Seismic Impacts On The Inside: Undertaking Transformations To Improve Your Happiness

We can believe that happiness is something we can only influence from within. Happiness isn’t just something that’s influenced by our thoughts and feelings; it can be done from the outside. There’s no denying that when the brain and body work together, we’re creating a perfect vessel for us to feel a bigger sense of accomplishment and happiness in our lives. But when we feel under the weather, or we suffer from anxiety or depression, it’s one hell of a transformation that needs undertaking. With this in mind, what do we need to do to improve our state of mind, by undertaking certain transformative practices?

Seismic Impacts On The Inside Undertaking Transformations To Improve Your Happiness

We share easy changes to improve your happiness! When you have a positive outlook, you look and feel better as well!

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Summer Fun with This 3D Board Game

Summer break is almost here and I am already “tired” of hearing, “I’m Bored”. It happens every year. The first few days of summer are a bliss. Sleeping in, relaxing, and unwinding from the constant motion of a school time routine. After those first few days though, it turns into a constant mantra of “I’m Bored”. It’s inevitable. One of my favorite ways to get through this boredom, however, is board games.

This is Melanie and she is 4 years old in the 99th Percentile, just to give you an idea of the size of Gridopolis.
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How To Look And Feel Good This Summer

With the warmer months finally upon us, the social calendar is probably looking a little busier, and we’ll all be making the most of the longer days. But without the proper care and attention on our bodies, we can often end up running ourselves into the ground, and that’s not what we want during the best months of the year. Here’s how to look and feel good this summer.

How To Look And Feel Good This Summer
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Winter Is Here – My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week Six)

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones through the current episode, Season 8 Episode 6 (The Series Finale), then you may not want to continue reading this article. There may be spoilers contained within. Also, this is not a sponsored post. I am participating in a Marinade Designs GoT KAL at my own expense and just want to share my progress with our readers. No compensation is being received from the KAL designer.

Previous GoT Show Thoughts/KAL Progress Posts:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Game of Thrones is over. Finished. No more new stories about our favorite characters to look forward to (well, except for the ones George R. R. Martin will tell in the book(s) that will complete the novel series).

I haven’t read the books yet. I have all of the published books sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me. But, I wanted to watch the show before reading them. This is an odd sentiment for me, usually I like to read the book before watching any kind of visual adaptation. Therefore, I have enjoyed the series in and of itself without having the author’s version playing tug of war with the TV show version in my head.

However, I don’t typically have much of a struggle in that area anyway as I never go into a TV show or movie expecting (or even wanting?) it to be everything the book was word for word. It’s unrealistic, first of all. It’s just not do-able. Especially for authors like Martin (or Stephen King — and oh yeah, there’s a can of worms the little internet birdies love to fight over).

I’m not worried that I won’t enjoy the books now that the series has concluded. I will. As their own entity, entirely separate from the show.

I, personally, think that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (along with everyone else involved with the making of Game of Thrones for HBO) have done a stellar job!

Did I like every story arc? Meh. There were a few along the way I didn’t love. But, there were plenty I did get very invested in, and even some I wasn’t into in the beginning that grew on me over time.

So, final thoughts. I wish Varys hadn’t been executed. His story was one that didn’t grab me in the beginning. But, I came to love his character and his story very much! Sad to see him go. But, wow! Death by dragon breath… what a dramatic way to go if one has to go!

Tyrion Lannister is another example of a character that grew on me. Initially, my interest was captured by other characters’ stories (Jon Snow’s, Ned Stark’s, Arya and Sansa Stark’s, among others). But, as the seasons of the show progressed I became more and more interested in his character.

