Wednesday

Color the world happy






I have been a believer of the calming practice of coloring since before it was cool, so when I saw Adult Coloring Books on the shelves of every store I shopped in before Christmas - I had to get one. I know you're thinking you and everyone else, but if you're in it for more than just the hashtag it shouldn't be a here today gone tomorrow trend. Before these books even became a thing I kept a folder of prints and a jar of markers on my coffee table and every so often I'd grab a few markers and a page and drift off to Me Land. I'm also one of those weird ones that gets strangely excited opening a new box of markers and doodling on the first page of a brand new note book, so there's that.

There have been times I've taken to the couch with a coloring page, a cup of tea and a good show on TV and before I knew it a half hour had gone by, my tea was cold and I didn't catch even a minute of the show I was watching. I zoned out completely. I can't tell you what I thought about, just that it was the best kind of meditation, like I turned my brain off for a while - and who doesn't need a break like that from time to time?

If you're still not sold on the idea, here are some of my own tips to help turn your nay into a yay.

Look for a book with images you like. Not a Harry Potter fan? Then don't buy the Harry Potter coloring book for the sake of having something to color. Don't use an old book that your kid scribbled all over either, you want your very own. Chapters, Coles and other bookstores have beautiful books of Mandalas or images you'd be happy to add color to.

Keep your book where you can see it. As I said above, my coloring book sits right on my coffee table so when I'm needing a  little escape from adulting, it's right there. Even if all you have is ten minutes, it's ten minutes of healthy brain activity and much needed ME time.
Take your book to bed. If you can't see yourself having time to color during the day or you have little ones at home that would have a field day with an unsupervised jar of markers, I recommend keeping your book at your bedside where it's safe from destruction but still in plain sight. Coloring in bed is a great alternative to scrolling through your phone or watching TV if you're needing to wind down before dozing off.
Buy really good markers. For a brighter picture and less mess from sharpening pencils that have gone dull, go with markers.
Color with the kids. A lot of quality time spent with my nieces has been spent coloring with them. It doesn't involve looking at a screen, it encourages conversation and self expression, and there's a feeling of pride and accomplishment when you're all done.
Put your finished product on display. Working on a page that you can see framed in your home makes for a more enjoyable project. Need some new art? Pick colors that match your current d├ęcor, frame it and voila! It's very satisfying to tell your guests you were the master behind the funky artwork they're drawn to.


Happy Coloring!

Rachel XO 

Thursday

New Year, Same Me.

 

 
 
I didn't wake up this year with a list of personal goals like I have every other year. I woke up feeling content, happy, and ready for another great year.

 
In 2015 I focused a lot on myself, my marriage, and my home. I accepted things about myself that I once tried to change, I made time for the things I love, I treated myself to things I wanted and felt I deserved. I became comfortable saying NO. In fact, I said NO more often. NO to things that would deprive me of a good nights sleep, NO to things that would consume my entire weekend and leave me without time for myself, NO to going places with people who really didn't care if I was there or not. Instead, I focused on what I really wanted - what I really needed - how I really felt.


I started taking better care of myself last year and I've yet to stop. I found an exercise program that is fun and keeps me engaged, I began taking advantage of downtime at work to stretch when I needed to loosen up, and I would only take the stairs. I bought Tupperware, mason jars and a fancy lunch bag that I enjoy packing with healthy food, and a water bottle that sees a couple of refills a day. I attended Yoga classes with every intention to let go of things I can't change and relax. It gave me a reason to leave the house on my own to do something just for me - and that's something I really needed and want to continue. I stopped going to bed without washing my face. I'd cleanse it, exfoliate it, moisturize it and study it. I've accepted the parts of it that are changing ever so slowly from day to day and started taking action in preventing what I can with weekly face masks, night creams, cleansers and makeup appropriate for my skin type.

 
In 2015 I read books, soaked my feet, traveled, realized that my hangovers are never, ever worth it and had many wakeful, productive Saturdays because of it. I splurged on new bedding, un-followed the Kardashian's and almost every other celebrity I compared my life to, and I learned to let my phone die. I deleted Facebook, gained back all the precious time I wasted scrolling through pages and pages of useless garbage and with that, my husbands face became the last thing I'd look at before falling asleep and the first thing I'd reach for in the morning.
 
 
My 2016 resolution?


Keep doing what I'm doing.
 
 
Rachel XO