only offers toys that are free of any digital technology - Add books, popular retro games, play rugs featuring games and learning, dolls, astronomy, space, science, puzzles, wooden toys and more. Decorate the space to reflect another time and give the room a theme name like 'The Way Back When Room' or 'Yesterday's Space' or 'Back to the Future'. Make it fun and colorful so the kids can't wait to enter.

2. If you can't successfully turn a kids room into a technology free space, then how about including a bed tent or enclosed canopy where the rule is, only non-digital items allowed. Tell the kids the space is for story telling, fractured fairy-tale fun and catching up on their day. To add interest give it a name as well.

3. The most obvious room to convert into a calming space is the master suite. If you're disciplined enough to do this, then enhance your design with soft airy drapes, rugs, and bedding and use calming tones and color combinations and don't forget the soothing scented candles.

If you can't make your master suite a tech free space, use an extra bedroom if you have one. In fact, don't even include a clock in the designated tech-free room. Think of it as the 'timeless bedroom' - a time free zone.

4. Create a sitting room or library that only allows soft music and reading. However, permit only vinyl records. No other devices permitted. Put a fun bucket at the door that says people can't enter the space unless they put their phone in it first. Make a sign that gives rules for entering this tech-free room.

5. Let the dinner table be the technology free zone. Use fun games to ensure no phones are brought to the table. Make a rule; if someone sneaks a phone to the table, that person has to clear the table and do the dishes. If another person breaks the rule, they help. For every ten successful dinners without devices, create a family reward like movie night or other prizes the family may enjoy.

Here are a few visual examples of how to create that Tech free area in your home:




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Monday, August 14, 2017

Reviewing Gentle Yoga Accessories

Gentle Yoga with help from Yoga Accessories
I have recently joined a weekly Restorative Yoga class (also called gentle yoga). The yoga has been so beneficial to my physical and mental health that I wish I had the time to attend the class several times a week. Sadly, I do not. But I do have an internet connection and access to gentle yoga "classes" in the comfort of my own home. Whether in a class or at home, there are several items that make this Yoga more effective; mat, blanket, bolster, blocks, and a strap. I want to share a quick overview of these items and the supplier I've found.

If you are familiar with the benefits of yoga and yoga accessories, please feel free to jump ahead to the Yoga Accessories store. I have found that they offer high quality items, affordable prices, and fast delivery.


The Benefits of Gentle Yoga


I have always enjoyed yoga. And up until a few years ago, I really enjoyed the Yoga Burn type of yoga. The type where I felt as though I was working out and working up a sweat doing it. But as the years have gone by, I have gained weight, lost muscle, lost flexibility, and my lack of range of motion is embarrassing.  I have allowed a stressful job to negatively impact my health.

I needed something, some form of exercise, that suits my current physical and mental state. This gentle yoga class is good for my body as well as my mind. I am increasing flexibility and range of motion. I am also finding that the meditative style of this yoga is helping me to release stress. I am more calm and sleep much better after the yoga class. I can feel my stress level lowered.


Gentle Yoga Accessories


In this yoga class, I have been introduced to several helpful accessories; blanket, bolster, blocks, and a strap. As I have begun to do yoga at home, I have found a reliable supplier for these items.  I highly recommend Yoga Accessories for your yoga supplies.

Mat - Yoga mats are familiar things to most folks. They provide a bit of padding as well as a no-slip surface.  I love that Yoga Accessories offers mats in many different colors. They also offer mats in different thicknesses. My preference is the very thin mat that provides no-slip and a sort of hygienic barrier between me and the floor. But there are also thicker mats of you are looking for more padding.


1/8" Lightweight Classic Yoga Mat

Bolster - Bolsters come in several sizes and either a round shape or a more flattened-oval shape. I am getting a lot of use from my new round bolster. It is used to prop up the knees, to assist while laying in the child pose, and my favorite pose - laying on it along my spine. This pose seems to release tension in my back and shoulders.


small junior sized round bolster (22" x 7")

Blanket - A blanket does what a bolster does, but on a thinner scale. You can also use the blanket to sit on, adding padding between your bottom and the floor. I also often use it under my head and under my neck for padding and support. 


Yoga Accessories Traditional Mexican Yoga Blanket

Blocks - Blocks are used as props for stability and/or for comfort. For example, while in certain poses that are meant to be restful, if you aren't quite flexible enough you aren't able to relax. The blocks can be placed to help you relax.


