Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Lost Racing Pigeon - Found and helped! :)

So, this weekend, I found a lost racing pigeon with a band on its leg, looking weak and just hanging out on the side of my parents' house.

I've always been a little afraid of birds since a chicken scared me once when I was 5, but I have had to help two other birds, so I'm getting over my fear of touching them. Their well-being is more important.

I crumbled up a cracker for it, and gave it a bowl of water, which it didn't seem interested in. I posted photos on Facebook and went on to my friend's house, but then came back to check on it later, and it was still there. My mom's cousin is a nature guy, and he replied to my Facebook post telling me about a man I should call who raises birds and could probably identify it.  So, I called that man, and he asked if I could catch it and bring it to him. That was pretty easy to do because the pigeon didn't move very fast. 

He told me that it was a young bird from the Chicago area, and that AU stands for American Union of Racing Pigeons. Chicago is the club it came from. 2017 is the year it was born and banded, and 8214 is its ID number. He turned it over and showed me its protruding breastbone with no plumpness around it. It also would fall over when it walked. He said it was severely dehydrated and had feather mites. He was going to put something on it's back for that (something like Frontline for birds) to kill all the bugs on it and get it re-hydrated and call the lady in Chicago that he thinks owns it. 

Afterwards, I found this website, which where you can find the owner of the bird if you find a banded one. Mine came Burbank, IL (the man was right about the owner) and was found in Southwest Michigan. 

The website also has a tab that explains how to care for them. It said to give them bird seed or raw grains and a bowl of water at least 1-inch deep because they put their beaks in and suck the water up.  It also said to pour some water into the bowl so they can hear and see it and realize that there's water in there because they might not know because it doesn't look like their usual bowl or water supply. 


I pray every night for children and animals who need help, and ask God to lead me to ones I can help, or to lead them to me, so I think it's Divine Providence that this bird found its way to my parents' house on the day that I visited (although God could have just lead it to a vet or to the man I took it to), but I'm so glad He chose me and I was able to get help for it.☺






Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer 2017

Hi Everyone!

I'm sorry I haven't posted for so long, but I've been busy building a life I love!  I've been enjoying summer, the beach, the weather, friends and family.

I went to New Orleans for the first time, and loved it!  While I was there, I rented a big, red Dodge Ram truck (that was fun to drive!) and drove to Oak Alley Plantation, which is a beautiful and interesting and sad (slave quarters and paraphernalia) piece of history. I loved the French Quarter! The food was delicious... beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde, Bananas Foster at Brennan's, Jambalaya and Gumbo at The Gumbo Shop, and a Po-Boy at Johnny's on St. Louis Street.  I took the streetcar to the Garden District and walked around Lafayette #1 Cemetery and looked at the beautiful homes, including the one Eli and Peyton Manning grew up in, and author Anne Rice's house. If you have been there, I would love to hear about your favorite things.  If you haven't, I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list. :)


I have other exciting news! I became a Rodan + Fields Independent Consultant, and am loving the supportive, beautiful community of other consultants that I have become a part of! The products we sell are truly amazing and life-changing! They really change your skin, rather than just cleansing and moisturizing it.  We have solutions for almost every skin problem... dryness, dark spots, wrinkles, turkey neck, acne, acne scars, sagging skin, redness, psoriasis.... lots of amazing before and after photos!

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Fidgeting Isn't Cool

Lately I've realized how much I fidget. - especially when I'm sitting next to someone who doesn't.  In church one Sunday, I was sitting next to a lady who sat so still the entire time while I crossed and uncrossed my legs multiple times, scratched my nose and head, sat up straight and then slouched again repeatedly, moved the hair out of my face and tucked it behind my ear several times, and scratched other itches.

I realize that some people have ADD or other conditions that cause them to fidget, but I think in my case it's mostly from caffeine, and maybe some anxiety. I know I'm not the only one.  As I look around, I notice knees bouncing, pencils tapping, people constantly tucking hair behind their ears, people biting their nails or picking at their fingers, and people nervously looking around as someone is talking to them (which I'm also guilty of). Proper etiquette dictates that one should pay strict attention to the person whom they are conversing with, and to make them feel like they are interested in what they are saying - not looking around the room for someone else, or an escape route - even if they are not interested.

