Can Your Environment Influence Your Mindfulness?

I had such a wonderful time chatting with Dr. Rachel Haviland and Genevieve Kohn about your environment and mindfulness on Reclaim Your Health Podcast!

We touched on how to move and shift energy within your home.  Become more intentional about the function of our homes and how to tap into all of your senses to create the environment that is most in alignment with you!

Check out the conversation at Reclaim Your Health Podcast! 

Live Juicy!

 

4 Ways to Ignite your Inner Fire

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Happy Love Month!  This time of the year gets me excited because I know spring is just around the corner and there is always so much LOVE in the air.  February is a month about passion and connection.  Are you passionate about your life? Do you jump out of bed with excitement for what the day brings?  Or, have you lost your spark?  Perhaps it time to reconnect with yourself and bring out that fire! 

We always think of connection with others during this love month but are you connected with yourself? Chakras are energy centres in the body that represent human thoughts and behaviours.  Though there are many smaller chakras throughout the body, there are 7 main Chakras.  Each of these energies has a different color to represent each of the 7 Chakras.  Red is the color of our root Chakra located at the base of the spine, it represents foundation, stability, security, and feeling of being grounded. 

Red is the color of life force energy.  It excites are emotions and symbolizes happiness, contentment, and passion. Reddish tones create a sensation of heat and tend to visually advance towards you. As red lightens towards pink, it seems more relaxed, soft and feminine. Notice all the red and pink roses this time of the year? 

Some ways to work with your root Chakra is through breath, movement, essential oils, crystals, and color therapy.  I invite you to take a few minutes of  your day to sit in a comfortable position, keeping the spine nice and long, take in a big deep breath through the nose, hold and count to 5, then let it all out. Repeat 5 times. The movement of breathe in our bodies can do wonders on its own!

Have you ever wondered about using crystals? Bloodstone, Garnet, Ruby and Red Jasper are crystals you can use while working with your root Chakra.  

I love using essential oils!  Place 1-3 drops over your Chakra, the bottoms of the feet, or inhale throughout the day.  A diffuser works really well too.  These are some essential oils that work well with the root Chakra;

  • Arborvitae
  • Basil
  • Cedarwood
  • Cilantro
  • Myrrh
  • Patchouli
  • Vetiver
  • White Fir

A wonderful affirmation you can use when working with this Chakra is "I am a divine being of light. I am peaceful, protected, and secure."  Knowing these energy centres are directly linked to mental, physical, and spiritual attributes, we can then use tools to keep these energies or balls of light flowing freely in our bodies.  When we are connected to ourselves and live in flow we are more available to connect with others.  Human connection is one of our basic primary needs.  Ignite that fire within you and connect with another, jump out of bed, dance, sing, be present. 

Are you interested to learn more about how to work with your energy and your environment?  Let me know! Or, look for upcoming workshops.  If you are in the Camrose area I am hosting a Introduction to Meditation Workshop on March 22, next month.  Find out more here.

If you are looking for a delicious recipe that is super easy check out these Chewy Fudge Brownies

I am also excited to share I have teamed up with KeyLime Athletic Wear!  Or, as I call busy mom wear!!! The shop is now open so check it out!!! 

Live Juicy!

 

 

 

 

Are You Ready to Design Your Juiciest Year EVAH?

Here we are,  another year has come and gone and we are just into the start of 2018!  Whew...did that ever fly by!  This is a time when we tend to focus on New Years resolutions and areas we would like to create change (or at least most do....).  Has that ever really worked for you?

If you really want to kickstart the year and make this your best, you need to get really clear on what your heart desires!  

  • Do you want to create more ease and flow in your life?
  • Design your dream home?
  • Shed a few pounds?
  • Or simply just find time for you again?

It doesn't matter what the transformation you are looking for is, big or small.  What matters is you  make that choice with intention!  After having the privilege to work with some high level business coaches and successful entrepreneurs, I now choose a word of the year instead of a resolution.  

A resolution is what you want to resolve and release.  Your word of the year is how you choose to make choices everyday based on if it's aligned with your desires. Apply some pixie dust and inspired action and you are off and running! LOL

So what's my word of the year?  Reinvent!  My dear friend Cindy, publisher of Elements for a Healthier Life Magazine always says "Live life in motion".  I love that because we are constantly changing based on our environment and experiences!  So after a year of growth and learning its time to Reinvent some things! 

