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