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Monday, December 22, 2014

Gearing Up For A Holiday~!

Whether it's Christmas holidays or any other time of year, do you sometimes get so excited and caught up in the hustle bustle of preparing for a holiday, or all the parties and turn around and burn yourself right out?

Well, I have done it and seen others do it as well.  Take for instance when you work all year for your 2 weeks vacation, just to be in a total frantic and stressful time before leaving for your holidays.  There is much to do, as well, the boss or demands don't stop pouring into your in box just because you are leaving for awhile.  Ridiculous, and makes me think that they do it on purpose, since everyone knows when it's quitting time.

I say do less, enjoy more during the holidays, including sending presents, cards, attending events and parties or cooking. Get more sunshine and less artificial lights.  You can drastically improve your mood and energy level just by sitting near a sunny window.

Although everyone knew you were getting ready to jet set somewhere tropical or just take time off, they waited until the last minute to ask you for any last minute tasks to be completed or "favours", as some would say. A favour request at work is just a diplomatic way of asking of your assistance to complete a job or task,  so that THEY can leave on time for the day.  If you committed to helping out, and feel stressed try taking a whiff of citrus. it can help boost your feelings of well-being and downplay the stress you might be under or take a brisk walk to get some worry off your mind, AND if your job has been particularly stressful and you make the call, I wouldn't go in for that "half" day on Christmas Eve if there is nothing pressing or required of you.  Take off for the day to finish your own tasks or drink some chamomile tea the night before and plan to sleep in. :)

Ya don't get it twisted, no one REALLY cares if you helped them out at work, they won't forget when you didn't though.....and the same goes for attending holiday parties.  You may want to go to everyone's but it's really just takes time away from your own thoughts and meditation time, and you risk running your energy down.  But if you really feel stress getting ready from work to a party, try some Chinese medicine techniques, such as applying pressure in the fleshy place between your index finger and thumb.  This is a hoku spot and can reduce stress tension in the upper body. 

I know very well and when your bus or plane is near leaving, there is no one around to help alleviate the stress to get out the door on time, unless there is one good colleague that you work with in a team environment and cares if you have a good holiday too.  Well how about keeping to your own schedule, and stick with what you do on the daily instead like workout or read a book, instead of filling it up with too many other activities.  Like the bake sale at work or all those fun things that go on, can really just take up time from your daily routine and tasks.



But here nor there, it's all about time management right?  Well, I beg to differ, since there is a constant amount of workload being placed on people these days, not only up until a holiday or break but on the holidays now a days and from ourselves too~!  Being perfect and having everything just so, will probably stress you right out. So try to laugh and forget about getting it all done "perfectly", without any hitches, the house is clean enough or the clutter from baking will be alright if you left it for a minute. 

If the boss is calling during Christmas Eve, because an alarm is going off well then you might want to answer if it's your duty to do so, but I prefer to not answer or return the messages right away, if I even notice the messages.  Once I am on break, I lose the thought of being on call, but this could be a breaking point for a boss if they expect you to live and breathe work.  If I worked for those holidays or they are part of the respective statutory holidays, you can expect people to have a little bit of a life and not get to the phone right away.

Anyways, I also know we may spread out energy very thinly, when promising to attend holiday parties and events.  After all, there is only so much time in a day, and if everyone would ask you to attend something, you might go back to work even more fatigued than you already were, craving down time that you didn't get.  This is also the case, if you are around certain family or in-laws that might be more gruelling to talk to or are plain old mean.  You could try taking those people to a restaurant where they might be best behaved, or you could try to ignore there antics a bit more and breathe deeply.  When you start getting sick with a cold or flu, from perhaps indulging in alcohol or foods or people that increase your chance of getting sick later by running down your immune system, well you can thank yourself for loosing money instead of being at work after the holidays.  Vacation time is nothing to sneeze at when you get sick.