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I encourage you to choose a W.O.T.Y. and give it a try!  It will give you more clarity and a point of focus when "life happens".  

I'm always about sharing great resources!  I am super excited  Badassery Magazine just released their January issue, you should totally check it out!!!    

I was also very honoured and surprised to be nominated as a BADASS Entrepreneur to watch in 2018!!!  Thank you and cheers to 2018!

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Happy New Year!  I'd love to know what your word of the year is!  Share in the comments below!

Cheers to 2018 and your Juiciest year EVAH!

Live Juicy!

Backyard Bliss

Getting outdoors and being in nature has shown to have many positive health benefits.  So why not embrace and enjoy the warmth of the season while it is here?  Extend your home from the inside and utilize your outdoor space.  Why can’t it be beautiful too?!

When creating that oasis these are some things to consider….

Function

First deciding how you want to use your space and WHO will be using it is an important step.  Just as designing the interior of your home you need to consider the outside in the same way.  This will help you create zones and a layout just as you would a floor plan (taking into consideration any fixed or permanent structures).

 Lighting

YES! Vitamin SUNSHINE… but is it in the right location at the right time of day?  This can come into play when deciding the function of your space.  Perhaps - you have too much sun and need to incorporate a structure for some shade.  

Aside from natural light, consider some artificial lighting as well.  There are many great options available in both solar and electrical today and it will help with not only the practical aspect, it will enhance the beauty of your oasis.  Twinkle lights, sitting by the fire as the sun goes down with a glass of wine can be very relaxing!

 Color

Color is essential, seductive and pervasive. There is also an inescapable emotional aspect to color.  Wether you are planting flowers, a garden, trees, deciding on pillows and furniture, paint or stain colors, take into consideration what is already in place.  What color is the exterior of your home?  Is there a connection to what you have on in the interior of your home?  Now, I'm not saying your exterior needs to be identical to the interior, but creating a harmonic flow from one space to the next will have a much greater impact.  

 Smells

Aromatic trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs can make stepping out into your oasis that much more special.  Take some time and put a little thought into what smells evoke that feeling of relaxation or sense of wellbeing for you.  You can also use smells to keep pesky bugs away!  Lavender can be wonderful to plant in pots on your deck to keep the mosquito’s from buzzing around.

 Sound

Nature brings us many sounds on its own when enjoying the outdoors but we can expand from that.  The sound of flowing water trickling along can be soothing and calming, adding a water feature to your oasis brings relaxation and beauty.  

Do you love music?  I DO!  Outdoor speakers are a wonderful addition when dining or entertaining outdoors.  There are many available that can fit naturally into your landscape or decor - even speakers that look like stones!

Going beyond visual when designing your outdoor space and considering all your senses will enhance your oasis so you enjoy it even more and reap the benefits of the great outdoors!  Happy Designing:)

 

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Yay!  Spring has finally arrived!!!  Well… sort of, for me there is still snow on the ground, however that itch to get some spring cleaning done has come!  Clearing out clutter, cleaning, and rearranging is a great way to move energy and freshen things up!  As soon as the weather warms up it's nice to get outdoors and enjoy, so it's a great time to get started.  

Although this can be a daunting task, taking one weekend to clear your schedule and GET IT DONE is the quickest way to knock that off your to do list!  Planning ahead and choosing a time and NOT committing to anything else will ensure you are able to accomplish the task.

Having three kids definitely contributes to extra things piling up.  I like to involve them in the process and when you can get everyone to pitch in it takes the load off yourself and makes “to stay or to go” decisions easier.  It's likely they have outgrown clothing so it's a great time with the seasons changing to clear out those extra’s that wont fit next fall/winter.  

Some suggestions to make the project more efficient:

  • Make a plan and determine what you want to get done.  Laying out your goals for the project will make it easier to assign tasks and to whom.  
  • Find out where your recyclable centres are located and hours of operation.
  • If you plan to donate any items select which organization you wish to donate to, their location and hours of operation.  Some organizations will come and pick up your items if you make those arrangements ahead of time.
  • Have your supplies on hand.  
  • Start from the top down so you don't have to clean things twice. e.g. ceiling fans, door mouldings, light fixtures, bathroom vents.  These tend collect dust over time so no sense in vacuuming the floors first and then dust your ceiling fans after.  
  • Meal plan and prepare ahead of time.

