A few weeks ago, we began composting. We’d thought about it for years. You know, buying the big drum for the back yard, saving the earth and everything. Then we thought…we know nothing about this! Enter my new friend and awesome woman business owner Megan Masterson of Ground Down. (www.grounddown.org) who has a business of composting food scraps. Yes, brilliant!
After learning about her company’s process and signing up, Megan came by and brought a tightly sealed bin where we place our scraps at the end of each day. Then once a month she picks up the bin and leaves a fresh clean one and we’ve felt like we’ve done something good. No worry about how or when to turn the barrel, is it even working and what do we eventually do with it all?
This composting initiative then began a whole series of changes in our household. Of course, we’ve always been conscious about those everyday things like sorting recycling, turning the lights off and conserving water, but we decided to get creative and guess what? We’re having so much fun.
And it didn’t stop there: I have exactly 22 cloth napkins. Gray, taupe and even beige napkins with silver thread. They’re for “special events” and they’re just lovely. Over the last few weeks though I really got to thinking…what is a “special event”? Shouldn’t every day be worthy of these cloth napkins? So, we made this change too and are no longer using paper towels or paper napkins but enjoying our lovely cloth napkins while even having our morning bowl of cereal. Things continue to grow and we’re discovering new sustainability improvements.
For a few more tips, I reached out to Megan from Ground Down. Here are some of her favorite sustainability tips that she uses in her own home:
1. Paper Grocery Bags
“We get paper bags from the grocer and use them as garbage bags. The paper helps eliminate plastic from the house/landfill and saves money.”
2. Kitchen Cleaner
“Use baking soda and white vinegar to clean counters instead of buying additional cleanser. We already have those in our house, and they remove grease from our stove like a pro!”
3. Reuse Cups/Mugs
“There is no need to get a new glass or mug for each drink or meal and then send it through the dishwasher. Use the same one for a few days, just do a quick hand wash/rinse of the mug, and you’re ready for your coffee tomorrow.”
We all need to do our part. Those little things really do add up!
Want to learn more about Megan’s work and Ground Down? Click here!
There’s certainly a lot going on in the world. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I’m sure a lot of us are.
Over the years I’ve utilized Feng Shui principles to help combat anxious feelings and am certainly employing these right now! I’d love to share with you 4 of my quick Feng Shui tips to reduce anxiety. These are easy tips, nothing to buy and you can make these tweaks today, right now in fact. I always recommend clients “shop” around their home. Look in that basement closet and you just might find the perfect accessory. When placing items, I always recommend you place them in the rooms you’re spending the most time in. Especially if you’re working from home these days.
1. Blue – The color blue represents the Water Element in the Five Element System of Feng Shui. It is a wonderful element of fluidity. We often use this element for creative inspiration and intuition, but it’s also an element to bring in a rather “go-with-the-flow” vibe. Bring in cool blues and aqua tones into your space. Search around your house for items of this color including bedding and candles.
2. Brown Tones – The colors of beiges, tans, browns and even yellows introduce the Earth Element. Earth is vital on recent days like we’ve had. Do you feel like a chicken with your head cut off? Maybe literally floating through the days and trying to keep up? This is for you. Pop in a plush throw pillow, artwork or décor in the colors listed above.
3. Earth Objects – Another way to bring in earth is literally by bringing examples into your space. Have some sand? Try making an interesting display. Are you a collector of rocks and crystals? Place them in your room. Have a granite or marble countertop? Spend some extra time in this area.
4. Lighting – In those rooms where you’re spending the most time, take inventory of the lighting. Are the bulbs nice and warm or are they rather cool giving off what I call a “hospital vibe”? Be sure to opt for the cozy warm glow! Better yet, during anxious times, dim the lighting or light some candles for a mellow feel.
Wishing you the best and many peaceful, calming vibes!
“Ugh! When will winter be over?”
This is what I was saying to myself as I returned home from sunny Arizona last week.
Winter weather can take a toll on us far beyond dry skin and colds. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is often referred to as the “winter blues” but can be depression during winter months.
I’ve personally struggled with this when living in locations with long winters and limited sunshine. Of course, it feels like it just gets worse as the gray days hang on, so I began to utilize Feng Shui to assist with combating this feeling.
Feng Shui can be very influential in fighting the winter blahs. While shifting and balancing the five elements in a space, we can shift them to alter these blahs. We invite the elements into our space that we are craving such as the Fire Element and Earth Element.
Fire Element - No, you do not need to start painting your walls red but introducing some fire elements into your space may be beneficial. Start with a few candles, maybe some red accent décor or animal print. The room above has a few red pillows, a pop of red in the rug, lampshade and a touch of red in the art. Nothing overpowering but enough to make a difference.
Earth Element - Add some earth elements such as beige, tan and browns colors and decorate with earth products such as rocks and crystals. Salt lamp are also a wonderful way to blend the earth and fire elements!
Beyond Feng Shui in your space I deeply believe in altering the energy of your personal body if you struggle with SAD. Here’s how I do this; On days when I feel particularly affected by the weather, I wear clothing in the color of reds, pink, fuchsia and orange (more fire elements). I use these color in tops, scarves and other accessories. I’ve even gone as far as wearing these colors of undergarments!