That lady seemed so ladylike and calm compared to me. And, even when I tried to sit still, I couldn't. I fidget usually from discomfort, which is why I cross and uncross my legs - because of pressure on some point that becomes uncomfortable. So, to remedy this, I need to train myself to sit with both feet on the floor, or ankles crossed and to be mindful of fidgeting, and make an effort to be still.

I drink 2 to 3 cups of coffee every morning, and I do notice feeling very jittery and anxious after the second cup. So, another goal is to cut down to 1 cup and then switch to green tea to get less caffeine and more health benefits.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to sit as still as my role model, but I'm going to try to improve that bad habit.  Fidgeting so much makes me look like a nervous wreck - and, I really don't have anything to be nervous about! Thankfully, habits can be broken and changed with some effort.  The fidget spinner has become all the rage lately, but I don't want something to fidget with. I just want to stop.

Maybe in this day and age of being so overstimulated with nonstop updates from social media, email, news, television, radio, games, and other noise, some of us have become impatient and get bored too easily, making it hard to sit and focus on one thing for very long.

Have you noticed yourself fidgeting, too?



Monday, May 1, 2017

What if Jesus walked in?

One day, something made me think about what Jesus would see if he walked into my house.  There were a few things I would have been ashamed of, so I got rid of them. I put my Bible and devotionals on my coffee table so I can be reminded to read them daily and have easy access to them. I put a picture of a little girl hugging Jesus in my living room where I can see it daily, and others can enjoy it, instead of in my bedroom where I ignored it daily while I was busy getting dressed. I deleted songs with profanity and stopped recording a soap opera I had watched for 20+ years because it was a waste of time and I don't need to watch people sinning (sleeping around, plotting murders and revenge, being materialistic, etc.)

My parents taught me about God and Jesus, and I always called myself a Christian my whole life, but only two years ago I finally realized that I was just a fan of Jesus and not a follower, and I decided to make changes and try to really follow Him. I want people to know I'm a Christian by how I act, what I watch, read, say, listen to, and do.  Of course, I fall short sometimes, but I'm making more of an effort.  Before, I was a believer, but I was out in the world doing anything I wanted to do, and you'd never have known I was a Christian. I hope people know now, and I hope I inspire others to be followers, too.

It's important to be careful what you allow into your mind and heart. What goes in will come out. When I watch shows where the characters curse a lot, I find myself starting to do it more, or I start using the language they use that I hadn't used before. When I listened to heavy metal music (I can't stand it now), I felt more agitated and hostile, and I've witnessed the same effect on people around me. A nice boy I know went from listening to Huey Lewis and ice skating with the friends to heavy metal and writing 666 on a doll's forehead!

We become desensitized by what we watch, read, and listen to. We start to think everyone is doing it, or that that's just the way life is now (cheating spouses, etc.), and that makes it easier to allow it into our own lives. I overheard a woman say that she has to watch the news first thing in the morning to feel like she knows what's going on. Her friend told her that it just starts her day on a negative note and is upsetting, and it would be better to start the day with cheerful music, devotionals, or something else relaxing and uplifting. I agree with her friend, but the lady didn't change her mind.

Also, whatever you think about most becomes your idol, so be very careful. What you allow into your mind, comes out of your heart (and mouth!)

But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. Matthew 15:18

If Jesus knocked on your door, would you be able to answer it with a smile, hug him, and invite him in, or would you panic and start hiding things first? I also like to think about if I die, what will people find when they go through my things?

Think about what negative things you can eliminate from your life.

Proverbs 4:23: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.






Friday, March 10, 2017

Organization and Time Management Tips from Ivanka's Website

I'm learning a lot from Ivanka Trump's website, which is one of my favorites!

I love this idea!: "Every morning, when Ivanka gets to work, she writes down the top three things she wants to accomplish during the day."  

