self-care

Self-care Sunday

My cat, Tabby.

A throwback photo of my cat, Tabby.  She can teach lessons on relaxing.

The last two weeks have been unusually busy and stressful.  I haven’t been taking breaks like I should and I only stop working when I am exhausted at night.  Last night, I only stopped working after my mother noted that I looked green.  Even when I pause to watch a television show, I have been multi-tasking by checking email or doing something computer related.  All of this has taken a toll on me physically and I have been sick for the last three days.  On Sundays, I usually try to relax, but I am especially in need of self-care today.  I need to recharge because the next two weeks are probably going to be just as busy and stressful.

Below is a list of things I am trying today.

  • Sleeping in. I only slept until around 10:00, but it felt very refreshing.
  • Taking a nap. Even after sleeping in, I was still tired by midday, so I took a nap with my cat.  I felt a little better after the nap, but still drained.
  • Taking a break from social media. I’m not on social media a lot anyway, but 5 minutes of social media was more than enough for me today.  I think it makes me feel less present and disconnected.
  • Spending time with friends. My friends are a pair of parakeets, but they miss me when I am holed up with my laptop.  Time spent with them will make all of us happier.
  • Taking a hot bath. The tub is one of my favorite places to relax.   It also helped with the body aches which are a symptom of this bug I have.
  • Watching a favorite movie. I love classic movies and possibly more than that, I love Paul Newman.  When I woke up with a coughing fit at 3:00 a.m., I had trouble falling back asleep.  I started watching Cool Hand Luke.  Paul is gorgeous as always in this movie, plus his character is so determined.  After being literally knocked down several times, the person he is fighting (George Kennedy) tells him to stay down.  Luke tells the man he would have to kill him for that to happen.  Yes!  That is the type of spirit that I need.  I wasn’t awake to see the unhappy ending, so I could enjoy Luke’s tenacity.
  • Writing in my journal. I have a lot on my mind and it helps to let it out.
  • Having something to look forward to. The second to last episode of Teen Wolf airs tonight.  This is one of my favorite shows ever and the last several episodes have been very engaging and entertaining.
Food

Yogurts that are both adorable & tasty?

Oui Yoplait Yogurts

I have been eating strictly Greek yogurt for the last few years, but I was tempted to try these Oui French yogurts that Yoplait makes.  I was mostly swayed by the adorable glass jars that they come in.  Turns out they are not just cute, they are also delicious.  I tried the strawberry and black cherry flavors so far and they both are delectable.  The fruit tastes very fresh and the yogurt is thick and creamy.  Now, I get to turn these tiny jars into miniature terrariums that will be scattered throughout the house and will likely be featured on an upcoming post.

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Home Decor

Finally organizing my shoes

Shoe ottoman

 

I am in the process of overhauling my bedroom into the restful, peaceful and organized space that I need it to be.  It is a large, sometimes overwhelming job, but the results so far are very satisfactory.  My sleep feels more restful and it is easier to find what I am looking for.

My shoes have needed to be organized for years.  I used an over-the-door organizer for a while, but anything larger than a ballet flat didn’t fit in it well.  There were leftover pairs of shoes that still created an unsightly mess.  I gave that up and stored my shoes under my bed, some of them in their boxes and some loose.  The loose shoes were dusty and the shoes in boxes would often slide out of reach.  My knees and I hated this.

For a person that wears flip-flops, slippers or Uggs most of the time, I had way too many pairs of shoes.  I donated or threw away old, worn shoes and shoes I know I would never wear.  This left with me with a reasonable number of pairs of shoes, but they still needed to be organized.

I am always browsing websites and spotted a shoe ottoman around a year ago.  It was gorgeous, sophisticated and more expensive than I liked at around $300.  I thought of it when I began my room overhaul, but I was still not willing to pay that much.  I turned to Amazon and found the perfect option.  Except for my four pairs of boots and two pairs of flip-flops that  I wear all the time, all of my shoes fit into this shoe ottoman.  I am in love.  The ottoman can also be used as a table or for extra seating.  I fully recommend getting one (or two) of these.

shoe ottoman - open

My ottoman is sold here.
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Here are a few other options.

