Three things have inspired this post:
2. My dear anonymous friend who recently made a blog post titled, She’s Listening. She, being the Universe or God or whatever name you give to that force greater than you, evening out things and taking care of you.
3. And my final inspiration, my own negative thoughts and feelings.
It’s inevitable; you’re going to ache sometimes. You’re going to think negative thoughts. I’ve been trying to learn how to combat this cycle. The best thing that I’ve come up with is the to use the power of positive thinking. (I’m sorry I’m the cheesiest person of all time.)
I know it’s trite and sometimes useless to say “just think positively” to someone, especially when that person is dealing with the really difficult things in life. But, I truly do believe in fighting the good fight against negative thinking. Because negative thoughts hurt us. They cause us to make bad decisions. They make us ugly. And we don’t always think about what negative thinking is. It’s so tricky. It sneaks into our head and poisons us from the inside out. For me, it takes a lot discipline to keep my mind free from pollution, but I think it’s worth it. It makes us more beautiful. It makes experiencing life better.
Here are some examples of common negative thoughts that we might have. We don’t even realize they are sneaking in and shaping our personalities (for the worse).
· We think negative thoughts about a person. Maybe we’re mad because we think they’re “stealing” our style. Maybe we think that they’re wearing an ugly dress. Maybe we think they’re fake. Maybe we think they’re ignoring us. Maybe we think they’re rude. Maybe we think they treat people bad… It doesn’t matter where the negative thought comes from or what it is -it’s there and it’s not hurting them, it’s hurting US. When you think something mean about someone else, you are the only one who feels the negative consequence. It poisons your thoughts. And talking bad about other people is worse. You’re exposing who YOU are, not who THEY are.
· We hate the way we look in all of our clothes. Seriously, I hate those days. I’ll be getting ready for an event, trying on a million things and feeling miserable about the way I look. When I finally pick something that I still feel horrible in, I’m running late. I don’t feel confident. I don’t have a good time.
· We compare ourselves to others. When we are looking at ourselves based on other people, we’re never going to feel good. My mom used to say, There’s always going to be someone with more than you, and there’s always going to be someone with less than you. It’s true. The world is full of people. Some have more, some have less. Some are prettier, some are not. Some are smarter, some are not. I feel better when I compare myself to who I was yesterday, instead of comparing myself to the people I know.
· Fear. We’re afraid of loss or failure, so we don’t try anything new or challenging. We’re afraid of rejection so we don’t make ourselves vulnerable. We’re afraid of being let down. This is a destructive emotion to have and definitely a negative thought that I am guilty of (along with the others mentioned above).
So, what to do when we find ourselves in a negative thinking rut, or a heart ache? One of the things that I think helps me is to look for reminders in the world that God (The Universe) is taking care of you. When we fill our mind with good thoughts, it helps push the bad ones out. This is the part where the inspiration from Jacq’s and Single White Female’s blogs kick in. Look for the things in your life that you’re thankful for. Even if they’re small.
Going on long bike rides reminds me of why I am so thankful to be alive. When David Ross Boyd (OU’s first ever president) came to Norman, one of the first things he did was plant all of the trees on campus. He just thought having a beautiful campus was important for learning. I have to agree. when I take my bike to campus and ride around and look at all of the giant trees around me, I feel better about everything. Instead of feeling sad and anxious, I feel like I’m just a small part of this world, just as important and special as everything else, and all I have to do is try my best. I remember all of the things that I’m thankful for and all of the clear indications that I’m being taken care of.
When I was an undergraduate, this spot, (between Evan Hall and Bizzell where the ivy runs thick all the way up the building) used to be my favorite spot on campus. It’s so peaceful. There are some lovely benches that are wonderful thinking benches. Also, the steps at the end of this walk are the steps that taught me how to be really brave on my bike. It takes a lot of courage to get up the nerve to take your bike down concrete stairs (for non-tough people like me) and every time I am in this area, I remember that I have courage, and I learned how to ride my bike down concrete steps!
This is Gittinger Hall, or the English building. I earned a lot of my BA. This is one of the dinkier buildings on campus. I guess not a lot of English majors become rich donors. Who knew?
This is the College of Education, where I’m working on my M.Ed. Newly remodeled! Deciding to continue my education after I graduated, I think, was one of the best decisions I’ve made and I almost didn’t do it. I’m getting my Masters at a slow slow pace, but I only have three semesters left. It makes me feel proud. I am so thankful for the people that I’ve met and the discussions that I’ve had in my program. Education shapes people. It grows people. I believe in it. It makes me remember that I am still a work in progress.