High Density and Lightweight Foam Yoga Blocks


Strap - As I mentioned, I have lost flexibility and range of motion. A few years ago, I could grasp my hands behind my back, lean over, and raise them above my head. Now I can barely clasp my hands behind my back.  A strap can be used to help with that move until you become able to perform the move without the extra assistance.  In only 4-5 weeks time, I am noticing improvement in my flexibility and will soon be working without the strap.


8' Cinch Buckle Cotton Yoga Strap



An Amazon Prime Free Gentle Yoga Video


I love this gentle yoga so much and am realizing so many benefits from it in just a few weeks that I've begun to practice at home. I was thrilled to find a free video, that is included with my Amazon Prime membership, that is very similar to the class I attend. If you have a Prime membership, you can take a peek at Easy - Gentle Yoga with Michele Fife to see what I am trying to describe.


A relaxing and helpful pose with the help of a bolster
photo: Yoga Accessories

*photo credits: all photos from Yoga Accessories 




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Monday, August 7, 2017

Moodle Stressed Review

Moodles - doodles that change your mood.
What is a Moodle? In a Google search, the word "Moodle" brings up a variety of search results. The Moodle I am reviewing is a book series that was designed by the author to improve mood through doodling. This is a book that I personally would have picked up from the shelf, flipped through, then put back on the shelf and wandered away. But after seeing the Stressed volume put to use, I decided that I needed to help spread the word about the Moodle series.  


What is a Moodle and why is there a series?


The Moodle books were written and illustrated by Emily Portnoi. She describes the books as:


"...a new concept in therapeutic doodling - fun doodle books for adults or children, with the power to change your mood"  -- Emily Portnoi

Ms. Portnoi is a Designer, Art Director, and Illustrator. I think that her enjoyment of aesthetics and fun art is easy to see in the pages of her book.


Why I recommend the Moodle Stressed Volume


Since I admitted that this is a book that I would have leafed through then left behind on the bookstore shelf, why would I now recommend that very same book? I recommend it because one of my "kids" recommended it. And I watched as this young person "Moodled" into calmness.

There is nothing new about coloring, doodling, and fidgeting (keeping the hands busy while focusing on a task) as a means of relieving stress or anxiety. Ms. Portnoi writes that her books are a new concept in therapeutic doodling. I don't fully agree with that statement. Doodling/drawing is something that I've done with the kids I work with for just over two decades now (wow, time flies!). Some of the doodles in the Moodle book were very similar to things I've done with the kids over the years.

Are you still wondering why I recommend these books? I can see why you would be wondering that.  Let me explain a little more.


  • The size of the book is a handy size (approx. 6" x 7.8").   
  • The bold print of the illustrations is eye-catching and Ms. Portnoi's illustrations are fun and engaging.  
  • What is new about her books is the variety of activities. All of the suggested doodles are open-ended and can be as brief or detailed as the user chooses.  
  • The page corners are rounded and smooth
  • The pages are thick and a slightly "slick" paper stock (I am not a publisher, so I am unsure of the correct terminology). Not too slick for pens and pencils, but not regular rough paper stock.
  • The feel/texture of the pages were clearly pleasing to the youngster I was with while we colored in the book.

A few quick photos I took of some of the pages in the Stressed volume to show the variety of activities

The book is suitable for pencils, pens, and colored pencils. I did note that my young friend was using markers and gel pens. Some of the most vibrant and "wet" ink markers/pens did slightly bleed through the pages while some of the gel pens did not.

While this book was not my cup of tea, it was clearly very enjoyable for this young person. The activity did in fact improve mood and release stress in a remarkably short period of time. 

As we sat and colored, I realized that I should stock up on some of the books in this series. I think that the book series will be helpful for folks who need to calm, focus, release stress, and improve mood. In my mind, I created a list of some of the people I will recommend the book to - including folks on the Autism Spectrum and who have difficulties with symptoms of anxiety, impulsivity, and ADHD.


The Moodles series offered on Amazon - including Moodles Happy


Related Link


I enjoy coloring and doodling and was recently reminded of the importance of carrying supplies with me. I prefer mandala style coloring pages and discovered these small on-the-go adult coloring books.


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Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Review of Color Choice in Home Decor - The Psychology of Color

My Own Family Room
You Guessed It, Warmth is the Theme
Have You Ever Thought About How the Paint Color You Choose in Your Home Affects Your Mood?

