Showing posts with label friday contemplations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friday contemplations. Show all posts

Friday, October 13, 2017

Yoga - Namastay In Shape.

I have started practicing Yoga recently and getting more into meditation and relaxation of the mind.  I just feel like this is what my body needs right now to get rid of pent up frustration and stress. I've always been fascinated by meditation and "mindfulness" but it's always been something that I have observed from afar. I guess I just never really knew where to start.  People would talk to me about meditating and I tried it but never really "got" it. 

I spoke briefly in another post about our issues with trying to conceive (TTC) which is cause for much grief and frustration for me. Mr. A and I have been actively TTC for years now and this journey has both brought us closer together as a couple but it has also put a lot of emotional strain on myself in particular. I'm not going to get into details about all the feels because if you've ever struggled with fertility you know exactly what I'm talking about and if you have not...well, you will most likely never understand. 

Until recently I was doing pretty well, or at least I thought, at hiding my frustration but lately things have changed and I find myself avoiding certain social situations which involve other pregnant couples or small children as I usually just break down and it's extremely hard for me to control those emotions so I would rather avoid them all together. 

I've talked to other women struggling and many have spoken very highly about meditation and yoga for relaxing the mind so I decided to try it out.  I don't have a lot of time on my hands with work and life in general and there aren't any good yoga studios near my house so I was considering buying dvds for beginners to start out with at home since I know practically nothing about yoga. I then happened to read an article by a woman that introduced me to YogaGlo. YogaGlo is an online yoga class membership site that offers unlimited access to classes of all styles from beginners to experts.  It costs $18 a month to join and you get a 15 day free trial. I'm still trying it out and not sure whether or not to invest in it yet (even though I already bought a yoga mat, two yoga blocks and a strap...LOL) but I do feel different since I started...."better different" that is. I've been doing a 5 minute session in the morning and a 30 minute one when I get home from work. I'm learning as I go but the instructors are great and talk you through it.  There are SO MANY classes to choose from so I know I won't get bored with it.  I've always been a cardio girl and have always gotten a rush from jogging and aerobics but right now I feel like I need something soothing and invigorating at the same time and I think this is it, at least for the time being. 

What I notice the most is that during the various yoga poses or "asanas" (that was the first time I used an actual yoga term y'all!), I acknowledge different areas of my body that I never really paid attention to before during my regular exercise routine. In the first class I followed for example, the instructor had us sitting in a normal lotus position (cross legged on the mat) and while bending the torso to the side, she had us run our thumbs along the side of the rib cage sort of massaging between the ribs on either side. That felt amazing! I would have never thought about that area of my body but I felt as though I could breathe deeper after was a wonderful feeling. I'm happy because it's been a long time since I've felt passionate about starting something new. I laugh at myself because I REALLY set the mood when I start my class by turning the lights down and I even bought an essential oil diffuser that I absolutely LOVE and I create my own little yoga studio in my living room.  

I've been feeling less rushed during the day.  While driving to and from work I'm calmer for example. I just feel all around more serene in a sense. Again, I just started but I'm curious to see where this new journey takes me. 

Also, I think I need this t-shirt in my life. 

I would love to hear your yoga stories. Have you tried it and what has it done for you? 
I'll update soon and see how things go. 
I hope you all have an amazing weekend! 



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Quick Malm Dresser Makeover & Sunday Thoughts

Hello dear ones, it's been a while since I've written because until recently I haven't had much inspiration honestly.  I've been keeping myself busy with work and have had lots on my mind.  The Holidays are VERY QUICKLY (like wayyyy too quickly) approaching and it's a stressful time of year for me as I'm sure it is for many. Christmas is my favorite Holiday by far but unfortunately it's been a while since I had a pleasant Christmas holiday. Sure, there's Christmas cheer everywhere and I'm never not in the mood to decorate even before Thanksgiving comes around (I know...) but there is always some sadness in the background that lingers. I pray that this year will be different than the past and that the good Lord will bless all those in need of Him and answer the prayers of  those that are in need of His Grace. I went to Mass this morning and today's Gospel was very deep:

Luke 21:5-19
"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be powerful 
earthquakes,famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty 
signs will come from the sky. Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led 
before kings and governors because of my name.  It will lead to your giving testimony.  
Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a 
wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.  You will 
even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends,they will put some of you to death.You will be hated by all because of my name,but not a hair on your head will be 
destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