And this brings me to my new favorite place on campus —> Goddard Health Center. Pretty much everyone knows I love my job (my very first professional job!). I love my boss (which I know not everyone can say). I love students. I love that we’re working toward a healthier campus.
So, those are some of the things that I’m thankful for and thinking of. Today try to remember the things that you’re thankful for and try pushing negative thoughts out. Look for the ways that God tells you he loves you… or the way the universe is taking care of you. Try filling your head with goodness.
bottle cap magnets. Here we go!
First, you’re going to need a few things.
1. Bottle caps. You can get them for real cheap HERE.
2. Crafting magnets. Not too strong, not too weak. Get them just right.
3. Clear Top Coat. I use this one:
4. Crafting glue. I use this one because it came highly recommended by the fine people at Hobby lobby.
After you gather up all of your materials, the first thing you’re going to need to do is cut 1 inch circles out of a picture or design that you want to use. This is what it looks like when it’s cut out:
After you get all of your cutouts ready, you just use the beacon glue to glue them into your magnets. I then let them dry - usually overnight- because if you don’t let it dry completely, the top coat and glue may have a reaction and make an ugly magnet. I have lots of those ugly ones on the island of misfit bottle cap magnets, aka, my fridge.
After the glue has dried, the tough part begins …. the mixing of the EnviroTex Lite. This IS a really wonderful top coat - so clear, so shiny - BUT you must mix it really well, according to the directions in the box. This involves pouring equal amounts of two goopy liquids together.
And then you stir and stir and stir. And you even pour everything into a new cup after all of that stirring and stir some more!
I did a third pour into a new cup, just for good measure. I also use cups with wellness messages on them for another good measure. :)
Now that you’re done with all of that stirring, you’re ready to pour! Be careful!
Sometimes your magnets may get a little bubble that floats to the top.
If this happens, never fear! Blow on it gently, or lightly run a small flame over the top. It disappears.
Let your magnets dry completely. Definitely overnight this time! When you come back and say good morning to your little creations, they will have a smooth, nice shiny coat and you’ll be so happy.
You only have one more step! Glue the magnet on the back!
Congratulations! You did it.
You can use all sorts of things in your magnets. My vintage wallpaper and birdies have been a big hit.
Look at this cute OU set Maggie made! Such a great idea too. By the way, Maggie is really the mastermind behind the bottle cap magnets. She let me embark on the journey with her.
Let me know if anyone has any questions! I am happy to help. Happy crafting!
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
So, I just wanted to make a quick post about something that I LOVE that everyone should know about. MINERAL Makeup!! Seriously I love it. And you should too. I was standing in front of the mirror last night, with my fancy make-up brush, sweeping minerals onto my fresh & clean face.
You might be saying right now, “You washed your face and then you put makeup on?!?! WTH. GROSS, Nicole! ” Well, yes. And the reason I do it is because I love it. It feels good and my complexion is always better when I moisturize and then mineral it up instead of just moisturizing. I think most dermatologists would say not to do this. Maybe you should listen to them, but the proof is in the pudding for me. My skin is better with mineral makeup. Believe it or not. I think you should try it.
Why mineral makeup? Well, here are a few reasons.
I used to use BARE MINERALS until I realized I was spending a fortune and I was about to go bankrupt. Now I use EVERYDAY MINERALS. I really like the company, the makeup, how easy it is to order. AND you can try it free to find the right color for yourself. Look at these awesome colors that I have right now in my make-up bag.
This is called buttered tan. I get it in original glo. I have an olive complexion and this is one that they recommend for olives like me. It’s was a good recommendation. Another good thing about Everyday Minerals is that they have varieties of kinds of makeup depending on the kind of coverage you want. Like matte, semi-matte, original glo, etc. website is so helpful.
This is called Girls Day. There’s a lot of shimmering going on with this. It’s a little too much. I realized that after ordering it so sometimes I mix it with this one…
Apple. There is no shimmering in this one. Pretty pink, nice and sweet.
This is called Corner Office. I almost have a corner office. My office is the one next to the corner office, where Maggie, natural beauty guru resides. Besides the name, this blush is just the right amount of glo/shimmer/matte/gorgeous for me.
There are so many different colors. It’s fun to go through them all and pick.