And Dany. Tragic. Just tragic in all the best senses of the word how her relative innocence at the start of our journey together with her shifted through the years and then semmingly so very sharply in this final season as she finally was about to claim her hard-fought for victory. As I mentioned, perhaps, in a previous post, I’d seen the flashes of her character along the way that hinted at potential madness, but hoped against all hope that the goodness of the people helping her to reclaim her family legacy would make the difference in how she progressed toward that goal. And I think they definitely did. She suffered too many devastating losses too closely together near the end of her journey, though. And I was sure it would be too great a toll for her to bear and recover emotionally from. So, as tragic as her end was, it was pretty darn perfect in my opinion. Great story-telling, even when it’s not where many wanted it to go. Can’t all have the happy ending, dear GoT fans.

I think this is why the fans that are upset enough to start a petition to try to get HBO to remake the final season irks me so much. Number 1, it was an awesome show start to finish. The writers cannot (nor should they be expected to) cater to everyone’s desires for what direction the show or its characters take. Number 2, I think it would have been a great injustice to the material and the actors to end the show by putting a fairy tale ending where everyone lives happily ever after on it. GoT was always known for it’s unexpected and shocking content. So, kudos to the creators and all involved for trying to wrap up some of the most important storylines, even though I think the show could have easily gone quite a few more seasons doing just that, wrapping up and leaving behind all the many, many stories of all the different people, locations, and happenings that we would all love to know about.

Too many characters to do a blurb on them all. That would be a blog series all its own. But, my personal conclusion is that this is easily the TV series that will top my list of favorites forever. It will be one that I re-watch and love all over again for all of its triumphs and all of its tragedies alike for time immemorial. I will, of course, move forward and read/watch new stories and love them — but, I think for many years to come Game of Thrones will serve as a measuring stick (however subconscious) that future entertainment will be measured by, in my mind.

Now, on to the books. I can’t wait to revisit some storylines (and discover others that never made it to the HBO screen)!

Week Six Progress

So, as I predicted, I was not able to finish the Marinade Designs Ice & Embers Shawlette GoT KAL by the time the finale aired. If you look to the upper left of the shawl, that bit of blue yarn sticking out is where I started this week’s work. Not a lot of progress. However, I did finish up Section 2 and start into Section 3 of the shawlette, the larger, all blue section that has the dragon scale design. And, as I have never done an intricate knitting pattern like this before, I did have some issues with following the more complicated pattern stitch combinations at first.

Week Six Progress

I had to watch some YouTube tutorial videos to learn, for example, how to do this stitch combination: sl1-k2tog-psso. That means to slip a stitch from one needle to the next, then knit the next 2 stitches together, and then go back and pass that first slipped stitch forward over the 2 that were knitted together. It’s not difficult, just took me a while to get comfortable with it.

I somehow got off pattern during the first row of the dragon scale lace section that included these stitch combinations and had to painstakingly (and oh, so slowly) undo the whole row of stitches at least twice to try to get it right. And, let me tell you, I am not experienced enough to just remove my needles altogether, frog back in the work, and then pick up the stitches again. It would be so much quicker if I could. But, I’m not to that level of proficiency yet. So, for me the work was painstaking and so very slow to go back and undo stitches one by one back to where my mistakes were so that I could fix them and then move on! That took me a lot of time.

It has been a challenge. I have only been knitting for a few years, and mostly stuck to fairly simple designs. So, moving into the dragon scale lace section has been a learning experience for me.

Week Six – the open spaces created to define the dragon scale design

That said, I am still very much enjoying the work as I progress ever closer toward the end of that project. And I find myself mulling over the show as I do it, which is very nice! I’m learning and getting better and now (6 rows into this last section of the pattern) I’m finally getting the hang of it. I expect the rest of the pattern to go much more smoothly and faster, too.

So, look for one more article in this series in about a week or two. I can’t wait to finish this project, not only to see it all done but also because I’m itching to get started on another Game of Thrones KAL from the same designer that she created for a previous season of GoT.

It’s the Stormborn Shawl, inspired by the character of Daenerys Targaryen and released in 2014 during a previous season of the show. It looks like it features a very similar (if not the same) dragon scale design element. I’m currently finding online retailers from which to buy the yarn for this project.