So since there were many children attending the mass, it was a hard Gospel to explain but I think the priest did an excellent job. During the homily he asked the children, where were you before you were born? And the children shouted "In mommy's belly!" and the priest explained that mommy's belly was a comfortable place and that you didn't have to brush your teeth, or get dressed for school, you could just sleep all the time and be safe because mother did everything for you. But then there came the day where you had to leave mommy's belly and now that you are on earth, you feel safe and secure here because you have your routine, your friends, etc. and you know that Mother Earth will protect you, therefore you shouldn't be afraid of what the Gospel said today because when you're in Heaven you will be protected there as well by God and His Mother. It was such a simple explanation for a difficult topic that is life and death.  A lot is going on in the world right now and as scary as it all is, I think that with Faith in our hearts we can overcome even the biggest obstacles if only we could learn to treat others with respect and help those that are in need even with the smallest of gestures.  I think you can never love too much and you can never give too much.  

Ok, ok I'm done...Moving on!

I've been on the hunt for a new dresser for a while now but I haven't found anything that I really liked. The dresser I currently have in the Master Bedroom was in bad condition...I mean BAD people! It's a malm dresser that we've had for 5 years now and although it's very spacious it's not of the best quality as we all know and also.....saggy drawers.....

So the drawers were really I couldn't get them open anymore because they kept getting stuck. I really just wanted to throw the piece of S&%$£ out the window and never see it again... 

But I couldn't find what I was looking for.  All the dressers I found that I kind of liked were smaller, fewer drawers , etc so I just didn't want to compromise. I also didn't want to buy something just because...I want to be sure I love it. 

Come in DIY...

The first thing to fix was the saggy drawer situation... Bad, huh? I know..

I went to the hardware store and found these little guys. Do not ask me what they're called, I have no idea...

Screwed them in and voila! Saggy drawers no more!

I added these to all six drawers and it really didn't take long at all. Next I got rid of the ugly hardware and decided to spruce up the front of the drawers a bit.  I had some textured wallpaper that I had bought a while ago but never used so I watched some tutorials and decided to give it a try.  It was so easy!

I bought some permanent adhesive spray. This stuff....make sure it's the permanent kind. 

I laid the drawers on the paper and cut around leaving some space along the sides. 

Now take that sucker outside and spray the top of the drawer making sure to get the sides and cover the whole area with adhesive. Next place the wallpaper on top.  You really don't have time to move the paper  around once its on there because the stuff dries like super quick. 

Now flip the drawer over and cut the extra paper off with a paper cutter. 

Next you want to take a nail or something similar to poke through the back of the drawer where your hardware is going to go. Obviously drill the holes before putting the wallpaper on. 

It was such an easy project and it took me seriously half a day to do between fixing the saggy drawers and adding the wallpaper. It was one of those "why didn't I think of this sooner" moments lol. 

Here's how it turned out.

I ordered the hardware online and I love them. I think they go well with the wallpaper. 

It has sort of a shimmer to it which I really like.  

I did the bedside tables while I was at it as well....I wanted to wallpaper ALL THE THINGS... hahaha

And then OF COURSE I had to change bedding, curtains, wall art, throw pillows etc.....  so since I was at it I figured I would go with the blue and white theme because I love it so much 

I found this beautiful bedding set with matching curtains here. 

Isn't this little turquoise tray cute? I thought it would be a nice place to put my perfumes. 

I'm very happy with the end result and this will last at least until I find the dresser of my dreams. The thing I'm happiest about is that I don' have saggy drawers any more!!

Have a wonderful week ahead everyone and God Bless. 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Contemplations - Commodities or Laziness?

I consider myself old fashioned and a traditionalist.  I very much value the importance of nesting and I love my home. I find great pleasure in decorating, cooking and making my house feel cozy and comfortable for me and for the people I love. I also would rather make something myself than go out and buy custom made from someone else. It's not because of the money, it's because I believe an object is of greater value if it is made with love. I am not a chef, I am not a designer or a seamstress, I am not an interior decorator, but what I do know how to do very well is put passion and love into the things I do. I am Willing to learn and it saddens me when I see others act entitled and lazy and don't have the desire to learn.  People today are just so used to buying, buying, buying everything and once they're done with it just chuck it out and buy a new one. I'll buy it...I'll buy it...they say.

