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Friday, 23 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 23: Mrs Meyer and Pet House Soy Candles, Flameless Candles


I am sure I am not alone in saying that I love candles.  They create an instant sense of intimacy.  But what I didn't realize is that ordinary paraffin wax candles are a petroleum byproduct.  So when I was merrily burning those candles, I was breathing in the equivalent of exhaust fumes!  In this case, ignorance really is bliss. So for Day 23, I would like to discuss alternatives to paraffin wax candles.  Myself, I have switched over to flameless candles.  No more fiddling with matches or trying to clean out the tar and soot from the candle holders.  You can even get ones that come with a remote control and timer here

via Amazon


They even flicker like the real thing.  How cool is that?  But I must say that sometimes I do miss burning a scented candle.  Enter the world of soy candles.  Soy candles are all natural.  We have all heard of Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products but did you know that there are soy candles as well?  It comes in scents such as lavender, basil, geranium.

via Amazon

The jar is a jelly jar that can be repurposed once the candle is done.  I do love being able to reuse something.  And for those households with pets, you can even get soy candles from Pet House Candle designed to tackle doggy odours.

via Amazon
The one pictured above is Pina Colada but there are 15 fragrances total to choose from.  After all, our furbabies need to breathe clean air as much as we do.  I am really pleased that there are so many options available now to help us create a well home.
We are moving towards the finish line of the Challenge.  Woohoo!  If you have any suggestions, there are only a few days left to include them in the Challenge so please leave them in the comments.


This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.







Thursday, 22 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 22: Homemade Citrus and Vinegar Cleaner

For Day 22, I am reposting a post I wrote on homemade citrus and vinegar cleaners back in January, 2016. Over a year later and I am still using this spray.  So I can attest that this was a lifestyle or household change that has stuck with me.  I consider it relevant to the Challenge as removing toxic and/or harsh commercial cleaners from the household boosts the wellbeing of its occupants.  If you have small crawling children or pets who love licking the floors, then a gentle cleaning agent like vinegar really eases the mind.  And I don't know about you but I much prefer the scent of citrus essential oils and vinegar to the sickly, cloying scents of commercial cleaners that invariably make me nauseous.  So here is the original post.


Hello Friends!  As the last year drew to a close, I did a lot of soul searching.  I was working 3 jobs and felt really overwhelmed.  Luckily, because I had started "zone cleaning" (more on that later) and had begun simplifying my life in other areas, my home didn't fall into a complete shambles.  Well, at least not right away.  I had heard about the versatility of using vinegar as a household cleaner long ago but for some reason, the concept had never "clicked" with me.  I just assumed that commercially made cleaners would do the job much better and I would have to put up with the hassle of searching for a cleaner whose artificial fragrance didn't make me sick.  Late last year, I chanced upon the idea of making a citrus vinegar cleaner.  And as clementines are in abundance during the Christmas season, I decided to try it out.


I am not a particularly crafty person so the simplicity of making this cleaner really appealed to me.  All you need to do really is eat the clementines (or any other citrus fruit of your choosing) and put the peels into the vinegar.  I used a vintage mason jar.  I leave the peels in for about 2 weeks.  The essential oils in the peels slowly leach out and turn the vinegar orange.  The vinegar takes on a fresh citrus scent.  Plus the citrus ingredient boosts the cleaning power of the vinegar.   I love the fact that it is all natural and homemade.  You get your Vitamin C and make your own citrus cleaner at the same time.  How easy is that?


The sense of pride and satisfaction that I get every time I use the cleaner was quite unexpected.  I truly feel like I am "blessing" my home whenever I use it because it is non-toxic and I took the time to make it.  Now, making sure I always have a supply on hand to keep my spray bottle topped up is part of my household routine.



Wednesday, 21 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 21: Decreasing Exposure to EMF's in the Bedroom


I don't know when it started but I began leaving my cellphone and tablet on my bedside table overnight or sometimes, if I fell asleep before moving them, they would be on the bed beside me.   I am sure that having a cellphone on the bedside table overnight is a common phenomenon especially if it is used as an alarm clock.  However, for Day 21, I want to try to decrease the EMF's in the bedroom.  I know that there is a growing body of evidence that shows the deleterious effects of longterm exposure to high levels of EMF's.  WiFi devices that are on all night long and constantly polling for a signal emit a large quantity of EMF's which can lead to poor quality sleep amongst other things.  My sleep has been terrible for months and anything that can improve it would be a boon.  As well, every time there is a notification, I just can't resist checking my phone even if it is the middle of the night.  It is as if I have fallen into the trap of FOMO without even realizing it.  So from now on, I can going to make a conscious effort to turn them off at night or, at the very least, place them as far away from the bed as possible.  Even if you don't believe in the downside of EMF exposure, if you use your phone as an alarm clock, placing it far away from the bed will force you to get up on time instead of hitting the snooze button over and over again.  So win, win!