Look at these eye-shadows! I don’t have any of these because I haven’t really ever worn eye shadow except on rare occasions, but this pretty wood collection is making me rethink things. Pretty. Oh and that lady is the founder of the company. She’s lovely.
I think its a must to use the loose powder and invest in a couple of really good application brushes. The brushes are a big deal here, so find the ones that work for you. Splurge on brushes. Its a good thing to splurge on. Oh, and SIDE NOTE. Did you know that you should wash your makeup brushes with shampoo and then let them dry overnight. Yeah, you want those babies to be nice and clean. I think its good to have a kabuki brush, a foundation brush and an eyeshadow brush. You can get them from Everyday minerals and they are so affordable. One time Matt bought me a really fancy brush at a booth at the state fair. Believe it or not, its a really awesome makeup brush. It was sweet. So now it’s my foundation brush.
Ok, that about wraps up this post on mineral makeup. Please someone talk to me about beauty products next time you see me. It’s one of my favorite topics…. and Matt hasn’t quite been filling my sister’s shoes … Geez I miss living with that girl! Love all of you.
Honey, my other favorite product! mmm. I’ve googled how a bee makes honey and it’s kind of crazy. Honey is flower nectar that bees collect, then it’s stored in the bee’s “honey” stomach (Yep, thats where it gets weird for me) where it’s mixed with bee enzymes, then the bee passes it around to other bees or regurgitates it into a honey comb!!! google it! How crazy is it that?! I eat and love regurgitation from bees, who are my enemies on the basis that they are part of the insect world. But, I love it. It’s so much better than sugar in so, so many cases. I just put some in my plain oatmeal and it made it fabulous. Lately, Matt and I have really been making an effort to eat fewer animal products. Honey is my only concession. Delish. Ever since my friend Maggie, told me about her cousin who owns a bee hive, I’ve been making little plans in my head to start Nicole’s Honey Farm.
Other than honey being a great remedy for a lot of things, I also love it for my skin! Sometimes, when my face is feeling kind of blah, I like to give it a really good scrub to brighten things up. I’ve never loved a scrub more than a honey salt scrub. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed, like all of those little dead skin cells are gone but it doesn’t feel dried out. Probably because I add the miraculous coconut oil. :) Here’s how I make it.
1. You start by mixing honey and salt together. I’m not really too much of a measurer, and sometimes it gets my food in trouble, but with the honey salt scrub, eh. It’s not going to mess up. Just put a squeeze of honey in a bowl and then add enough salt until it’s as scrubby as you think you would like it.
2. Next the coconut oil (or any oil of your choosing) and the essential oil join the party. If you’ve never bought essential oil before, you can most likely find it at your neighborhood natural food store like Akins, Native Roots, Dodson’s and very soon here in Oklahoma, WHOLE FOODS! Yay. But back to the essential oils. I love them.Go find some, it’s a wonderful thing to get into. Look for something that looks like this:
There are so many different types, and it’s so interesting to learn about them. My super-pretty friend Elyse told me that if she has a little blemish on her skin, she puts Tea Tree Oil on it and it goes right away because of the anti-bacterial properties. Next time I’m at the store, I’m getting some.
3. Ok, now you have the coconut oil and essential oil in there. I’m using lavender because I love the smell. Go ahead and mix it all up. This is what it looks like all mixed up. Isn’t it such a luxurious face scrub?!:
4. Now put a headband on, because you don’t want too much of this to get in your hair, and use a warm washcloth to wet your face. When your face is damp, use your fingertips to scrub the scrub gently on your skin.
5. Once you feel like you’ve won the war with those nasty dead skin cells, use a nice, clean warm washcloth to wipe it off. Wipe it off real good. Now look in the mirror and smile.
Ah, doesn’t that feel nice? Go try it. Pamper yourself. After all, it is Valentines Day Week.
P.S. Use it as a hand & foot scrub too. :)
I’m getting my masters in education right now and it has got me thinking a lot about education, and the kind of educator and learner I want to be. By learner, I’m not talking about those people who stay in school forever (ahemgradstudentforeverahem), but people who aren’t afraid to challenge themselves, truly. Keeping an open mind means choosing not to get too comfortable with the constructed knowledge that you have. It means being courageous enough to look self-renewal right in the face and say, I’m not afraid of you. It means growing as an individual.