I’m very sorry that Game of Thrones is over. It’s been a great ride and I’ve enjoyed every single season of the show. I am looking forward to new projects that are in development at HBO set in the Game of Thrones landscape created by George R. R. Martin. I’m really hoping they create one that I’ve heard mentioned that is a prequel to GoT and focuses on events long before there was a Westeros or any of the powerful houses to rule it.

At least, for now, I still get to look forward to watching the HBO Documentary, “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch” later tonight (all about making the final season of the show). It’ll “almost” be like being back in the GoT world for a little while.

Are you looking forward to any of the HBO shows reportedly in development that are Game of Thrones-inspired? If you could pitch a show idea to HBO, what would you like to see — Arya’s adventures west of Westeros where the maps don’t go, how and why the children of the forest created the first White Walker? Even if what you’d like to see onscreen hasn’t been mentioned anywhere yet, I’m interested to know!

Have You Tried Superfood Supplements?

The world of supplements always seems to be evolving. This is partly the result of consumers being more open and curious about the possible benefits of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, it’s also driven by how many new options are available to us, including supplements formulated with superfood ingredients.

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Give Your K-Beauty a Super Fruit Upgrade

Give Your K-Beauty a Super Fruit Upgrade
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Every now and again a surprise package shows up at my door. It makes me feel like a kid on their birthday. You can imagine my excitement when FaceTory unexpectedly sent me their Lux Plus box to review. Because I had so much fun with their March 7 Lux Box, I couldn’t wait to try out some new Super Fruit infused K-Beauty products.

Get Your Super Fruit Glow On
K-Beauty Super Fruit_Facetory Lux Plus Box

When I opened my Lux Plus Box, I was intrigued by array of products. We have a full size cleanser, serum, and konjac sponge, as well as three sheet masks, and a mini hand cream set. All of which feature super fruit botanicals as part of their ingredient lists.

In addition to the products, the box also comes with a handout guide that provides details about each item. I especially like the key ingredient and direction sections.  It is a nice, helpful bonus.

The Lotus Jeju Botanical pH Balancing Cleanser
Super Fruit The Lotus Cleanser

One of the first products I gravitated towards was The Lotus Cleanser. I’m a sucker for beautifully designed packaging like the one featured on the cleanser box. I was also intrigued by the key ingredients of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract and Nelumbo Nucifera Leaf Extract. I had a sneaking suspicion I was going to love this cleanser thanks to my previous use of aloe vera based products. They are so hydrating and nonirritating on my sensitive, dry skin.

My instincts were correct. This gel to foam cleanser leaves my skin balanced and free of impurities without feeling stripped of moisture. It’s so gentle and works exceptionally well with the konjac sponge.

Dr. Lola Jeju Nature Cleansing Tool
K-Beauty_ Dr Lola Konjac Sponge

Like the aloe based cleanser, I’ve also used a Konjac Sponge before. It’s such a unique tool. Made from the konjac root, the sponge naturally cleanses and exfoliates your skin. While it’s ideal for acne prone skin, it can be used on all skin types because it very mildly exfoliates and removes dirt and oil.

K-Beauty Super Fruit_ Cleanser and Konjac Sponge Use

I use it once or twice a week to help give my skin an extra boost of dead skin removal and cleansing. You can use the sponge alone or add a cleanser to it. I like to pair it with The Lotus Cleanser for a nice super fruit treatment. Once I’m done, I rinse out the sponge and place it in a konjac container I have from Julep. This helps keep it protected and from drying out.

Puregen Multi Collagen Power Lifting Serum
Super Fruit Puregen Serum

Next up in the land of super fruit, we have the Puregen serum. I don’t know how I lived without serums before incorporating them into my skincare routine. They really do make a huge difference, and this serum is no exception. It’s both lightweight and very nourishing.

Puregen Super Fruit Serum Use

With key ingredients like Hydrolyzed Collagen and Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, my skin gets a boost of hydration, as well as anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits. My skin absolutely loves this serum, and I love how soft and nourished it feels all day and all night.