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*We may receive a fee if you click on or purchase through any affiliate links contained in this post.

Home Decor

My Recommendations from Amazon’s New and Interesting Finds section

Am I the only one who has fallen down the rabbit hole that is Amazon’s New and Interesting Finds?  I have a weakness for things that are cute and quirky, so I always find something that I really love in this section.  These are some of my favorites.  I narrowed it down to 10, but there are so many more options.

1. I already have these guys in my kitchen.  They’re perfect for serving up soup and chili and even rice and casserole dishes.

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2.  I’ll admit it, I have a slight addiction to cute mugs.  This one is a combo of a couple of things I like: cartoons and cats (plus, it’s pink).  Plus, I may slightly resemble Pusheen.

pusheen

3. More kitties!  I tend to bake and cook more in the fall and winter.  These would make an adorable addition to any kitchen.

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4. Another cute mug… This sassy fox might be my spirit animal.

fox mug

5. This fox welcome mat screams fall.  Who needs a generic rectangular mat?

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6. I love to drink tea year around and Earl Grey is one of favorites.  Plus, something needs to go in all of these cute mugs that I have.

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7. It’s almost that time to bring the outdoors in as cooler weather approaches. Succulents are relatively easy to take care of and these would go perfectly with #8.

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8. You get to make three tiny gardens with this set of planters.   These have a lot of creative (and cute) potential.

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9. I love the color of this tea kettle.  If only it matched my kitchen decor.  I’ll have to add this to my wish list.

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10. I love almost everything that is vintage and retro looking and this toaster fits the bill. Plus I love pastels.

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*We may receive a fee if you click on or purchase through any affiliate links contained in this post.

Home Decor

Cuteness at Pier 1

 

I am always excited to decorate for my favorite season, Autumn.  I took a trip to Pier 1 last week and was overwhelmed by the sheer cuteness of many items.  I was in need of new wine glasses, so I figured why not buy the ones with adorable animals on them.  I love all animals, but foxes are one of my favorites.  I couldn’t resist bringing the little guy above home.  He looks like he was frolicking in a pile of leaves.  Each item was under $10, so these were affordable options for sprucing up my home.  Many of the items in “The Critter Crew” collection are on sale, so I would recommend checking them out soon.

My fox is not available online, but he has a big brother (and a friend) available here:

http://www.pier1.com/natural-foxes/PS77768.html#q=natural%2520fox&start=1

The wine glasses are sold here:

http://www.pier1.com/owling-like-a-boss-stemless-wine-glass/3193118.html#ct-cross-sell

http://www.pier1.com/who-me-raccoon-stemless-wine-glass/3193120.html#ct-cross-sell

 

 

Uncategorized

Live Your Own Life

Viola Davis Quote

Continuing the theme from my last post, I strongly encourage people to be themselves and build your life as you would like it to be.  I came across this quote yesterday from Viola Davis that really spoke to me because for the first time I am living my life as I feel I should live it.  I followed people’s instructions on how to live a “happy” life and none of it worked for me.  Once I threw away other people’s ideas of what I should do or what I should be like, my life became exponentially better and my happiness greatly increased.

 

Working for someone else may have security, but working for myself has more freedom and feels more rewarding.  Going out is fun for others, but is torture for me.  I also found there is no set age to begin again.  You can make a move whenever your heart tells you it is the right time.

 

Discover what makes you happy.  Don’t let anyone else tell you how to live your life.  There is not one road to paradise, but you can find joy as you explore the journey to your bliss.

© Dimples and Grins. All Rights Reserved.

Uncategorized

Dressing as myself

dimples post number 2

Above are the tan pants that inspired a blog post with two of my inspiration boards in the background.