I'm going to start doing that. Then, no matter what else distracts me, I'll remember to get my three most important tasks done, and I can feel good about that at the end of the day.  So often, they get pushed to the next day, then the next... Find more of Ivanka's ideas here: https://ivankatrump.com/time-management/


https://ivankatrump.com/enhance-productivity/  A short list of great productivity tips!


How to handle Monday mornings... https://ivankatrump.com/monday-morning-checklist/




Attitude is everything

You can learn a lot about the kind of person you do and don't want to be by observing other people. Yesterday, I had two prime examples of how I do not want to be.

The first one was on my daily morning commute on the train, observing the woman seated in front of me, looking old, tired and haggard (she appears to be around my age), huffing and puffing and complaining, and walking out of the train station with low energy and a scowl on her face.

Although I feel the same way she does and I have done the same thing, watching her made me realize that I do not want to be that person.  So, I made a resolution not to complain or sigh, to smile, relax, try to get more sleep, and enjoy the ride by reading, listening to music, or catching up on Facebook. I'm also making plans to find a new job and stop the commute altogether to give me more free time to enjoy life!

By contrast, I see other people who look young, fresh, and energetic. They appear to love their lives and their jobs, and probably don't spend hours commuting. They appear to be well-rested and happy, with a spring in their step. That is the kind of person I want to be, even if my circumstances aren't ideal yet. Dragging through life feeling run down and complaining isn't going to change anything. Change whatever you can...mostly, your attitude! How you experience life has a lot to do with how you view it. Look on the bright side.

The second example was a coworker who was upset and complaining to me about having to move to a new office that is a downgrade from the beautiful one she has now. Without much else going on in her life, her work IS her life, and she is anticipating the more unpleasant environment will even ruin that. This woman also frequently complains about her marital situation and loneliness, and that nothing ever changes, but she really doesn't do anything to prompt changes. You're not going to meet someone if all you ever do is go to work and back. I also told her that she can raise the morale of the people who work for her by changing her attitude. If your boss is negative and complains, you're not going to enjoy your job as much. It made me realize how great my boss is and how she's always professional, how she rolls with the changes, and I've never heard her complain about anything.

In her situation, I would work to create more work/life balance, and make the most of my new office (bloom where you're planted!).  If it's unbearable, maybe it's time to change jobs. No one is forcing you to stay where you are.

Make sure you fill your life with some supportive, optimistic people. I was complaining to a friend one time that there aren't any social groups at our church for people my age, and being the optimistic, go-getter that she is, she told me to call the church and tell them I'd like to start a group!  I hadn't even thought of that. That's what I love about her; if she wants something, she goes for it. If it doesn't exist, she creates it herself.  I'm so thankful to have a friend, example, and supporter like her in my life.

If you can't avoid or extricate the stress from your life, here are some suggestions to help create more balance:

  • Schedule vacations - even just long weekends - to unwind. Getting away does wonders for the soul! 
  • Get massages and/or facials. Both of these will definitely help you feel and look more rested and relaxed. 
  • Take yoga classes, dance classes, or whatever you are interested in. Check out www.dabble.co to see if there are random classes in your area. I've done calligraphy, fencing and Ayurveda classes that were a lot of fun!  It's a great way to meet new people, or just get out of the house and try something new. 
  • Take up a new hobby to get your mind on something besides work, or your stress.
  • Start doing a sport you used to love to do. My favorites are tennis, skiing and volleyball.
  • Exercise daily. I find that working up a sweat helps me release toxins and stress, gives me energy, and burns calories. Do it whether you feel like it or not. Just 20-30 minutes makes a big difference and will help you stay fit. I give myself one or two days off per week. 
  • Incorporate more culture into your life. When I traveled to France and Italy in the past, I was reminded to slow down and enjoy daily life more. I enjoy the sights, flavors, and smells more than I do at home. But, the trick is to take that feeling back home with you and enjoy your real life just as much. Pick up flowers for no reason. Enjoy a baguette. Notice the scenery around you. Go to museums, symphonies, concerts, art exhibits, art fairs, antique shops, etc. to get your mind in another place, or "change your thoughts" as my French friend used to say. 
  • Spend time with animals.  That is one of my greatest joys! Who can feel stressed out while petting an animal, or laughing at their antics? 
  • Rest one day a week. I try to keep my Sabbath holy. It helps me get things done on Saturday so I can rest on Sunday and not feel guilty about it. God tells us to rest. We need it. Going into the work week refreshed feels good! 
  • Start going for a daily walk or run. Maybe adopt a dog if you don't already have one! Put down your phone and turn off the TV and get outside in the sunlight and fresh air. Think about things that make you happy while you're out. 