Super Fruit Sheet Masks
Super Fruit Infused Facial Masks

As I mentioned above, in addition to full size skincare products, the Lux Plus box also comes with 3 sheet masks. This time I received the Ariul Juice Cleanse Mask 2x Raspberry Lentil, Huangjisoo Centella Repairing Mask, and the FaceTory Let’s Talk Vitality Mask. I enjoyed treating my skin to all three.

First up, I used the Centella Mask, which features Centella Asiatica and Tremella Fuciformis Extract. These ingredients help heal and protect, while also brightening and evening out skin tone. The mask does have a strong floral, fruit scent, but it’s not so overpowering that it makes hard to wear for the suggested 15-20 minutes. It fit my face well and left my skin feeling refreshed, hydrated, and very soft.

Next, I used The FaceTory Let’s Talk Vitality Mask.  This mask features Punica Granaturn Fruit Extract and Shea Butter. These ingredients help soften the skin, while also delivering anti-oxidant rich properties that help reduce the signs of aging.

K-Beauty Facetory Mask Wear

Of the three masks I tried, this one was my favorite. I like the thick consistency of the mask, which helped it adhere well to my face. It was also very cooling and left my skin feeling soft and hydrated and looking plump.

Finally, we have the Ariul Juice Cleanse Mask. This unique mask features a nourishing Raspberry and Lentil filled essence, which helps your skin fight off free radicals. The essence also works to brighten and tighten skin, while increasing hydration.

Though it does take a little more effort to mix the essence with the mask, it’s also kind of fun. I did have some issues getting the mask to align and adhere to my face. While the mask was soothing, it did feel a  little intense on my skin. However, I did love seeing how glowy my face looked after I took the mask off.  

Duft & Doft Mini Hand Creams Set
K-Beauty Mini Hand Creams

Finally we have the super fruit packed mini hand cream set. As someone who can’t be without hand cream, most of the time, I am happy to have these in my collection. I keep one in my purse and another in my car.

The set includes four hand creams in four different scents. There is a nice range of fruity, floral, and musky, which I like. What I appreciate most is the texture. Formulated with shea butter and collagen, all of the hand creams are super hydrating without being greasy. I especially appreciate this when I’m in the car. I know I can apply my hand cream and not have to worry about my hands sliming up the steering wheel.

And bonus, they also help to reduce the signs of aging. I really like this because your hands are one of the first parts of your body to show age.

I’m so glad FaceTory sent me their Lux Plus box to try. It’s an affordable way to try unique K-Beauty products. I’m really loving the Super Fruit theme of this box and the results I’ve experienced with all the products.

Have you tried FaceTory before? Which Super Fruit product would you like to try?

Connect with Facetory: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Winter Is Here – My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week Five)

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones through the current episode, Season 8 Episode 5, then you may not want to continue reading this article. There may be spoilers contained within. Also, this is not a sponsored post. I am participating in a Marinade Designs GoT KAL at my own expense and just want to share my progress with our readers. No compensation is being received from the KAL designer.

Previous GoT Show Thoughts/KAL Progress Posts:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

This week has been a pretty hectic one. School is coming close to the end for the year, so there are after-school band practices for my daughter’s upcoming concert, there have been doctor appointments, and my mom’s 70th birthday, and a wedding for the daughter of one of my husband’s friends going on — all right on top of Mother’s Day last weekend.

So, I’ve not had a lot of time to just sit and knit. Still I am just about done with Section 2 of the Marinade Designs Ice & Embers Shawlette (Game of Thrones Final Season KAL). So, I’ll take it.

I’m pretty sure (pretty absolutely sure) that I made a mistake in the first blue stripe of Section 2 and made the peekaboo holes too far apart. But, I was loathe to backtrack to do it the right way. I liked the way it looked and the stitch counts come out just right. So, onward.