Learn how to make something! Don't be afraid of a drill or a hammer, learn how to use it! You want a piece of pie? Roll up your sleeves and get out a cook book ...  It's not that hard. And if it doesn't turn out right the first time, next time it'll turn out better!

It just frustrates me so.. I feel like everything has just gotten so easy and there is a general lack of contentment with life and the resources we have available to us.  When I think back on what our ancestors used to do...rigorously by hand... I feel like such a spoiled little shit.

My Italian grandmother had 10 children and she made her own mattresses for all 10 children every year (as did most Italian families in the early 20th century). Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make a mattress by hand...with sheep wool...and then beat it with a stick to make it more comfortable? And having to do this for households with 10 or more people?


Or washing mountains of clothes by hand.... and yet I complain about not having a dryer! Yes, you read that correctly.....I do NOT have a dryer... however I am seriously trying to negotiate with my sweetheart on this one...

Or make bread kneaded by hand at the crack of dawn and baked in a wood burning stove EVERY about a work out!

By the way, no bread compares or will ever compare to sourdough bread that is baked in a wood burning stove...

Since then, we have made such tremendous progress and even the average middle class family can have access to every day commodities that these women pictured above could never even fathom possible. But yet they continued on with their every day, strenuous chores and were able to make the most beautiful things by putting so much passion and love in everything they made.  Today when we look at a hand made linen tablecloth, it doesn't have the same value as it did back then. Why? Because most people, especially the younger generation don't realize the effort that was put into that simple hand made tablecloth. They don't realize exactly the quality and value of the fabric and why it is so precious. 

If I have children one day, I want to make sure that they value all that is around them and they put the same passion in all that they do as I do. 

I get so annoyed with spoiled  and arrogant people.  They get under my skin so much that it makes me batty. 

To those people I say: be thankful for what you have, but most of all be proactive, be resourceful and thrifty.  Thrifty doesn't mean cheap either. There are so many resources available today to be able to learn new things it's astonishing. The World Wide Web is packed with anything and everything you could possibly need and more and for that I am so grateful. I Google everything LOL...Surely I exaggerate at times but I feel a sense of security knowing that at the click of a mouse I can find out whatever I want. It's there for me. 

Think for a moment at the immigrants traveling on the boat to America with their families. They left all they had and spent their life savings to jump on a boat and cross the Atlantic Ocean not knowing where they were going, how long it would take them to arrive, how much food to bring, what clothes to wear, what to do if their children got sick in the middle of the Ocean, no one to call, no navigator, no Coast Guard to help them if anything happened, you get the point... Oh the COURAGE to do something like that!  

This photo above is a picture of an Italian immigrant family arriving in Ellis Island, New York.  The mother in the photo looks so old yet she's probably in her early 40's. They had the courage to make that journey for the future of their families. Without our ancestors who made everything by hand, woke up at the ass crack of dawn to prepare for the day, work hard and put food on the table, we wouldn't have all the commodities that we have today. 

For this I am grateful.

Have a great weekend my dear friends...and make something spectacular!



Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Contemplations - Fiber Lash Mascara Review

Well I have recently discovered fiber lash mascara and I know you're probably saying... "welcome to planet earth...where have you been for the last six years?!"... yes I know, I'm late to the fiber lash party but let me tell you ladies something.... I'm hooked and am never going back! 

How did I discover the fiber lash trend? Instagram.

I was sucked into the Instagram page of a Younique employee and my feed kept getting bombarded with her mega long eyelashes LOL. 

To be perfectly honest with you, at first I wanted to unfriend her because it was really annoying in the beginning but then I felt bad because she kept liking my pictures and commenting and she seemed like a really sweet person so I said ehh whatever... 

Then something happened and I started becoming rather curious about this mascara and was considering buying it. The Younique Fiber Lash Mascara costs $29.99 BUT...they don't sell it in Italy.

They DO however sell the Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Extreme!! 


It costs $35 at Sephora and it's kind of a splurge but I had to try this miracle mascara.... I NEEDED to see the magical powers that these little fibers do to your lashes!

These were the type of pictures I was bribed with... I am NOT crazy for spending 40€ on a mascara!!

*not me*

So after looking at about 300 pictures of long ass lashes and watching YouTube tutorials comparing the Younique brand vs the Too Faced Mascara I decided to just buy the damn mascara already! 