Don't let your circumstances drag you down and wear you out. Either change your attitude, or change your circumstances. You are in control of how you live your life, how you view your life, and how much you enjoy your life.

xx
M


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Being kind to animals

Animals are my favorite people in the world! :)  I try to help them any way I can.

Ways we can help:

Any trash that you can't recycle, please cut anything with loops, such as the rings around milk jugs and plastic 8-pack pop/beer carriers, handles on bags, and long strings, to prevent animals from getting caught in them while rummaging through trash for something to eat.

Donate straw for dog houses for those poor dogs who aren't brought inside from the cold. Or, better yet, offer to take them for the winter.

Provide a kiddie pool during hot months, so they would be able to get in and cool off and always have water to drink because they often knock over their water bowls.

Keep thread away from cats! My roommate's cat fished a spool of thread out of her sewing machine pocket, and after we noticed him throwing up a lot and not eating, she took him to the vet, who after taking x-rays and having surgery discovered that he had ingested a lot of thread, which was tangled in his intestines and did a lot of damage (thread cuts!).  He survived, but now I am more aware of this danger and warn other people.

I've turned my car around to help a turtle cross the road. I've been feeding a stray cat for a year and a half after finding footprints in the snow in my back yard. I didn't want an animal to be cold and hungry, so I began putting food out morning and night, and made a warm house with blankets and straw for it to sleep in if it needed it. It comes twice a day for the food, though I think it lives somewhere else and is just working the neighborhood. :)

One time when I was picking up sticks before mowing my lawn, I found a bird in the grass beneath a tree with flies on it, panting. I tried to pick it up, but it was stuck to the ground. After getting a better look, I saw that it had a bunch of grass wrapped around it's leg tethering it to the ground! So, I cut the grass at the base and moved the bird to where I could see what was going on. It had a lot of grass wrapped around its bent leg so tightly! I cut it all away and poured peroxide on it, then rinsed with warm water. The little leg was featherless and had an open wound underneath, a tick and maggots on it. Once the bird got comfortable and could move its leg again, it began picking the bugs off itself, then hopped out of a bowl of warm water that I put it in to try to clean it up some more, jumped off my deck and ran under it before I could catch it! I think it went underneath some steps that are under the deck, and I never saw it again. I thought I could see it come out the other side of the deck, and I looked around the yard for it, but didn't find it. I think it had a good chance of healing, though. Wings and legs worked, and it was glad to be free!

Be on the lookout for animals that need your help!  Adopt and rescue whenever you can. One more animal will not change your life very much, but you will change the life of that animal forever!




Discover your purpose

How do you do that?  Think about what you love to do. What would you do for free if you had the time? What makes you happy, satisfied, and lose track of time while you are doing it?  I believe that those natural preferences are gifts from God, and they are different for each person. Those are our talents that we should be using. Thinking about what you don't enjoy will also help you narrow it down as you figure out your purpose.

I have heard it said: "Do what you love and find someone to pay you for doing it."  I have seen friends do exactly that.  One of my friends began by volunteering to make and deliver meals for a friend who had cancer, and the word spread and soon wives and mothers were asking if she could do that for them too, or at least deliver the ingredients needed to quickly put a meal together and bake it because they didn't have time.  That inspired her to go to cooking school and get her chef's license and open her own catering business. She now caters for a very large company in town, along with private dinner parties for the CEO, weddings, and other client needs.

Another friend loves horses, and began entertaining crowds at horse shows and learned to train horses, entered and won contests, made a name for himself as an expert, and he now travels the world teaching clinics and performing, and now has his own home-base farm where he offers clinics, one-on-one training, boarding, and hosts other clinicians.