I would even go as far to say, that if you attend one or two events for the season that is acceptable.  I know many people cannot stand quiet time. and that is why they always are in the need for others to be on the phone with or yakking all the time, let alone at every party.  There is a time to catch up and then there is a time to just chill out to yourself and even start your OWN traditions, such as peace and quiet or go and look out at the universe with the Northern Lights flickering in the sky.  That could be a very nice time with a cup of hot chocolate.  Turn off your tech gadgets, and tune out.  You don't need to keep being on the phones or answering texts just to "keep busy".  After all, that is a way to increase your adrenaline and expose yourself to constant wifi signals which mounts your stress again.

 Even hosting a party is time consuming and by the evening you might feel like you should have got a nap in or hired that catering company, and when most guests don't show up due to what ever reason, remember you could have definitely scaled back on all the extras you went about providing. You could also ask for some help, perhaps everyone can bring something and make it a potluck holiday dinner.  It does become a lot of work to cook and clear up the tables afterwards,  but with that YOU enjoy the holiday anyway you see fit and best.  Although I enjoy cooking, it's not fun when you not many people show up and you just created more work for yourself.

Enjoy some non-conventional foods for the holidays that boost your endorphins or are an antioxidant for your body,  such as spice or honey.  Eat a nice healthy breakfast before you have too much caffeine, so you don't feel cranky by noon. You could try healthier dessert options instead of sugary treats, such as fruit salad instead of butter tarts.  It's still important to keep your vitamins and mineral levels in check!

And how about giving yourself a gift this year, such as a massage or spa time, or a retreat instead of running around for others gifts, you can also get in some extra gym time and work out some stress and toxins from your body.  Or you could start planning a vacation for yourself for the New Year.  You might feel good doing that, giving yourself a positive outlook!  You will feel rejuvenated for it!

                                                                  MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Don't Quit


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween Special

Well everyone is gearing up for Halloween this week, if not done so already!  It happens to be on a Friday, which is going to be extra fun for all the sugar wired kids .... and some parents. :)

In the meantime, I have had my nose to the grindstone so I barely had time to decorate and my place quaintly decorated with some fall and working on Halloween, but I like to save money and also make things myself.  I will be glass painting some clear generic candle holders into Halloween them, and make them cool and creepy ones!  Perhaps, when I have them complete and lit up this week, I will post the pics on the IAJLGOM's Facebook group or here.

Until then, I have some Halloween safety tips and then some really cool things you can make for Halloween with you kids. Perhaps you can go over these Halloween safety tips with the kids, and make it a safe and fun night for all!



Remember, all regular pedestrian rules are going to apply.  Be sure to cross the road at marked cross walks, or well lit corners only. It is safest to work your way up one side of the street, and then cross once to the other side, not zigzagging.  Also, consider sending your children with a flashlight for additional safety and to increase visibility.

Kids, let you parents know where you are going to be at all times and advise them if you will be returning late, or if you are a young trick-or-treater be sure to be accompanied by an adult.  Pre-determine the boundaries to trick-or-treat within, and establish a firm time to return home.

Advise your children not to eat anything until they return home, where you can view the candy in the light and dispose of any items that appear to have been tampered with, or not properly wrapped. 

When you are buying or making costumes, look for materials and accessories that are labelled flame-resistant.  Ensure your child is wearing adequate foot wear that takes into consideration weather conditions and lots of walking.  You know they don't want to go home with only a little bit of candy!
And choose bright coloured costumes that are highly visible.  Add reflective tape to costumers that need further increases visibility.

Now that we have went over the safety stuff, we can get into how to make some creepy Halloween masks!

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Papier Mache Faces
For ages 8 to 12+.

You can decorate these papier mache faces with any colors or ghoulish looks you want, or you can make them into a masquerade mask, but it can be messy to work with Papier Mache so be sure to cover your work surface with lots of newspaper, and here' s how to make the papier mache face mask.

What You Will Need:
Flour                                                                               Sale
Newsprint (newspaper)                                                  Balloon
Water                                                                              Tempura Paint

Mix two parts water to one part flour to form a thick paste.  Mix well to remove lump.  Add some salt to the mix to discourage mold.

Blow up your balloon- this forms the base for your mask.  Tear newspaper into strips about 3 cm wide and 15 cm long.  Dip each strip of newsprint into the Papier Mache paste, and smooth off excess paste with your fingers.  Drape across the balloon pressing gently to remove air bubbles.