Stay tuned as we cruise towards the last leg of the Challenge!  Now is your chance to include any suggestions in the comments!


30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 20: Vitamins and Supplements


For Day 20 of the Challenge, I want to chat a little about supplements.  Now I want to be clear and state that I am not a healthcare professional and I am just doing what feels right for me.  Everyone has different needs and requirements and, if in doubt, please use common sense and consult an expert.  So now that's out of the way, let's carry on!  There was a time when I tried and tried to take a vitamin supplement, usually in the form of a daily multivitamin.  But a few days in and I would get a persistent low grade headache which would not go away.  Later, I realized that the headache was similar to the headaches one gets when doing a detox cleanse.  I could never get past it even though I knew that, if I could just get over the hump and soldier on, I would come out the other side feeling better.  However, when my health took a nosedive, I decided to give vitamin supplements another try and, lo and behold, I didn't experience any headaches at all.  I have been taking them daily for the better part of 7 months now.  The composition changes slightly depending on what I think I need.  Right now, I am taking an Omega 3-6-9 supplement, a Calcium Zinc Magnesium supplement and am trying out a Biotin supplement which I have heard is really good for healthy hair.  I was taking a Glucosamine supplement but didn't really notice any difference.  I know it can take a few months of regular use to see an improvement so I might try it again.  Normally, I get my supplements at Shoppers which is a Canadian pharmacy.  You can collect reward points at Shoppers and get notifications for flash specials.  For example, today between 6 and 9 pm, it was BOGO on select supplements.  Do you take supplements?  Any recommendations?  Have you noticed any discernible benefits?

This is not a sponsored post.  Any suggestions for the Challenge, please let me know in the comments!

Monday, 19 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 19: Participaction or Staying Active


If you grew up in Canada during the 70's and early 80's, then perhaps you will remember the federal government slogan "Participaction."  The slogan was for a government campaign to encourage the populace to take up an active lifestyle.  I never liked the idea of working out.  Too hot, too sweaty, too exhausting, too much need for $100 yoga pants.  And let's face it, who actually makes full use of those horrendously expensive gym memberships?  But as life gets more and more full and stresses and strains begin to weigh on one's shoulders, health and fitness start to fall down the totem pole of priorities when it should become a firm priority in order to compensate for all that stress.  So for Day 19,  this is my easy way of getting more active that isn't going to cost a bundle.  Even though I live in a large metropolitan city, once I was no longer a frugal student, I started taking the car everywhere.  I know!  Here I was, paying exorbitant parking fees and dealing with rush hour traffic, when I could easily have walked the distance.  I started to discover little islands of calm in the city that I never knew existed.  Above is a small circle of green that is enclosed by buildings and not visible from the adjoining roads.  For years, I never knew it was there and yet it is just minutes from where I live.  A few days ago, Monsieur and I had a quick walk after dinner and it felt great!  Normally, we end up comatose on the couch after dinner but it was incredibly refreshing to enjoy the city on a balmy summer evening.  To be fair to myself, we can only have an evening walk in the summer when the days are long because there are certain areas that are just not advisable to venture into at night and aren't particularly pleasant in the daytime either.  I am sure there are lots of other ways to be active that are low impact for those who live in the suburbs such as walking the dog, gardening, mowing the lawn etc.  Please leave your suggestions in the comments!

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 18: Positive Thinking and Support Systems



If you grew up surrounded by negativity, learning to keep a positive frame of mind can take a lot of hard work and practice until it becomes the new normal.  You may receive push back from those closest to you who resist the change in status quo.  This can be a painful process as it is intrinsic in human nature to resist change and to be fearful of the unknown.  We all know someone who loves to be the troublemaker, that one needy person who sucks all of the oxygen out of the room and makes you feel exhausted and deflated.  It is important to maintain some distance for your own sanity and equilibrium.  I do know firsthand how difficult this can be but I realized it was absolutely essential in order for me to get a grip on my stress levels.  For example, there was one person who insisted on calling me up at 1, 2 and even 3 am in the morning simply to vent, never mind that I had to get up early the next morning.  I don't take those phone calls anymore.  I had to become choosy in structuring a support system around me that was positive and uplifting.  I also had to learn to become my own support system, my own cheerleader, and safeguard myself.  After all, if I didn't, who would?