I like to use non toxic cleaners in my home for the safety of my kids and reducing the toxic load of what we put into our environment.  Commercial cleaners are composed primarily of water, chemicals and fragrances.  Some of these can aggravate allergies, cause skin sensitivity and pose poisoning risks to children (and pets).   A fantastic resource for determining the safety of products in your home is Environmental Working Group,  they rate the safety of just about every over the counter brand and product.  

Natural cleaners are inexpensive and quite simple to make with ingredients you probably already have in your home.  You will find many of them use the same base ingredients.  You can purchase spray bottles from your local hardware store, wash and reuse. 

A simple all purpose cleaner can be made with 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, the juice of one lemon and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.  Lemon and vinegar have germ killing properties so it's great for sinks, tables, and appliances. (Note - Don’t use vinegar on granite or marble.)  Since this recipe has fresh lemon in it you will want to use within a few days of making it, or store in the refrigerator for up to one week.  

In general, homemade cleaners shouldn't be made in large quantities because the don’t have stabilizers or artificial ingredients to extend the shelf life.  It's always a good idea test cleaners in an inconspicuous spot to ensure it's good to use on the surface you wish.  You can also play around with different essential oils to enjoy the scents you love.

Once your home has been decluttered, refreshed, and cleaned you will be able to enjoy your time outside in the warm weather tha'ts just around the corner.  Happy spring cleaning!

 

Family Living

The living room is that wonderful place that families spend time together.  Creating a space that is warm and inviting versus fancy and off limits can still be beautiful and designed for everyone to use.

Reflecting on your lifestyle and how you want to use that space is a great starting point to designing a room that can be enjoyed everyday.  Regardless if it’s a new build or you are wanting to freshen up and revamp what you already have, the function of the room will help in creating the overall design.

These are some things to consider…

  • Will there be a television?  
  • Fireplace -  either fixed or placed?
  • Specifically how much seating are you looking for?  Daily family use and social gatherings?
  • What type of storage do you require?  
  • Is what you are storing aesthetically pleasing or do the items need to be tucked away?
  • Where are your outlets and switches located?  
  • What is the lighting situation?  Is it sufficient?  Do you require more? 
  • Is the space directly connected to other rooms or is there division?  

Once you are able to make some decisions spend some time in your living room and pay attention to the lighting and how it changes throughout the day.  If you are choosing to repaint you will want to buy or make large paint samples and place them on the walls to see how the light reflects at different times of day.  Determine if that is the mood you are wanting to create with your selections. 

Next think of the larger items that you want to include within the space as a base to begin the layout.  Keep in mind how the traffic will flow, you want to make sure you have sufficient room to comfortably walk around furniture, coffee tables, and such. 

If your living room is larger, creating multiple seating spaces for different activities is a good way maximize the use of the space and gives you a different experience depending on where you sit.  Think tall when you are working with small.  Emphasizing the vertical proportions of the room will trick the eye and make the room look bigger than it is.

Only bring items that are necessary into the room to avoid clutter.  Be creative with storage solutions.  Personalizing your living room with family photos or older pieces helps create a story within the space.  Some rooms are gifted with character and others it is something you will have to create.  Don’t be afraid to add some glam!  Just because it is for a family to use doesn’t mean it can’t feel elegant.  Although there is structure to designing a room you can break rules and have some fun! 

Creating a living room that is aligned with your lifestyle and surrounded by your favourite things and the people that you love is surely something to be enjoyed for years to come! 

 

 

 

 

Bringing The Outdoors In

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Interior Design is the art and craft of creating beautiful and functional environments.  It’s about finding harmony in a space, this comes from the fusion of all senses, smell, touch, hearing, and sight.

During the winter months many of us crave the fresh sights of warm weather, green leaves budding on trees, flowers blossoming and the scents that come along with it.  Bringing the outdoors in, (so to speak) is a great way to help us get through those last few colder months.  

Plants have scent characteristics that can invoke specific emotions and have wellness properties.  Walking into a home with some fresh cut flowers on the table not only brings in something beautiful to look at but also the aroma of the wonderful fragrance that the flowers give off.

Growing herbs in pots in your kitchen is a great way to bring some life into your space and can become part of your decor as well, many herbs have mood evoking properties.  The fusion of sight and smell into your home can make it feel more alive and it’s an easy way to play with color and change the look without a big decision or investment.  Have some fun with it!

Diffusing scents throughout your home is another great way for it to smell heavenly!  Think of the type of mood or feeling you are wanting in that particular space, then choose something appropriate to evoke that experience.  

