December 16, 2013

monthly music


This week I encourage you to brew a cup of tea in your favorite mug, get cozy with some gratitude and relax into this month's mix. With all of the holiday hustle and bustle be sure to make time for a time out. You know...one of the good ones. One of those "I'm going to pamper myself from head to toe - soak up a little ME time - do that thing that makes me feel beautifully giddy - fall madly in love with 'yours truly' - the rest of the world can wait" kind of nights. It's time to take care of yourself as we head into the new year, and it's never too soon to start. 

Delightful December 2013
1. Re-Arrange Again - Erin McCarley
2. I Want You Back - Jenn Grant
3. Unbroken Promise - Erick Baker
4. River - Angus Stone
5. All the lightly Lights - Passenger
6. Fortunes Wheel - Tan Vampires
7. Cannonball - Sweet Talk Radio
8. Gold - Wake Owl
9. Kaleidoscope - Sleepy Rebels
10. The Mile - Stu Larsen
11. Near Light - Olafur Arnalds

December 5, 2013

late nights at the office



I've been spending a lot of time at the office the past few months. It's been a bit tiring but overall I have learned a lot and feel more confident in my day job abilities. Getting back to business here at joyful.life I thought it would be fun to share some of the tricks that kept me balanced on those late nights.

(Speaking of balance, it's about that time to check in on 2013 intentions and start planning for 2014. How about you?)

Now, adequate sleep and relaxation time are the best solutions for keeping balanced at work, but when you find yourself stuck at the office late, here are a few tricks to stay energized and alert without crashing hard or getting too wired up. Stash these items in your "goodies" drawer (come on, I know you have one!) at your desk and you will be ready to rally.

1. A water bottle - To maintain concentration be sure to drink water! The recommended amount is 8 glasses a day (or 1oz for every 2 lbs of body weight) to maintain essential cell function and keep your energy high. I like this Glass Water Bottle by Ello.

2. Dark Chocolate - Just a few squares of dark chocolate can boost energy levels and mood. Antioxidants, vitamins, caffeine and a stimulant called theobromine make this a good for you treat...in moderation. The darker the chocolate the better for you, but I like Lindt's A Touch of Sea Salt or you could even whip up a batch of these and keep them in your purse for a quick snack any time. 

3. Dried fruit - Complex carbs are good for you! They are full of fiber, which is a great source of steadily burned energy and helps to keep you fuller longer. If you are starting to get hungry, but don't want to spoil (a late) dinner, grab a handful and enjoy. 

4. Socks (or a sweater) - Make yourself cozy! Why not kick off those painful heels and let your feet relax for a bit while you finish up that spreadsheet. Or snuggle up in a favorite sweater so it feels more like home.

5. Earbuds or speakers - Pop in your favorite playlist and keep yourself motivated. If you are alone - or even if you aren't - feel free to sing along!

6. Aromatherapy - Use aromatherapy lotion or oil (no candles in the office please!) to boost your energy. If you're starting to fade, perk up by dabbing a little oil on your pulse points. Lemon, orange, peppermint, clove, rosemary, or sandalwood will do the trick. Just make sure you are kind to your neighbors who may be sensitive to scent. If the oil you have isn't meant for use on skin, make a room spray by adding 40-60 drops to a small spray bottle full of water and spritz the air around you.

7. Green Tea - If you plan to be at the office late, try drinking 3 to 5 cups during the day (daily is even better!) to help you maintain steady energy levels. High concentrations of natural antioxidants are good for you all the time, so consider adding green tea to your daily routine. I like Tazo Zen Green Tea because it has a milder flavor than some other green teas I have tried.  

8. Protein - A great fuel source and, like water, important for proper cellular function. If you are feeling hungry try some jerky, tuna, nuts, cottage cheese (if you have a fridge), protein bar or oatmeal to take the edge off and keep on truckin'.

9. Refresh spray or wipes - Refresh your skin after sitting in that dry office air conditioning all day long. Try Evian Mineral Water Facial Spray. And if there's no one left to impress, use make up remover wipes like Yes To Cucumbers to give your face, neck and arms a quick wake up.

10. Spirits - Wine, beer, or a Cuba Libre...you may as well have some fun while you're there! Keep it limited to one drink, be sure to double check your employer's policy on alcohol at the office, and - as always - never drink and drive.

There you have it! A tried and true guide to keep yourself moving when a long day becomes longer at the office. I sincerely hope you have found adequate balance between your work life and personal life, but if duty calls now you are well prepared.

Don't work too hard.

December 4, 2013

simple joys


I'd like to deck the halls with glittering garland (1), indulge in a little spiritual guidance from my higher self (2), decorate sticks and stones with glitter and gold (3), take some time to enjoy a glass of wine kept at the ready on these guilded coasters (4) and glam it up with this druzy necklace (5). What a glamourous and mystical setting for this holiday season. 

Just a few simple joys filling me with warmth and inspiration on this Wednesday morning. I hope you are having a lovely week!


December 2, 2013

hey, monday...

Last night I dreamt of a house. A rustic rambler with large windows, wooded grounds, and muti-level nooks and wings leading to surprises around every corner. In my dream I bought the house and started to prepare for a few renovations. The beauty of the home was challenged as problems were found, but my love did not falter. It would all work out. It was my own. My home.

Pay attention to what comes to you in your dreams this week. What are these symbols telling you? Your subconscious may be craving a new inspiring space. Maybe your sense of place could use some attention? Or your heart is craving family and home connections. These gentle nudges from our sleeping mind can lead us in wonderful directions. Take a little time to make the connections and let me know what comes next for you in the comments below. I'd love to hear about what is hiding in your dreams.