I also schedule time in a sauna, hot yoga as well as general exercise. Anything to get your body heated!
A light therapy box that emits light similar to sunlight can be helpful. I have used the Happy Light brand for many years and have the light on for a few minutes each morning. This is especially great on those extra gray days.
Lastly, don’t forget symbolism and influencing the subconscious mind. Decorating with positive quotes and thoughts like this “Smile” pillow can be helpful to keep your chin up.
Looking to make a romantic dinner for Valentine’s Day? There are definitely some steps you can take to create a cozy and romantic little dinner.
Here are my top 8 tips to a romantic Valentine's Day dinner....
1. Delicious food must be on the menu! If you can, forget the takeout...make something delicious with your own two hands.
2. Dine on a small circular table if possible. Don’t have one? Use what you have, but decorate the table for two.
3. Decorate with loving table décor such as a vase or red roses, maybe a small sign with the word’s “love” or even a photo such as a wedding photo of just the two of you.
4. A pretty tablecloth or placemats in a beige neutral tone would help make the dinner a nice event with time for conversation.
5. Cloth napkins always add an elegant touch. You and your special someone deserve the best!
6. Place a pair of red candle sticks in the center of the table will bring just the right ambiance.
7. Dim any lighting and ensure the fixture is utilizing rather warm toned bulbs.
8. Lastly, don’t forget dessert! Something rich and decadent! Not a chocolatier? Chocolate covered strawberries are always my “go-to”.
Enjoy and I wish you a wonderful Valentine's Day filled with love!
Do you just revel in those moments of time when you can curl up with a cozy blanket, a cup of tea and enjoy some quiet time?
Then you may already be a fan of Hygge. Hygge is a Danish word that loosely translates to cozy living. It’s actually pronounced “hoo-ga” and has been popular in the US for the past few years. Of course, most popular in winter months when we’re all craving that warm snuggly feeling.
Here are some tips for creating Hygge in your home
Try to add even one of these items to your daily routine, or better yet, set an entire weekend aside for Hygge!
I recently read that 80% - 90% of people don’t stick to their resolutions.
Kind of makes you think “why bother,” right?
I used to always make crazy goals for myself. Goals and resolutions that were near impossible to stick to and come February I’d be angry and frustrated.
Why do we do that to ourselves???
I believe it is the excitement of a new year and general positivity (which don’t get me wrong…is a great thing). However, we feel inspired at the time and aren’t thinking about how we’ll feel about that resolution say on a random day in May. Is your goal to exercise every single day? To lose 100lbs by your vacation this Spring? To become fluent in French by summer? Huge goals like this can be overwhelming.
To avoid this feeling of overwhelm, I’ve created a method that has worked well for me. With being so passionate about Feng Shui I decided a few years back to only begin to define my yearly goals at the first of the year. I may journal on a few ideas and get the ball rolling. My next step is to loosely implement them, and I also take several weeks to create a vision board. Here’s the key… I don’t actually fully put anything into action until the Chinese New Year. This year the Chinese New Year will be on Saturday, January 25th. That is nearly a solid month of experimentation, time to meditate and journal on my goals, time for even evaluating what I want the outcome to look like, and lastly how my day to day actions may have to change to achieve this goal.
This method has worked well for me and I’d love for you to give it a try. If you already have failed some of your resolutions… just start over.
First, just take a big cleansing breath. Then, take inventory of how you are feeling about each goal and adjust where needed. Make everything attainable, small goals that add up to a larger goal and lastly make sure you give yourself time for experimentation and know that your day to day or week to week routine may have to change. Be patient with yourself during this change and just get rid of all that pressure. Do what you can to be honest with yourself and eventually you just have to throw your arms up to the universe and see what happens!
Vision boards can be so much fun. Not only do they help you really define your dreams and goals but they also put you on the energetic path to achieving them!
If you’re thinking... “What is this vision board thing?” let me explain. It’s a powerful tool to really define your plans, dreams and goals. You can create a board at any time. Starting a new job? Make a vision board. Getting married? Make a vision board! The new year is typically the most popular time of year to create one though.
To make a vision board you simply grab some old magazines, scissors, glue stick or double-sided tape and a piece of poster board. I always recommend you begin by cutting out images that make you feel good. Words, pictures or phrases work well. Then zone in on items you want to acquire or achieve.
Maybe you dream of an amazing car. Ferrari anyone? Sure, it seems like a stretch but think big!
Maybe an amazing vacation is your dream.
Is a degree in your future? It can be!
To layout the board you can use any method that resonates with you. You can make a beautiful random design or lay them out strategically. I have a personal method that I use that connects to Feng Shui. It’s a powerful layout that uses your home to then become a giant vision board. (Want to learn my method? Read about my workshop below.) Whatever way you decide to lay out your board, trust that it is right!
So you’ve created a vison board, now what? Place it in a location where you can see it every day and check in with it often. Look at the images and perhaps do some visualization work where you daydream and “see” it happening! Want to make it even more powerful? Journal about each image on the board. Journal about how it would feel once the goal has been met. Write down the amazing feeling and how big of a smile you'd have while enjoying your cocktail poolside or cruising in your new ride.