  • In the kitchen you may want to choose something fresh and energizing.  
  • In the bedroom and bathroom a scent that is soothing and relaxing.  
  • In your home office space a scent that is invigorating and enhances a sense of focus.
  • Perhaps in a child’s play area something grounding and calming.

You can also use this concept when cleaning so your home smells fresh and cleansed.  Making home made cleaners with Essential Oils is easy and a great way to leave your house smelling amazing instead like a chemical cleaner.  

Of course there are always spice scents that can be used as well, there’s nothing like the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven, making your house feel warm and inviting.

So the next time you are out at the market don’t hesitate to pick up some beautiful flowers or some fresh herbs!  It is a great way to bring spring into your home while we wait for it to arrive.  Live Juicy!

Let Your Home Be Your Sanctuary

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I’d be the first to jump and tell you I love adventure, to travel, and experience anything new.  However, that excitement might only last a few days, or a week or two.  Maybe you can get away several times a year, and that’s wonderful, but having one place that you look forward to being each and everyday is something that shouldn't be overlooked. 

Since becoming a mom with a designer deep in my bones, creating a space that is beautifully tranquil has always been a pleasure.  Although that’s nice in itself, without all the laughter, joy, the good and the not so good, what exactly does it all mean?  My children are my world and their lives, chatter, and laughter are what really makes a house a home.  Even if it were to be the ugliest one on the block before you get your hands on it!  LOL!

Since I love design, the trick is creating a space and making it work with all the chaos good or bad.  I believe making your home your sanctuary will give you and your family a space to enjoy each and everyday.  Not just occasionally throughout the year!  

Now at first maybe it just starts with a single space or room.  Maybe it’s a bedroom with the coziest sheets and fluffiest blanket that you can nestle into and read a book for a few moments before bed.

Maybe you focus on a spa like bathroom that you can retreat to once a day to take a moment out for yourself to relax with some lavender and epsom salts and reflect at the end of each day.  

Is it possibly that home theatre family room where you can gather and snuggle watching movies on occasion that bring you joy, laughter and heartfelt memories?

Or, maybe it’s creating that outdoor space with a playhouse, garden, place to dine outdoors or warm fire to sit by gazing at the stars.  I love my big comfy swing out back under the trees where I can enjoy a cup of tea and watch the kids play in the sunshine!

Perhaps it’s your eat in or dining space where you gather for meals, enjoy being together and talk about the highlights of your day. 

Wherever creating your sanctuary begins, over time your home can truly become that in form.  Create an atmosphere that is beautiful and practical where your family can spend time and be together.  It is completely amazing when you can design your home as a sanctuary, and you don’t need to travel far to find that place of bliss!

If you are just starting out, I encourage you to think of the one place you would like to transform into that sacred space.  How can you personalize it, make it practical and functional all the while absolutely stunning and a place to retreat?  Over time it can all come together.  No matter where your travels and ventures might take you, at the end of the day, there really is no place like home.

 

The Benefits of Meal Planning

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This is one of those tasks that can be easily overlooked, but by simply taking 15-20 minutes a week to plan out your meals can be a huge time saver in itself.  When you plan your meals ahead of time, it’s easier to make your shopping lists and meal preparations because you already have it laid out!  This way you are also less likely to cave and just grab some take-out!  

If you are creative like myself, you can make it fun and write it out!  Use different coloured pens or markers for each day of the week.  Take a snap shot of it with your phone so you have it on hand if you are heading out to the market.  I like to use a local organic food service for my groceries because I find it saves me time and is more efficient.

It’s a good practice to have your menu in sight so you stay on track and be mindful of what preparation needs to be done ahead of time.  I like to include my kids and ask what they would like see on the menu as well, it gets them involved and creates an awareness of the foods they are putting into their bodies.  So if you schedule a day to eat out you all have something to look forward to, but know they have had good nourishment the rest of the time and teaches them about that balance.  

Meal planning isn’t about having everything done perfect or creating strict timelines.  It’s simply using your time as efficiently as possible so us busy moms can focus on the things that matter the most!  

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The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home

The kitchen is the one room of the house that is used several times on a daily basis.  It is where you provide nourishment for your family, bake with your children, catch up for the day, and gather for family holidays and visits.  Food really does bring people together.

The kitchen holds an opportunity for us to get creative with ourselves and involve our children, all while teaching them what real food is, how it can nourish our body temples and which foods that don't.  