By the way, are you curious as to which brand is better according to the YouTube makeup gurus?
Younique wins...but it's pretty close. So considering I can't order Younique yet (hint hint Younique let's get international shall we?) I bought the Too Faced. 

I will NEVER EVER EVER go back to regular mascara again! The stuff is amazing! So there are 3 steps to the technique. If you are also new to this let me explain. 

The first coat I apply is a light coat of my regular mascara (any brand). 

Then I apply one coat of the Too Faced black mascara followed by a layer of the white lash fibers. Apparently Younique's fibers are black whereas the Too Faced fibers are white. Now I haven't tried Younique yet but I would think that the white would be better because you can see where they latch onto your lashes. Then you do a last coat of the Too Faced Black Mascara. 

So basically you can keep building and building onto your lashes until you achieve the length you desire but I just stop at the first three steps and am VERY happy with the end result. 

 What a cutie :-) 

And on that happy note...have a lovely weekend everyone! 

PS...I only do my top lashes. Some do the bottom as well but I prefer to do only the top. one paid me to review this mascara. This is my opinion only. 


Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Contemplations - Aging Gracefully

Ever since I turned 30 I have been more conscious about the laugh lines around my nose and mouth, about the wrinkle that I have in between my forehead when I frown, the wrinkles around my eyes (even though I don't really have many of them YET (Thank God!)...

When I was in my 20's I didn't care at all about lines and wrinkles. It was the blemishes that tortured my existence unfortunately! Now that I finally got that under control I'm preoccupied with puffiness, bags, fine lines and wrinkles, oh my!

If I don't get enough sleep, I look like crap....if I drink too much sparkling white wine (my favorite!) I'm bloated... If for some reason  I don't wash off my makeup it's disaster central!

None of these things have ever happened to me when I was in my 20's and I figure that from now on it's just going to get worse...YAY for me (not)! 

I was watching the Golden Globe Awards on TV the other day. They showed it on cable TV here in Italy and I saw so many actors that I haven't seen in ages actually on live TV! When you see them in movies you can't really tell what they look like in real life because, well, they're acting...whereas in an awards ceremony you can kind of see what they look like now. 

Wow! They all looked amazing! Like....a little TOO amazing if you know what I mean. The women all looked great but the botox was mostly evident in the men believe it or not. Like Christian Slater (who I adored when I was growing up) looked like his eyebrows were reaching for the sky! 

Sly Stalone! My other love...

What is going on???

Ok so you get the picture...

What are my thoughts? I am not against a little botox here and there....Heck, I'm even considering it (for my smile lines only though). I totally understand the pressure that these people must go through to preserve their "fortune", but we all are going to age eventually and I just think that at some point you'll have to just let it go. 

I'm a huge fan of Kate Hudson. I think she's awesome. I love Goldie Hawn as well but when I saw Kate on the Golden Globes she looked so different. And honestly I don't think it was necessary just yet. 


Then there's another factor... you have to know where to go. These actors and actresses go to the best estheticians and plastic surgeons in Hollywood and sometimes THEY don't even turn out well! So who knows? 

What I do know is that I look my best when I:

1)  Get 8+ hours of sleep at night

2) Don't eat a lot of carbs before going to bed

3) Drink lots and lots of water

4) Exercise regularly (even just walking 30 minutes a day)

5) Don't drink too much wine (particularly the white wine)

6) Moisturize my face every morning and night

7)  Another thing that I have benefited greatly from is using jojoba oil as a facial moisturizer

I was skeptical about using it because I immediately thought oil + face = BAD but that's not true with this oil it actually helps keep blemishes away and at the same time helps with the fine lines. You can also use it as an eye makeup remover. I'm addicted to the stuff just make sure if you use it, it's organic. 

So now let's end this Friday Contemplation post with celebs who say NO to botox. Article found here.

Emma Thompson, 55

Emma Thompson

Diane Keaton, 68

Diane Keaton

Julia Roberts, 47

Julia Roberts (not too sure though :-/)

Lauren Hutton, 71

Lauren Hutton 

Jamie Lee Curtis, 56

Jamie Lee Curtis

Julianne Moore, 53

Julianne Moore

Salma Hayek, 48

Salma Hayek

Sigourney Weaver, 65

Sigourney Weaver

Jodi Foster, 52

Jodi Foster

My hat goes off to these beautiful and strong women!

Have a great weekend everyone <3