They have inspired me to find my own purpose and do the same! Maybe those stories will inspire you, too. Work can be fun!


Friday, February 17, 2017

The importance of having a signature scent

On Valentine's Day, my friend, Tara, posted a photo on social media wearing her mom's beautiful, pink scarf to honor her after she passed away suddenly last year, saying, "It smells just like her."

           You can find beautiful perfume bottles like this at 

My Grandma always wore one favorite perfume and kept empty bottles of it for some reason (maybe she knew we would want them to remember her), so most of the family members have either a full or empty bottle of it, and think of her every time we smell it.  When I'm feeling down, I get it out and smell it, and it's almost like having her right in front of me.  Sometimes I smell her out of the blue, when no one is around, or when someone has walked by with a similar scent, or hairspray, which also reminds me of her. It makes me realize how wonderful it is to choose just one or two favorite scents and wear them often so they become your signature. It's such a beautiful way to remember someone after they are gone, or even to evoke thoughts of someone every time you smell it on someone else. 

I went to an aroma workshop/store where the scent specialist helped me concoct my own true signature perfume made up of my favorite scents. People have asked me, "What is that?!"  I love telling them it's a bespoke perfume that I had made for myself.  I also like knowing that no one else smells exactly like me. 

My mom has about 25 perfumes, so when my friend made her comment, I asked my mom what she smells like. I don't even know because she has so many scents, and usually isn't wearing anything when I see her. She told me which two are her favorites, and I asked her to start wearing them more often. Those are the ones I will remember her by someday when I miss her. 

What scent will remind others of you?



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Being Green

I have been recycling for about 25 years now. Once I started, I couldn't stop; and, it bothers me when I see recyclables in the trash, especially where I work, where there is a recycle bin right next to each trash can.

I read a book a few years ago called No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, in which he describes how he and his wife tried their best for one year to make a zero impact on the earth.  Lots of great ideas!

Here are some ways that I try to leave a light footprint on the earth:

  • Recycle everything possible - paper, glass, metal, plastic, cardboard
  • Please recycle plastic bags if you use them and don't throw them in the trash.  Many turtles and other sea life die from eating puffed up bags thinking that they are jellyfish.  People have found their dead bodies washed ashore and autopsies have shown they died from ingesting plastic. In the Great Lakes there is also a problem with plastic beads from nuclear waste that are being ingested and killing fish and turtles. That makes me so sad! 

  • Take old televisions and computers to Best Buy, or to a recycling center
  • Recycle old oil, paint and other chemicals whenever they have a collection in your area
  • Take reusable bags into every store
  • Return plastic bags to special bag recycle collection boxes if you do end up using some
  • Cut up plastic pop bottle holders and milk bottle rings (see photos to see why!) I cut up anything with a loop in it so no animal will get stuck in my junk. 
  • Reuse and upcycle items (use them for another purpose/modernize them)
  • Turn off lights and appliances (A/C, fans) when not in use (this saved my roommate $135/month!)
  • Pick up litter that you find and dispose of it properly
  • Walk or ride your bike or scooter to do errands when possible to save on gas emissions
  • Don't litter!  I can't believe people still do! 
  • Cut up long strings or plastic that can't be recycled into small pieces. I once saw a goose flying with a super long piece of plastic stuck to its leg. 
  • Buy locally grown produce when possible to reduce pollution from all the planes and trucks that it takes to get other produce to you.
  • Donate used clothing and household items
  • Think before you buy - do you really need more stuff? 
  • Be careful what you pour onto the ground because it can seep into the water supply.
  • Dispose of batteries in special collection bins
  • Dispose of old cell phones properly - where they collect them and recycle them. 
  • Bring expired medications to proper disposal places so they don't end up in the water supply.
  • Use less water. Shut it off while you are brushing your teeth or waiting for your conditioner to work. Water has to go through purification processes, which wastes energy. 
  • Collect rainwater if you can to water plants or your yard, etc. 
  • Tell places that you don't need a bag if you forgot your reusable one and are only buying some small items that you can carry or put in your purse. So many people cross the street with their lunch and then throw away the bag! 
  • Think about the waste you create. Look at how much you throw away from just one meal (wrappers, napkins, straws, cups).  Reduce wherever you can. Think about if you really need a straw, or can you just drink from the cup? 
  • Bring your own cup to your favorite daily coffee place. Think of all the cups you'll save from the landfill! :)  And, they sometimes give you a small discount. 
  • Keep your own plate, bowl and utensils at work so you won't waste cups and plates whenever they have snacks or leftovers from meetings. 
  • Wash and refill your own water bottles.
  • Don't use disposable skin care wipes, unless they are biodegradable. They are just more trash. Facial cleansers and washcloths are better and can be reused. 