Here’s how the asymmetrical shawlette is shaping up as I come to the end of Section 2. Section three is completely knit in the dark blue yarn and will feature a dragon scale lace pattern. Looking forward to it!

Marinade Designs Game of Thrones Season 8 Ice and Embers Shawl KAL-week five
Week Five Progress
Marinade Designs Game of Thrones Season 8 Ice and Embers Shawl KAL-week five
Week Five Progress
Week Five Progress

Man, I’ve been procrastinating about writing this week’s article, because episode 5 of GoT really has had my head spinning. I wasn’t really expecting Dany to lose it on King’s Landing like that. I did pick up on all the little hints of potential madness going all the way back to the first season of the show. Like when she watched (insisted on watching!) her brother die by golden crowning. And when she roasted the Harpys. There were other moments.

But, I really thought she’d been keeping her head together pretty well until after the battle at Winterfell. She didn’t get to be the one to save everyone from the threat of annihilation (thanks, Arya! LOL), everyone heaped praise on Jon while she was largely alone during the feast, she had just discovered Jon is really a Targaryen and thus a threat to her claim to the Iron Throne, and homeboy is not exactly on the romance train with her anymore now that he’s weirded out by their family relationship. AND she is still suffering acutely from the loss of most of her beloved Dothraki and the cruel dispatching of Missandei by Queen Cersei. Plus, now she’s lost the second of her three dragons, her babies.

All the foreshadowing I needed of her potential mind snap was when she told Jon she has no love here in Westeros. We all need that. It’s what makes life worth anything, right?

So, I was surprised but not really surprised to see her use Drogon to honor Missandei’s last word (and avenge the death of Rhaegal) perhaps a little too literally. Plus, it’s not like it really hurt Cersei to see King’s Landing and all its residents roasted and/or crushed to death. She doesn’t care about them, she only gets emotional when it becomes clear that she will lose this battle and not only die herself, but her unborn child will also die. Outside of her personal sphere of existence, she couldn’t give a crap how anyone else fares in this war. I kinda felt like Dany shoulda known that and thus limited her total destruction bid to Cersei’s armed forces, the scorpions, the Red Keep and Cersei, Qyburn, and the Mountain.

Ahh, the Mountain. And the Hound. Cleganebowl! It was pretty flippin’ epic. Start to finish, the fiery, fiery finish.

I still don’t know how I feel about Arya’s sudden turnabout upon the Hound’s advice that she should give up killing Cersei and go home or else surely perish. I kinda feel like Arya woulda been just fine with her life coming to an end if it meant also taking out the last name on her list. But, if anyone could’ve had that side convo with her, I guess the Hound was the right choice for it. We’ll see where she goes from here. Many people think Dany is now on Arya’s kill list for what she did to King’s Landing, and I have to say I cannot disagree with fans on that point. It’s gonna be fascinating to see where that story arc goes!

As I belatedly send this article to publish on the blog, there is only a few minutes to go until the series finale of GoT airs on HBO and my husband and I have just finished re-watching episode 5 in preparation for this event. How do you think the series will wind up? Who do you believe (or hope? or fear?) will ultimately sit the Iron Throne when it’s all said and done?

Essentials for a Low Carb Lifestyle

Summer is almost here and most of us are trying to shed a few pounds. After the holidays, my husband and I decided it was time to get back to resume a healthy lifestyle. We started searching for some essential low carb lifestyle products.

Essentials for a Low Carb Lifestyle
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Discover Eco-Friendly Clothing That’s Super Comfy

Super Comfy Eco-Friendly Clothing
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I work from home, which means I prefer to spend most of my time wearing comfy clothes. Of course, they also have to be stylish. Instead of turning to fast fashion, I look for brands that are creating eco-friendly clothing. They’re more conscious of the environment and of working conditions of those who make the clothes.

Anything I can do to leave a smaller carbon footprint or improve the lives of others; I try to do. With brands like Majamas Earth, finding eco-friendly clothing for the whole family is much easier. All of Majamas Earth’s products are sourced and made in the US. They strive to use Organic Cottons and environmentally friendly fabrics.