Continue to add strips of Papier Mache to your balloon until the front is completely covered with four or five layers.  **For a mask, leave the back of the balloon uncovered.

Add some features to your mask.  Dip a strip of newsprint into the paste and crumple it up.  Shape that like a nose.  Press against the your mask.  Add more strips of Papier Mache across the mask and over the nose to secure.

Add other features, like a mouth, ears and eyebrows the same way.  Make sure you let the Papier Mache dry between layers.  Once it's dry, paint your mask in any style with tempura paint.  You can make your mask look like a green goblin or monster, or like Jack Skeleton, a witch or even Frankenstein! I hope it turns out scary anyways!



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 Now to make some cool slime for your Haunted House. It is slippery and fun to make slime but maybe not fun to get slimed!  Scroll down for my Slime recipe, but also be sure to keep slime away from clothing, furniture and carpets!

Slime

What You Will Need:
 1/2 Cup of Wood Glue (Or white glue)
1/2 Cup Liquid Laundry Starch
1/2Cup Water
Food Colouring

Put the glue and water into a cup and stir well to dissolve.  Add a few drops of food colouring for colourful slime.  Add liquid laundry starch and continue to mix.
As the new material starts to form, remove it from the cup and knead it well.  If the mixture is too sticky, add more starch.
 Store slime in a zip lock bag so it does not dry out or make this Glow in the Dark Slime Recipe



Have fun!  Scroll down for some links to more fun and easy Halloween crafts, including 19 printable Halloween decorations and ways to have fun and save money!


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Easy Halloween Crafts

Free Printables for Halloween

DIY Cardboard and Paper Halloween Masks

Halloween Treat Bag Stencils

Cheap & Tasty HalloweenTreats for Under $1

Free Halloween Pictures to Print & Color

10 Halloween Facts

Halloween Movies for Kids and The Family

13 Halloween Movies to Scare You Senseless

3 Simples Way to Save on Halloween Candy

20 Sexiest Star Halloween Costumes of All Time
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       Have a Great Week & Happy Halloween~!







Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Energy Boosters

It's not always easy to get back into the "Spring" of things if you are lacking energy for any type of reason.  Personally, once I am off track on accomplishing things, it can be difficult to gain momentum again, especially if you have been hit with the seasonal cold or flu.  Perhaps, you have been been having some health issues you are dealing with and also, you  possibly need to get into or back into the routine of taking walks and getting more fresh air.  It's also nice to clear your mind and take inventory of what is going on in your life on personal walks.

My first recommendation for energy boosting is to add more fruits and vegetables to your breakfast and lunch.  I admit not all of us have time to eat as much as we should.  Sometimes even making juice on the daily is something that can be time consuming, and if you are like me and always seem to be crunched for time, breakfast can become all together not as important as being "on time".


That is actually a backwards way of thinking, because we should make time for eating something nutritious in the morning.  Complex carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables is necessary for long-lasting energy, along with whole grains.  High proteins and such as almonds and salmon are also energy boosting foods.  Yogurt or eggs are great breakfast energy and good foods.  After all, there are plenty of foods to give you clean energy and if you turn to whole foods, instead of processed foods.  You will find you feel more energy and stay well through out your days, but perhaps if are taking on too much and have no time, or just plain don't care for taking the time you, then you might not be eating right.

Buying a healthy smoothie to add to your nutritional requirements isn't such a bad idea as you can have wheat grass or spinach included, and while both are nutritious it's up to you what you like to taste and try in your smoothies.  Beware of the sugar filled bottled "smoothies", at least all the time.  I admit though, they can be tasty and feel nutritious if you are feeling like you need a pick me up.  My favorite are the pineapple and coconut smoothies.  If you make your own lunches and snacks, try adding an extra apple in here and there for your snacks.  Organic is best as it provides more clean nutrition, instead of pesticides that are used to grow conventional apples.  At least that I know of, and I then don't have to peel the apple and can simply wash it well and eat it.