Personal growth is something that’s so hard to achieve. I know for myself, I get comfortable with the way I relate to people or how I think about an issue and I cling to that because I think we all love to cling to things that define our identity, that we’re comfortable with. After all, it’s worked for me so far. But I want to want more than who I have been. I think as a society, we’re super comfortable thinking that we know what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s easy to start thinking about things in black and white because then we have A PLAN for how we are going to go about our life and we feel like we won’t make a mistake. I like to pretend like I know myself really well when the truth is I’m still discovering who I will be. I want to hope for more than I am today. I hope that I can be courageous enough to know I will make mistakes. A lot of them. And I will embarrass myself. The good news is that I’m growing my mind and I’m going to try to learn how to open my mind. There is a great big world out there with so many different thinking people who, if I let them, can help me grow my mind too.
I think you can pick out people who are growing as individuals because they don’t take time to fret over what someone else is doing. They don’t gossip because, who really has time for that when you could be trying to get into someone else’s shoes and discover what life looks like from their perspective. Judgement closes us off from others. Duh. It shuts down the part of our brain that asks, What could I learn from this person who has had such a different perspective than me? Why are we so attracted to people exactly like us, when we could grow more from people who are nothing like us? I have to sadly admit, I’ve spent way to much of my time thinking negatively about other people and comparing myself to them and fretting about how I measure up. I wish I could trade all of that time in for time spent making my mind a little clearer and shinier. Negativity towards others doesn’t hurt them nearly as much as it hurts your personal growth. It disables you from being a life-long learner, which is the wellness goal for the day!
This is my boyfriend, Matt, doing his homework. He did 5 hours of reading and homework last night, on a Friday night, while I whined about how cabin-crazy-fevered I was. I thought I should give him some props for that kind of dedication (to me and to his biology class) but I want to give him props for something else too. Matt is a great example of a learner with an open mind. Even though he’s had a sketchy relationship with formal education, I can safely say that he has a built-in sense of the importance of learning. I can tease him about believing in conspiracies, but I can’t deny that he courageously questions the world around him and isn’t afraid to face new thoughts, ideas or discoveries he might have. Even about the big things. Even about the way he views other people. Even about the things that everyone holds as universal truths. Last night he started a conversation with me about why scientist and researchers get to come up with the collected body of “valid” scientific knowledge. What makes it so “valid,” he asks. I definitely was caught off guard with his distrust of the scientific community and didn’t quite know how to respond, but then I realized that’s what Matt does. He keeps me on my toes about things. He asks why, which is a very important question to ask.
So cheers to taking care of your MIND this year! My beloved Jack Johnson asks, What about your mind, does it shine? Or are there things that concern you more than your time? Thanks Jack, you’re so wise. And you were a pro surfer. mmm. This year I hope I spend more time growing and less time getting comfortable.
Thanks for reading all of my sweets!
Matt- I’m calling you out to make the next wellness post.
Oh the joy of coconut oil!
My fabulously naturally healthy & beautiful friend, Maggie, introduced me to this luxurious moisturizer, make-up remover, hair serum and edible delight about a year ago. I’ve been an avid fan since. I love to share this beauty secret with everyone, so here we are! These are a few of the reasons why I love it so.
One of the best things about this wonder product is that it stays in a solid(ish) form until it hits a certain temperature that just happens to be the temperature of your skin. So, it’s this rich, creamy consistency* until you scoop it out and rub it on your skin. Then it’s oil. Beautiful. Nature is so perfect like that. *In the summer, when it’s warm in your house and the coconut oil is kind of melty, you may consider keeping it in the refrigerator to firm it up.
If you’re going to try this natural wonder, it’s imperative to get the unrefined variety. I’ve been told that you can find refined coconut oil in Walmart next to the Crisco, but that abomination is NOT the miracle beauty product that I am discussing in this post. Going through the refining process takes a lot of the wondrous properties away. It doesn’t even smell like coconuts anymore. When you have the real thing you’ll know it because it smells like fresh coconuts, melts when it hits your skin, feels and looks naturally amazing.
Here is another important tip: Put the coconut oil in a smaller container as demonstrated:
There are a few reasons for this.
To Use For Skin Care:
Very simple: scoop and apply. You can put it all over, and I mean ALL OVER. ;) Doesn’t it feel nice to not put chemicals all over your clean skin? YES. Go ahead and take a gander at the ingredients in your lotion. Most non-natural moisturizers contain all sorts of wack ingredients. Alcohol is usually one of them. I don’t get it. Yuck.