By making this commitment, the brand ensures people making the clothes are paid a fair wage and treated well.  It also ensures their clothes aren’t sprayed with chemicals or that clothing waste is dumped into our waters.

Eco-Friendly Clothing – The Basics
Majamas Earth_Eco-Friendly Clothing Collection

Now that you know a bit about Majamas Earth, let’s meet their eco-friendly clothing. The brand was kind enough to send me three pieces for review, including The Nuovo Top, The Tempo Libre Pant, and The Organic Sporty Bra. All three are extremely comfortable and very well made.

The Organic Sport Bra
Eco-Friendly Clothing_The Organic Sporty Bra

First, we have The Organic Sporty Bra. Made from eco-friendly fabrics, the bra features a v-neck crossover front and racer-back. It also comes with removable pads for added shape and support.

As someone who wears a 36DDD, finding a sports bra is the bane of my existence. In addition to a large chest, I also have a narrow back and shoulders.  I wasn’t sure how The Organic Sporty Bra would work for me, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. While The Organic Sporty Bra isn’t ideal for high-impact workouts, it’s perfect for low impact, like Barre or Pilates. It’s also extremely comfortable for sleeping or every day wear.

The under-bust band is soft, yet supportive, and the removable pads add just the right amount of support, without being too cumbersome. Usually, I have issues with padded bras because they take up too much of the cup space. This doesn’t happen with The Organic Sporty Bra.

My only complaint with the bra is I wish it came with adjustable straps. Even with the racerback fit, the straps are just a little bit loose on my narrow shoulders. Though it’s doesn’t impede me wearing the bra during the day or during my low impact workouts.

The Nuovo Top & The Tempo Libre Pant
Eco-Friendly Clothing _ The Nuovo Top

Next up, we have The Nuovo Top and The Tempo Libre Pant. Both are so comfortable I never want to take them off.  They are so soft and cozy, I could even sleep in them.

Available in four colors, The Nuovo Top is made from sustainable cotton, modal, spandex, and recycled fabrics. It features a high-low cut, with a printed lining on the neckline and hemline. It’s extremely diverse, and can be worn with pjs, to the gym or with your favorite jeans. Not only does it wear well, it was washes well.

Eco-Friendly Clothing_The Tempo Libre Pant

Finally, we have The Tempo Libre Pant. This jogger style pant is made from reclaimed fabrics, modal, cotton, and spandex. Not only are they eco-friendly, but also super comfy. But what I like most about them, is that fact that they fit my short legs, thanks to the cinched in ankle.

I’m still on the fence about the fabric peek-a-boo pockets. I love the idea, but since I’m a little wider around the hip area, I feel like the fabric accents this part of my body. This is more of a personal concern, not an issue with the clothing.

Majamas Earth Bag

Regardless, like all the other Majamas Earth pieces, these joggers are perfect for sleeping, working out, or even traveling.  But most of all, I can feel good knowing I’m wearing eco-friendly clothing from an eco-conscious brand. I also love that they came with a super cute reusable bag. I can’t wait to add more Majamas Earth clothes to my wardrobe. I’m eyeing some of their tanks, hoodies, and leggings.

What’s your favorite piece from the collection? Where do you shop for eco-friendly clothing?

Connect with Majamas: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

DIY Beauty Products with Household Food Items

DIY Beauty
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I enjoy a good spa day and treating myself with DIY beauty products. I am known for frequenting the nail salon and taking long, hot bubble baths. What I don’t love are high prices and harmful chemicals.

Carrington Farms has products that are safe for consumption and DIY Beauty Products! From Chia seeds to Coconut Oil and everything in-between, they have exactly what you need for an at home spa day.

I went to their website and used their recommended recipes for a face mask and bath bomb. Both were perfect and easy to follow. I highly recommend you give it a try!

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