Throwing a banana in a plastic banana case, will also be a great snack later on in the morning when you wished you would have fruited up.  You might find it surprising at the additional and clean energy you obtain from a piece of fruit.  Beware again, of the dried bananas or fruits all the time as they have added sugar..... and they taste like they do as well. More sugar if you are burning it off, maybe not as bad, but if you are not and say have a job where in a cubicle or at a desk all day, can probably find those dried and sugar fruit snacks don't fill you up and add extra calories to compound onto your body. 

You may also want to start making the time to juice or make a smoothie the night before, and storing it in a mason jar with a lid.  Put it in the fridge and although it's not as good when it's freshly done but it's a better bet than nothing.  If you are up a little earlier with the daylight savings time, you might appreciate a moment to yourself and try to whip up a smoothie.  It really doesn't have to be complicated, a couple of fruit or vegetable items and you have one together.  I encourage this as making time for yourself to sit and have a moment in the morning also gives a person more energy as well.  1/2 a small pineapple or an orange, a carrot peeled or washed very well, and 1 piece of about 25 grams worth of ginger is delicious and a very good way to get started for breakfast.


I personally also try to add in supplemental super foods such as sprouted organic Chia seeds, hemp seeds or oil, someone told me hemp hearts can be great blended into a smoothie.  I cannot specifically recommend anything to you, just be sure you are not allergic or have any sensitivities to anything, and perhaps you should consult your doctor depending on your health.

I do love organic Sacred Lotus Pollen powder in my fruit smoothies, as it's great for uplifting the heart and mind.  Basically it supports beauty both inside and out, and it tonifies the Qi, Jing & Shen.  It can also be used in desserts or elixirs as well.  I also like organic Pine Pollen powder for the pineal gland and is a highly prized food for over 2,400 years.  It's rich in amino acids, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. Use it in smoothies, teas or elixirs or even just taken straight as it is.  I personally like it in my green juice or smoothies.  Is also tonifies the Qi, Jing and Shen or Spirit.

Organic tumeric powder is great and used in Ayurvedic tonic.  Tumeric is a rhizome that is part of the ginger family and it has been used for centuries as a culinary flavour and an important herbal remedy.  Use it in cooking or salad dressing and of course smoothies.  It can be used topically as well, to make facial masks or skin rubs to address all kinds of skin issues.  Overall, if you are helping your health with tumeric as it amazingly cleanses the blood and helps the heart, it will give you more energy in the end.  Find out more amazing health benefits.


Similarly, to manage stress properly will help you maintain your natural energy and life force.  Try taking dietary supplements that could help in the department of lowering stress, strengthening your immune system and increasing your energy and endurance as well as attention and alertness.  The *E3 Live products such as the *E3AFA and *Brain ON taken together, but remember to consult your doctor before starting in on this regime, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.  




Drinking good clean spring water is also essential for energy.  Since your body is made up of a significant amount of water, around 90% it is also important to intake enough water and thus replenish your levels of water in organs and circulation, which will boost your energy.  You will also find less ailments, such as dehydration, headaches, dizziness and overall feel much better if you drinking enough good clean water.  You could invest in picking up a proper water filter and if you want to invest in something that is essential, make it be your water supply.  Check out the Water Filter Test Results from NaturalNews.com to find the best one.


The optimum amount of sleep varies with each person but there is one thing for sure, plenty of good rest helps you have more energy.  If you are making an effort to get enough hours of sleep and stocking up on plenty of water, you might find you need less sleep, as well as if you drinking healthy juices or smoothies.  If you are trying to stay healthy, think and be your best, and not get run down, there is no doubt to get your rest however, sometimes we still feel fatigued after a night of sleep.

There are other additional things to do to boost your energy and focus, such as meditate.  Here's how to start meditation practise, as it is essential for managing the stress in our lives which can drain our energetic selves, and is also known to help us sleep better which again can increase our energy.  There is not a right or wrong way to meditate, but there is a way that is best for you.