If we all do our part in our own small spaces, we can make a big difference in the world and help wildlife.  I would love to hear your additional ideas!

Thank you for caring about the environment. 











Growing Your Faith

This blog post from Girlfriends in God reminded me that God isn't obligated to answer our prayers. I often get frustrated or angry at Him for making me wait or not answering my prayers, though I know I don't deserve it. I do believe that waiting for what I want makes my faith grow deeper, if I don't give up!



The following is an excerpt taken from Girlfriends in God blog by Gwen Smith: http://girlfriendsingod.com/please-make-pain-go-away/
Yes. God does sometimes rescue and bring us healing immediately, but He’s not obligated to. He’s God, He’s able, and He’s sovereign. Remembering this helps me to trust Him when life gets scary and stressful.
I think on this and a barrage of questions flood my mind.
Are there really life-impacting lessons to be learned in this lingering?
What if God wants to use the strains, stains and disappointments we face to refine us – restore us – strengthen us – and to draw us to His side in the desperation?
What if God’s plan is to teach us to know Him in new ways as we struggle to hear, to hope, and to heal?
What if instant healing or quick answers would rob me of greater depth?
If these “what if” wonderings are on point then I’m all for the waiting. Because I really do want to be a woman of depth. Don’t you? Isn’t that what faith is all about? The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen? (Hebrews 11:1)
If I always get what I hope for right away and can always see clearly, then how will my faith grow?

Be doers of the Word

What I'm focusing on today: 
God gave us the Bible to transform us, not simply inform us. It should give us a bigger heart, not a bigger head. James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (NIV).
In other words, God wants our beliefs turned into behavior. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Get rid of your little black dress

Yes, you heard me right!  I learned from Carol Tuttle's Dressing Your Truth series that black only looks good on Type 4 energy people (there are four types), and it makes the rest of us look old, sad and tired.

Go ahead, look at photos of yourself and your friends in their black dresses and black clothes. Chances are that most of them don't look healthy or energetic. It washes them out, and it's so funereal and overdone...it's been the go-to "safe" color for any formal occasion, or travel. Dare to stand out in a color that enhances your beauty! I look much better and healthier in navy blue, brown, charcoal, or eggplant than black.  Colors should enhance your skin tone and coloring and make your eyes sparkle, not make you look drab. Drab, dull and lifeless is not the look we're going for!

Dressing Your Truth will help you determine your energy type and what colors, metals, patterns, accessories, shapes, and hairstyles look best on you. I'm a Type 2 with a secondary Type 4.  :)

Find out what you are here, and start dressing your truth.:

https://my.liveyourtruth.com/dyt/home/


Beauty secret from a future princess?

After reading about a beauty secret for glowing skin that Prince Harry's girlfriend, Meghan Markle, talked about in an article on her website, The Tig, I had to try it! (Note: Meghan Markle has closed down her website, so the article I referred to below isn't available anymore.) While travelling, she had asked a friend the secret to her glowing skin, and her friend said it was Beauty Dust.

Beauty Dust by Moon Juice is an amazing herbal supplement powder that you can add to any beverage once a day for beautiful skin.  I have used one jar of it, and my skin does look better...smoother, healthier.  For the first time ever, someone told me that I look radiant!

You can read the article here: http://thetig.com/tig-talk-amanda-chantal-bacon/




Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Favorite Quotes

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.
~ Henry David Thoreau 


The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. 