If you have any suggestions for the Wellness Challenge, let me know in the comments so I can include them!

LBH Weekly Roundup: Wamsutta Bed Linens and Purdys Chocolates for Father's Day


Time for another Weekly Roundup!  I had to buy new bedlinens this week.  I had a set of bamboo sheets on the bed.  I remember being very excited about switching to bamboo as it is touted as being a sound environmental alternative to cotton.  Sadly, it just was not durable. The stitching unraveled on the pillowcases and a threadbare spot the length of my legs appeared.  It was almost as if the fabric was dissolving.  I loved how silky soft it was but its inability to stand up to ordinary usage was disappointing.  So it is back to good old Wamsutta, a label that I know and trust.  It was a little startling to go back to cotton as the new sheets are quite crisp to the touch, especially when you have been sleeping on bamboo sheets for a while.  Do you have bamboo sheets and what has been your experience?


Today is Father's Day!  Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there.  Monsieur got a box of Purdys Chocolates, his absolute favourite.  It amuses me greatly that it has "Dad's Stash" printed on the lid.  To be honest, I was greatly tempted to sneak a taste as I love the Hedgehogs and the Peanut Butter bars.  Monsieur actually accused me of helping myself (notice the gap at the top right hand corner) but I promise that is exactly how the box was packaged!


30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 17: Positive Thinking and Identifying Negative Thought Patterns


Day 17 is a continuation of Day 16.  The flip side of positive thinking is identifying negative thought patterns.  This has always been a bugbear of mine.  Thoughts like "I am not pretty enough, smart enough, young enough etc" run rampant in my subconscious.  I have found that it is important to acknowledge them and move on otherwise they continue to run unchecked, sabotaging all of my actions.  How I envy those people raised with boundless self-confidence, wholly oblivious to those niggling worries and doubts that plague us lesser mortals!
If you have any suggestions for the Challenge, please let me know so that I can include them!

Friday, 16 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Days 16 to 18: Positive Thinking and Feeling Gratitude


For Day 16 to 18, I would like to focus on Positive Thinking.  I am sure you have heard of the Law of Attraction but I am going to use the term "Positive Thinking" instead for those readers who think that LOA is a bit too farfetched.  I grew up in a household where negativity ran rampant.  This might have been because both parents grew up in extreme poverty.  I don't think that they were even aware of their mindsets and how it affected their thoughts, speech and actions towards others.  It took many decades of critical self-analysis for me to understand the impact on my own emotional development and then to start living life on a more positive path.  Even now, it is very easy for me to fall into a swamp of self-doubt whenever I hit a bump in the road.  One method I have found that helps pull me out is feeling grateful.  I am sure you have heard of gratitude journals.  At the end of every day, quickly jot down 5 things that you feel grateful for.  If you are really stumped, just being grateful for clean air to breathe and clean water to drink is enough.  If a gratitude journal is too much, then quickly think of just one thing that you feel grateful for.  Like anything else, a positive mindset doesn't just happen overnight.  It takes work and practice.  Because this was such a hurdle for me in the past and is so intrinsic to a sense of wellbeing, I am going to devote 3 days to it.  
If you have any suggestions for the Challenge, please let me know in the comments so that I can include it!

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

30 Days to Wellness Challenge Day 15: Eating Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables


We are at Day 15, the half way point!  Pats on the back, all around!  The onset of summer means that seasonal fruits and veggies make their welcome appearance at the grocery store.  Of course, in this modern world that we live in, it is possible to get apples from South Africa in the depths of winter and avocados from Chile all year round.  However, nothing beats locally grown seasonal produce.  I used to eat lots of fruits and veggies but I got lazy and, more and more, junk food starting making an appearance.  My palate became accustomed to the sensory overload of all the salt, sugar and seasonings and a piece of fruit, once so delicious to me, seemed pallid and boring.  I do find that if I stay away from the junk food, my palate undergoes a "cleanse" and is able to detect the subtle nuances of fresh fruits and vegetables once again.  So, I want to consciously focus more on wholesome foods in my diet again.

Come back as we move in to the last half of the Challenge!



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