When we get busy, it sometimes seems much simpler to just order in some take out, (and yes we ALL do that on occasion).  However, on a constant basis creating a healthy relationship with food that involves some fun, experimentation, music and laughter can be a wonderful habit to create and enjoy!

Whether you are building a home, renovating an existing one, just moving in, or want to re-organize your kitchen, think about how you will use that space.  Your sink location and major appliances will help dictate what you want to store, and where.   Even if it takes some trial and error of using the space and rearranging - Thats ok!  

These are some simple strategies you can use to maximize your space so cooking can be done with less effort and ease.

First things first!  Declutter your kitchen!  It's the first step to organizing any room, and allows for a positive flow of energy.  If you are moving, do a purge beforehand so you aren't bringing any unnecessary things into your space.

Next, group like items together!  Cooking and baking items should be kept close together and near where you do your food preparation.  Cooking utensils should be close and near to your food prep area as well, along with oven mitts and such.

Glasses kept next to the refrigerator or sink/dishwasher so its quickly accessible.  Bowls and plates near your dishwasher so its easy when putting away, be mindful of where you tend to dish up your meals.

Keeping your pantry items in one location, using glass containers or mason jars to store your grains will make it simple to layout and see what you have.  

Find a space for larger appliances that's easily accessible to pull out and put away, keep harder to reach areas for things that you may use occasionally throughout the year.  

Clean out your refrigerator regularly!  When my food delivery comes once a week I like to wipe things down and organize any unused food keeping it aside from the new delivery so nothing goes to waste!  Again, any storage should be done in clear glass containers so it's easy to see what you have and prevents any plastics from leaching into your foods. 

When things are laid out and easy to see and use, you can focus your time on creation, cooking, and spending that quality time together that is cherished the most!  Creating these systems and teaching them to our children at a young age will only help to sustain long term healthy habits and form a foundation for them once they grow and leave the family nest.  

What are your favourite moments spent in the kitchen?

 

 

 

Designing a Family Friendly Home

Managing a home that is inviting and kid-friendly isn't always that easy.  Kids are full of energy and would more often than not prefer to play and have fun versus keeping things tidy!  I have experienced this first hand.  However, there are systems that can be put into place so that your space can still feel "grown up" and beautiful, while being kid-friendly!

Nowadays open floor plans are much more common.  This is where thought and planning of storage and the layout of your home becomes essential.  It doesn't need to be plain and boring, this is where you can be creative!

Define some designated places in your home that's simple and easy for kids to put their belongings.  Using a bench with some pull-out bins in the entry for kids to tuck away their mitts, toques, sun hats (etc) and some hooks for coats and backpacks at a child-friendly height makes it easier for them to get in the habit of putting away their belongings and accessing them when needed.

Having lots of seating so that kids have space to spread out and ensure there is enough room when friends come over to play and hang out is something to take into consideration.  Bean bag chairs can easily be moved to various locations, ottomans can be multi purposed as seating or to put your feet up and can also be used with a serving tray as a coffee table.   Sectionals take up less space and generally provide lots of seating and room for kids to spread out and be comfortable for naps, movies and such. 

Choose upholstery that will stand up to the abuse that kids can dish out, as well as accidental spills - IT HAPPENS!  Choose durable fabrics that are washable.  Slip covers that can easily be removed and cleaned.  Leather is simple to wipe up.  

When choosing carpet or area rugs within a home, look for one that can take on high traffic.  Outdoor area rugs should also be considered to use indoors, they are much easier to clean and there are plenty of stylish ones available in todays market, they are generally more cost effective as well. 

When designing your child's bedroom think outside the box!  What activities or interests does your child have?  Creating a space that is not only functional but is reflective of them will more likely want them to keep it neat and tidy!

Choose a separate room or space to designate for play and creativity.  Keeping toys with storage solutions in one space will help to keep extra things out of their rooms and prevent it from being scattered all over the house.  Framing their artwork to hang in the space is cost effective and gives them a sense of pride that their work and creativity is important.  Even places such as the dollar store has budget friendly options so the investment is minimal.  It's also easy to change as they grow!

When we take our children into consideration when designing a space it ensures that us mama's (and the family) will have a beautiful, organized environment and will help to keep OUT the chaos so we can enjoy the beauty and tranquility in a easier way than most might think.

What areas in your home could be addressed to be more functional?