Be the reason someone feels loved. 
~ Unknown Author


Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.
~ John F. Kennedy




Lively up yourself. 
~ Bob Marley


It's never too late to be what you might have been. 
~ Mary Ann Evans a.k.a. George Eliot


We are the choices we make.


There is nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.
~ Lord Palmerston


He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.
~ Psalm 23:2-3


Be the change you wish to see in the world. 




Friday, February 10, 2017

Stop Leaning and Stand Out

After noticing people constantly leaning on everything from walls, shopping carts, counters, cubicles, desks, and cars, I am making an effort to stop leaning on things, stand up straight and train my muscles to hold my body up, stop being lazy, develop better posture, and look more stylish and energetic!

Image result for dinner at downton
I work on the 29th floor in a building in Chicago, and I had a habit of getting in the elevator and going straight to the back, or side, and leaning against the wall, as many people do. However, after witnessing a coworker whom I never see holding herself up unless she's walking (always leaning on cubicles or walls, and sitting on people's desks), I decided to break my habit and make a conscious effort to stand in the middle of the elevator, and to step away from the wall while I'm waiting for it to arrive. Now, I also push my grocery cart without leaning lazily on it. Hopefully, these improvements will make me look taller and more energetic now, and have better posture later as my muscles are being used and toned more. That being said, a friend reminded me that some people need to lean on things because of health reasons. But, if you're just doing it out of habit, try to break the habit with me. :)

Observing the perfect postures on Downton Abbey also inspired me to try to stand and sit straighter. In the documentary about the making of the show, The Manners of Downton Abbey, they said that the stiff shirts for men and corsets for women prevented them from slouching, but also that in those days they usually didn't lean back in their chairs, as it was discourteous! (Although I did see scenes where the Dowager and the servants had their backs against the chairs, so it depended on your status.) You'll notice most characters sitting with their backs very straight and not leaning on their dinner chairs or other furniture, which I think makes them look more energetic, younger, and aristocratic than people who slouch down on sofas and lean back on chairs while eating. They certainly don't appear tired or lazy! Can you imagine them flopping down on the furniture at Downton, or ever looking sloppy for that matter?

To sit up straighter at work, I put something under my computer monitor to raise it up to stop me from slouching down to look at it.  As I go about my day, I am noticing when I slouch and making a conscientious decision to correct my posture, which is quite often!

With so many people looking down at their phones these days, forward head posture is becoming more widespread, and it isn't pretty. Exercises such as pulling your chin back to give yourself a double chin for a few seconds and repeating that to strengthen the neck muscles and force them back to the normal, upright position will help correct it. Perhaps we should bring back the practice of walking with books on our heads at home, too.

This week, take notice of your posture and think about what habits you could change to improve it. Let me know if you have any suggestions, and what you have found yourself doing!




What is Audreyesque?

Audreyesque is a lifestyle blog that I created to share everything that I love... Jesus, animals, nature, travel, health, beauty, home decorating, etiquette, style, self-improvement, and living life to the fullest.

As I was trying to think of a name for my blog, Audrey Hepburn came to mind, and I thought about all that she was: Beautiful, stylish, graceful, humble, kind, a humanitarian, fluent in six languages, and how she loved Paris, as I do.  She represents many of the qualities that I want this blog and my life to be about - being like Audrey, or, "Audreyesque."

Friends have inspired me to push myself to constantly improve and learn more, inspired and challenged me to expand my horizons and not always do what is comfortable and familiar, taught me to be the best I can be right where I am ( the best student, friend, daughter, wife, employee, etc. that I can be), to live in the present moment, to set goals and take steps to make them happen, and to use my time wisely by continuously learning, traveling, volunteering, and networking. In turn, I hope I can inspire you by sharing my experiences and ideas.

I am brand new to blogging, so please bear with me as I learn and improve.  I look forward to your comments and suggestions along the way.  I do not claim to be an expert on anything; I just have so many observations and opinions that I want to share. Hopefully, some of them will make a difference in people's lives, or, at the very least, be entertaining to read. 

Welcome to Audreyesque. This is just the beginning of our adventure together! I am grateful for your support and companionship on this beautifully inspired journey. 

Mary
xx