Energy can also be lost to our environment, so perhaps Tai Chi is also something that can be an art that you practice to maintain your energy.  Tai Chi exercise also is said to boos your body's cold-fighting defenses by as much as 47%.  Probably due to its slow movements and controlled type breathing.  Here's a beautiful 3 minute practise of Tai Chi to start off and if you are interested you can search more videos on You Tube or information, books at your local library, more information on the Internet or search out a club or classes that you can join.

Something I do for energy is yoga and it is a great way to stretch out your body subtly, and use yoga to create energy to flow through your body.  I also maintain my body with exercise and walking.  Again, joining yoga classes for beginners if you are starting out, is a great way to feel energised while meeting new people with the same interest.  Join someone you know to go for walks in the park, or if you are more advanced you can try hiking with a group in nature.


Nature is a place that gives you energy, as you instantly become calm and intake more fresh air.  I recommend getting outdoors as often as you can but always practise safety in the forest.  Getting near free flowing and clean water such as a river, can boost your energy and peacefulness.  I also recommend that or try putting a small fountain that makes the water sound in your home could be helpful.  Bathing in a nice relaxing bath with Epsom salts will not only help you fell calm and energised after, but it will detox you and thus takes away toxins that block your energy.

Something that is fairly new to my attention, is Orgonite and apparently it can clear negative energy and help bring you more positive energy.  It can also help disperse harmful wifi and EMF signals from all the new technological devices such as cell phones, "Smart" televisions and appliances, "Smart" meters and more, like the harmful radio waves from cell phone towers that might be placed to close to your home.  Again, this is new to me but you can definitely google or look into the brief history of orgonite until I have a full post about it put together.  I did think it was important to mention this type of energy booster as well and here's a link to a website, so you might find out the basics and head you on the right track about Orgonite: www.orgonite.info



There are many more ways to boost energy like stopping bad addictions like smoking cigarettes or over-eating on bad foods,  that can be hindering your personal energy and health goals.

 Take necessary steps towards curbing those habits and seek help if you feel you cannot accomplish managing it on your own.  Here are some links to help you get started and see if any of the information pertains to you and can be useful.

Quitting Smoking: www.smokefree.gov/

Eating Right: www.eatright.org

Good Luck & God Bless!

 












Monday, September 15, 2014

Get Ready for Fall and Winter!

Already? No, well we're not snowed in yet and things are not frozen, the commuting is still early fall weather, but some of us already have received freak snow storms.  #September Storms as they were coined here in Calgary, AB.  Receiving snow that early, and the season of summer came late in my opinion, while some provinces had an early spring, unfortunately we were not enjoying the same spring feeling or weather until June. It's usually the same checklist for seasonal homework this time of year.  You can go the extra mile and make sure you have inspected and battened down the hatches and then rest or continue to prepare early. 

Some things to do now might be cleaning the electric baseboard heaters and testing those out to make sure you are not surprised and cold come winter time.  Checking the condition of the central heating system, fireplace along with the chimney, and hot water tank.

I checked out all the weatherstripping around openings such as doors and windows, and of course repair if need be.  If you have an attic, it might be a good time to check the vents up there and make sure they are clear, or any vents that are to be cleared in your home.  Shut vents to crawl spaces if those areas are heated in the winter.

Somethings for the man chore list is to look and note the natural slope of the ground around the house, and if it's needed fix so that when springtime comes back you can avoid flooding of the melting snow into you home. 

In the dead of winter, you might replace batteries in smoke alarms, and any other alarms for that matter.  Set the first week of the New Year and then follow up at the same time each year, so you know when it was last taken care of.  Inspect and clean any filters, ducts and hoses in larger appliances, especially that clothes dryer.

Replace any chipped or cracked grout and caulking in your kitchen and bathrooms, while the snow is flying outside this is a perfect indoor repair time.  Also, you could start a home maintenance file to store all your records of repairs, maintenance that you started, schedules and warranties, or simply organize one you have already started.

Inspecting those doors and cabinetry for loose knobs, squeaky hinges and things of that sort, all while making the necessary repairs.  Then if you really are a keener, you can move onto other jobs.

You can check out last year's post Preparations and Organizing for Winter as well.  Good Luck!