Understanding the psychology of color and knowing what to choose can be a difficult, even stressful process. Whether it's seasonal colors or simply our own taste, it's not easy to finally decide which colors to go with.

If you're doubting that, think about a time you decided to redecorate a space and how long it took you to choose the colors to use ... as well as the planning it took to incorporate those color choices with new or existing furnishings.

The biggest problem with color choice is that we often decide to choose a color before we understand the mood we want people to feel when they walk in.

Warm Tones & Cool Tones & Which Ones Fit the Mood We Want Our Room to Have

WARMTH: If you're looking to decorate a room using warm tones, then you'll want to focus on color tones in these families:
  • Red Tones - Evoke warmth and passion and are the hottest of all the warm tones
  • Yellow Tones - It's warmth is used to liven up a space, giving a room intellectual happiness (Yes, believe it or not, yellow is associated with intellect)
  • Orange Tones - It's a conversation piece that spurs creativity making it an ideal choice for encouragement. Kitchens are often painted in orange. Picture sitting around the kitchen table, interacting, laughing and sharing with friends and family.
Mix and match various tones in each, or simply focus on one of them. Just remember the basic three or four color rule - that is, choose your base color then add 3 or 4 accent colors to complete a cohesive look.

The Above Photo is my own family room, and you can easily see that 'warmth' was the theme of the day for this design. The space includes butterscotch, soft tan, dark tan and a splash of grounding black and white. The area rug has various subtle shades that also tie in, and although you can't see it in this photo, there are plants in the opposite corner adding a pop of green.

COOL: If you're seeking to decorate a space based on calmness, relaxation, serenity and meditation, begin by choosing color tones in these families:
  • Blue Tones - Blue, the color of water, is a wise choice when you're looking to create a spa-like atmosphere in your space.
  • Violet & Indigo Tones - Choose these tones to create a meditative, spiritual environment. Any room where the purity of calmness is your aim, you'll want to be in this color family.
  • Green Tones - The color of nature is a calming cool color and a common choice for bedrooms and baths.
What's the Best Color Tones for Destressing? The Answer COOL colors. However, stay in the pastel shades of these cool colors. In other words don't use navy blue, deep purple or dark green.

What about Blacks, Browns and Whites? 
  • White is used for purity and intellect, and when used proportionally with other colors in a room, white is great for offices, places of study or an environment where you need to do some thinking.
  • Blacks and Browns are normally used as grounding colors and you'll usually find them in various places in a home. As an example, the black TV and white window frames in my family room featured above acts as a grounding color for the space - as do the the lamp bases.
Remember the most important thing: These are general guidelines. Have fun choosing your colors and make choices based on color schemes you and your family prefer.

After all, it's your space, and first and foremost, you need to be happy and comfortable.
Funkthishouse.com




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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Natural Air Freshener Review Update

Calming Essential Oil
I recently wrote a review about the best air freshener for people with chemical sensitivities. That natural air freshening recipe utilizes only two ingredients: baking soda and essential oil.  Since my discovery of that air freshening option, I have tried a new scent.  I am writing again to update that article with comments about how well it works and the new scent I have begun using.


It Freshens!


The essential oil and baking soda combination works!  I began with peppermint oil and just used a few drops in a small amount of baking soda.  It created the lightest hint of scent in my office.  If you are looking for something that will mask or resolve sudden strong odors, I do not think this solution will be effective.  But for a constant, fresh, and mild scent this is a great choice. And the few drops of essential oil lasted for far longer than I thought it might. In fact, I dumped it out before it wore out, so that I could change scents.


The New Aromatherapy Scent: "Calming"


As I had written previously, I was aware that the peppermint essential oil would not trigger a migraine. That is why I used it for my trial run. Although, a room that smelled like peppermint was not my ultimate goal.

I tried a new scent, and it works great too. It is the "calming" oil by Nature's Truth.  I can't comment on whether or not it is "calming". But it is a great citrusy scent.  The Nature's Truth website refers to it as "floral, sweet, and citrusy, with notes of herbal spices..."

I did add WAY too many drops to the baking soda so the scent is much stronger than my peppermint oil concoction was.  In order to control the amount of scent in the office, I merely close the lid on my little glass container.

I have also purchased a bottle of Lavender essential oil because I love the lavender scent.  However, I enjoy this citrus scent so much that I have not yet felt the need to change.





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