 

2017 has been a year of change for me.  I left a job that was slowly chipping away at me spiritually, emotionally and even physically.  I began a path towards the creative future that I have always envisioned.  Along with the changes, I felt a need to overhaul my physical surroundings.  A huge part of that is cleaning out my two overstuffed closets to the point where everything that should go in the closets can fit in there (this is still a work in progress).

 

I have come across items that made me feel a myriad of emotions.  My leftover accessories from the early 2000s were particularly hilarious: a straw cowboy hat, a cream satin belt with a rhinestone buckle, a cowboy style belt that did not go with the hat at all.  I found items that reminded of me of good times, such as the DKNY blazer that was the first designer item of my adult wardrobe.  The day I brought it at Filene’s Basement, I was so excited that it was cute and ecstatic that I could afford it.  I was also reminded of the sad times, like the sandals I wore the day I had to put my senior cat to sleep.  I easily donated all items except the blazer, which I will probably keep forever.

 

One of the items I struggled to decide on was a simple pair of pants.  They are a pair of tan wide-leg slacks, which had been perfectly tailored to fit me.  They still look new, probably because I only wore them twice.  I can imagine Katharine Hepburn wearing them, but the issue is I am nothing like Katharine.  She had a slim figure and I am more like Jennifer Lopez on my bottom half.  She was tall and I am somewhere between short and average height, depending on who you ask.  She preferred an androgynous style while I prefer my clothes to be as feminine as possible.

 

What in the world was my problem with donating these pants then?  Why would I want to keep something that is neither particularly flattering to my body type nor complementary to my style?  I wondered if I will ever need them again.  Was this something that I should have in my wardrobe?  These pants had me feeling more self-doubt than a pair of pants ever should.  Would I ever have to return to the general drabness of cubicle land?  Should I want to wear something that makes me feel like I blend in?  Why can’t I feel good in something that would be considered a basic building block of a wardrobe?

 

The problem or simply the fact is that I do not like plain.  Plain makes me sad, like it desperately needs a dose of glitter.  Instinctively, my clothes do not blend in.  I remember my middle school classmates making fun of a super bright, super early 90’s multi-patterned shirt (the sleeves and the hood and the body of the shirt were different patterns) I was wearing.  I didn’t care, I loved that shirt.  One boy said I always tried to stand out, like there was something wrong with that.  I kept wearing the shirt and I kept loving the shirt because it fit my burgeoning style.  (I wish I still had that shirt.)

 

So, how did I ever get to the point of wearing tan pants?  I don’t wear much black because it washes me out.  That at least explains the color.  I chose the wide-leg fit because more fitted pants brought too much attention to my curvy bottom.  (That unwanted attention is another blog post or ten because I have so many thoughts on it.)  I wanted to look like I belonged in the office culture.  I never really fit in and I wanted some way to show that I should be there.

 

The fact is I never should have been there.  I let myself settle in a place where I would I never be happy or fulfilled, where the people showed me daily how they did not like or respect me.  It is worse that I stayed in this miserable place for over a decade.  The office itself was my prison, but so was the way I would not let my inner self out.  I dressed older in my 20s than I do now.  Gradually, I began dressing like myself at work partially thanks to a change to business casual, and then casual dress code.  My tops featured foxes, owls and other animals.  My dresses were bright and glorious.  My skirts swirled when I turned around in the copy room.

 

The change that occurred was more than appearance.  I felt like myself for the first time in years.  I felt glimpses of happiness at work even on my worse days when I looked at my very me-like outfits in the mirror.  Those outfits helped me gain the wings I needed to fly closer to my destiny.

 

The tan pants will be donated to charity tomorrow.  I don’t need them anymore nor will I allow their dullness to be part of my life.  I will wear things and take part in things that bring joy to my life.  I am ready to shine.

© Dimples and Grins. All Rights Reserved.