To Use For Hair Care:
After I get out of the shower, I take a little bitty tiny amount (maybe just the remnants of using it as a moisturizer), and run it through my hair while it’s still wet. Presto! Shiny, healthy, happy hair. I try to avoid getting too much in my hair (especially when I’m putting it on my face) because you don’t want oily hair. I have heard that some people use it as a conditioning treatment. I haven’t gone this far, but maybe I’ll try it sometime.
To Use as a Make-up Remover
Wrinkles. Terrible. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have tons of smile wrinkles (the best kind, by the way) at an early age. I want to avoid them as much as possible though, and I truly believe that my wonder product is helping. When I used to wash my make-up off, and especially my eye make-up, I would TUG and TUG until it was clear. I’ve realized this isn’t the best method. Coconut oil clears make-up right off of your face. It’s so easy peasy. And besides, like I said, it smells amazing. So, try this:
All right healthy friends, that’s about it. I bet you didn’t think I could write so much about coconut oil. Whew- me neither.
With love (and a blender full of coconut oil fruit smoothie), Nicole
I just realized that I didn’t tell you guys where you can find coconut oil! I get mine at Native Roots, which is this amazing grocery store in Norman that specializes in organic and local food. You can most likely find it at any natural food store like Akins or Whole Foods.
In a moment of compulsive sheer inspiration this weekend (this happens sometimes), I decided to start blogging. I used to thoroughly enjoy randomly rambling into cyber space in hopes that I was entertaining someone somewhere out there. I thought to myself on Saturday morning, Maybe I can rekindle the old flame I used to have with Xanga!! So here I am.
With motivations to actually contribute something worth reading to the land of blogs, I’ve decided to somewhat focus my
rambling blogging. Thus, my WELLNESS blog. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider myself an authority on this topic and I might not stick with it completely, but it is something that I’m interested and invested in. More specifically I’m into nature and the way it can bring about total wellness: mind, body, soul. I believe in natural health & beauty. Although this has always been something that has intrigued me, I think that over the last few years I’ve been losing (and I suspect others have too) the connection with nature and the whole wide world around me. I haven’t been challenging myself to to stay well as much as I would like to. 2011 is MY year to start. I love goals.
While I was daydreaming about the ways I could encourage and inspire people via blogging, Matt started becoming curious as to why I wasn’t paying more attention to him on a Saturday morning and thus, he decided that he wanted to join with me in my efforts. I’m positively sure he will dazzle us with tales of jiu jitsu and tips on fitness. I’m glad that he’s here to talk about working out because I’d be a fraud if I gave anyone fitness advice. I do love yoga and riding my bike, which I’m sure you will hear about in posts to come, but other than that, exercise is not my strong point. So… I’m pumped for Matt to help. I hope that we can inspire, enlighten, encourage or at least entertain you (and ourselves) with our experiments.
So to get us started, let me show you this book:
1001 Ways to Stay Naturally Young. As I enter into my late 20’s, staying young is definitely on my mind and definitely something I want to focus my efforts on. This book promotes making small, 100% natural, lifestyle changes to improve the quality of life, health and beauty. I plan on testing out the tips and sharing them here. Join me?
Here is my first wellness tip: (!!!)
A cup of teas solves a lot! Tea is uplifting, calming, warming and wonderful. I have to thank my mom for getting me into it from an early age.
I seriously believe that a cup of tea enhances my mood too.
Here’s how I do my tea…
Loose leaf is the way to go. It’s so beautiful, colorful, fragrant and it’s fun to pick out. I recommend going to Teavana in Penn Square Mall. I used to go to Inspirations in Edmond. Lovely place. Lovely tea.
Spice of Life. Look at those ingredients! Citrus peel, almond bits, white tea, pistachio kernels, coriander, pepper. mmm
Make sure you pay attention to the steeping times. Different tea calls for different steeps.
Look at that! It drains right into your cup, filtering out the leaves!
So that’s it. Starting small with a cup of tea. Try it out when you’re stressed. Then talk to me about how much you love it. Because I do too. :)
Please note Matt’s painting in the background of this picture. Quite the artist!
Also, I just want to make a shout-out to my fellow bloggers who have inspired me by posting up. I love reading what everyone has to say and I want to encourage you all to keep it up. There are so many brilliant, golden people out there. We should all be sharing with each other. Three cheers for my sweet, dear, exciting crafty friend, this really cool dude, my beautiful fashion advisor, the lovely ladies who help me cook and all of the other bloggers out there. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for reading!