I always recommend people continue to journal on their board. Keep with it throughout the year and check in each quarter. You’ll be amazed at the goals you’ve met! Once you have met a goal, write down the completion date on the back of the board. I have saved my boards for several years and always enjoying referencing back on them. I remember when these items that felt like far off dreams... became reality.
Want to join in on the fun in person?
I’ll be sharing my personal Vision Board method at a special workshop on February 1st at Trilogy Yoga and Wellness in Fort Wayne. In this workshop I’ll share with you some of the amazing things that I’ve manifested in my life and share my personal method with you.
It’s always exciting to hear of the latest Color of the Year. And, as you can imagine it’s the hot topic in the interior design field. Every design firm and lunch meeting held touches on this topic. It’s exciting to hear who is going to use it, how and in what type of space. Personally, my favorite way to think of the selected colors is how it will affect the Feng Shui or energy of the space. Will it bring a sense of action or calm? Maybe a feeling of high or low?
I personally have always been a fan of blue. I love any watery blue tone! If you’re like me than you’ll be excited to hear that Pantone has selected Classic Blue (19-4052) as its color of the year for 2020. This classic beautiful blue tone is sure to bring a flowing, creative feeling to your space.
Ready for a blue that I find to be exquisite? Sherwin Williams announced their Color of the Year as Naval 6244. This deeper shade of blue is perfect for a bit subdued energy yet still creative and inspiring.
Benjamin Moore went a different route this year and opted for a pretty rosy color called First Light 2102-70. They describe it as a “backdrop for a bright new decade” and I’m all for that. This color while still pale is going to bring a more energetic and focused energy to your space. I love the idea of adding this as an accent wall in a white room.
Let these colors inspire you and try a color that might be new to you. If you're not normally a blue fan, experiment with a few touches. Not sure about First Light? Opt for an accent wall like the image above.
Go for it, it’s a new decade after all!!!
We’re often interested in creating a beautiful space for rest with cozy bedding, neatly arranged throw pillows, and perhaps some relaxing artwork on the walls. While it is important to have a space that feels wonderful and soothing, it is also very important to look into those areas you don’t immediately see.
The space under the bed has become a space where often times people store unimportant items and clutter. While at first thought it may make sense for storage, this can pose major problems for sleep.
What is under your bed?
I used to struggle with sleep as a teenager. Under my bed I’d store magazines. I used to LOVE magazines, especially Seventeen! I’d keep them and pull them out all the time to look through the clothes, hairstyles and more. At the time I also really struggled with self-image. I find it interesting now to think that I was literally spending hours lying on top of pictures and images that I thought to be ideal and who I wished I was.
“Megan”, a client asked me to help with her bedroom as she was struggling with sleep. She described her difficulty falling asleep and how she'd lie there for hours with her minding spinning circles. I couldn't wait to see what was under her bed. After digging out the boxes under the bed we discussed what exactly was being stored here. It was filled with photos and magazine clippings that she'd planned to keep and also to organize as well as books she had planned to read. You see, she was sleeping on top of a “to-do” list of items. It’s no wonder that she struggled to fall asleep.
If you must store something under your bed, it is always my recommendation to store only extra bedding here. An extra pillow or additional blanket for a cold night would be fine. Beyond that, I recommend you keep the area empty and clean. Also, touch base every few months to clean or vacuum under the bed too.
Wishing you a restful night's sleep!
It’s that time of year. We’re buying the big bird, planning our side dishes and pulling out the nice wine glasses. It’s a time to gather with our family and friends, share food and be grateful.
Gratitude is powerful. By showing gratitude you literally tell the universe that you’re ready for more. Are you ready for more?
In your home specifically you can show gratitude. There are many things you can do to show your home that you’re grateful for a place to rest your head and stay warm on cold winter nights. Of course, filling it with pumpkin pie and laughter on a holiday is a great way to show love, but if you’re ready for more, below are my three tips to show your home gratitude.
1. Give your home a new plant or bouquet of flowers
This is especially wonderful if you’re ready to embark on a new path or routine. This gesture brings in the wood element of Feng Shui and will signify to your home that you’re ready for this…bring it on! If you know me well, you know that I gift me home with a new bouquet of flowers each week. Always something to match the season and always beautiful.
2. Fill your kitchen with healthy food including fresh fruits and vegetables
Sure, we buy the delicious food for family dinners, but its important to keep healthy food in your pantry all the time, and not just bags of potato chips. Better yet, add a bowl of colorful fruit to your countertop for good energy in the kitchen.
3. Hang seasonal décor on your front door
Add a beautiful wreath or seasonal “welcome” sign on your front door to invite energy in. Make sure that you change it out and that you keep it in good shape. All summer I had a spider living in my door wreath and every day I had to go clean off the cobwebs. Not only am I happy that winter arrived and the spider moved away, but I was able to make a new winter wreath for my door that I simply love!
These are all simple tasks that can really make a difference. Show some gratitude and your home will be sure to fill your life up with wonderful things.