How to Create a Magical Bath

this is for you

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You gently lower your tired body into a porcelain tub; letting your mind and body slowly relax and unwind as you become enveloped in the comforting, warm water. You let go of the stress from the day, your body releases the pent up and stored tension, you are taking time for you. This alone is a mighty healing act, but there are ways to take you deeper into your world of rest, peace, comfort, and utter stillness.

Increase the Magic in Your Bath Time Ritual

Depending on the feel you wish to accomplish, there are various things you can add to your bath. Whether you want something detoxing, moisturizing, calming, soothing, the list is endless. Listen to your body and heart and see what it wants. You can add one or a combination of the following items to create your dream bath.

  1. flowers
  2. greenery
  3. citrus
  4. carrier oils
  5. essential oils
  6. powdered milk
  7. himalayan salts
  8. oats

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Here’s two blends I’m currently enjoying:

Heaven on Earth Bath

  • Slices from various citrus (lime, lemon, orange)
  • Fresh/Dried Eucalyptus
  • Powdered Milk
  • 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Release and Detox Bath

  • 1 large himalayan salt block
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 10 drops Patchouli Essential Oil

I hope this inspires you to take the time for yourself to make yourself feel special and worthy of magic. You work so hard and have so much to worry about, let this one act of self honoring be something you prioritize. If not a magical bath, what are other ways you practice self care? How you do take care of yourself in ways other than eating and sleeping? 

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xxjoannaxx

Gardening with Squirrels

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(yeah, lots and lots of squirrels)

So since moving into a place of our own (no trailer thank God) I was finally able to begin my gardening endeavor! Mind you I’m a total novice and have only appreciated organic garden from afar (eating, duh.) But before I began, I was super aware that our yard was totally infested with squirrels, and squirrels like seeds and digging and totally destroying dirt.

After a lot of brainstorming, pinteresting, researching, I finally came across my answer: //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mywebsit076be-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B000HMA6W8&asins=B000HMA6W8&linkId=8379b5c8af0c1c87cbbc4121b610627f&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Hardware Netting! It’s super durable netting that easily bends to fit over a structure. Another bonus was that it required hardly any time or materials. All we did was stick a couple nails around the perimeter of the boxes and secure the netting over it.

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I have had the boxes for a few weeks now and I love this netting! Even though it is durable I’m still able to cut out sections for plants that took off sooner than others (I’m talking about you, squash.) This way I can allow the early risers to flourish while still protecting my little seedlings.

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I plan on eventually removing the netting entirely once all of my plants are pretty well established. Here’s the link for the product I used! You may also be able to find it at your local Lowes.

My next garden battles: worms tearing up my green bean plants, ants in my beds, yellowing leaves… but hey, the reward should be sweet, right?

xxJoannaxx

DIY Painting Natural Stone Fireplace White

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AFTER

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BEFORE

The longer we live in our house, the more things I want to change and the more projects I come up with. This being one of them. Unfortunately, our living room doesn’t get a ton of light, and I really wanted a brighter room. We painted the walls a light grey which helped, but with all of the darker browns and tans it didn’t really match. So to the fireplace I went!

The steps are simple, but it does take *q u i t e* a long time. So be prepared to dedicate some good hours, but trust me you will be SO happy that you completed this project because it looks bomb.

Materials:

  • 1 large painting brush
  • 1 medium brush
  • 1 small- like for painting a canvas
  • 1 gallon of satin white paint that includes primer
  • drop cloth
  • painters tape
  • plastic bag(s)
  • a good show/podcast to have on in the background for distraction

**get brushes you won’t mind ruining**

Steps:

  • clean stone- brush off dust and wipe down with damp terry cloth
  • lay down enough cloth surrounding the area you will be painting so it doesn’t get on the floors
  • start painting large areas of stone with large paintbrush, using a lot of paint to really get into the little divets
  • use medium paint brush to get in between the stone on the concrete
  • tape off the top and sides
  • go back in with small or medium brush to get the edges
  • tape large bag over the fireplace screen so you don’t get any paint on it
  • tape of inside surrounding screen
  • paint remainder of stone

TADA!

Celebrate and admire your work and remind your husband multiple times of how FLIPPING AWESOME IT LOOKS!

(also be prepared to dream about it… I totally did)

It took me about 12-15 hours to complete. I would do a little bit each day for a couple hours before dinner.

Upcoming Projects:

Painting built-in bookshelf

hand painting the tile below the fireplace with cool moroccan design

Art of Slow Living

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I’ve got this gene in me; the same gene that’s in my mother and grandmother.

A trait that has become quite common in today’s society;

the inability to sit still.

The feeling of needing mile long lists that need checking off right at that moment, the guilt when you try taking a break.

Why have we constructed a society that feels the need to always be doing something, always be working, always be creating, planning, cleaning, moving, doing, shaking. Yes, you get more “accomplished” but at what cost? And what defines accomplishment?

I am a great multi-tasker, and a speedy, efficient worker. I can get a lot done in one day, and I feel awesome. But lately, it’s been making me feel a bit frazzled. (electrocuted hair, eyes all bugged out)

I am trying to create a profitable, successful business which requires so much time and effort. More than a full time job. I am also going to school to become a health coach. I am keeping a house in order, still trying to move in and unpack boxes, hang out with family and friends, make new friends, exercise, try and figure out all of my health problems, make time for my husband, and (of course at the end of my list) still make time for myself to relax and unwind.

I believe our bodies can only handle this constant level of stress for so long. Even though I wasn’t ever feeling anxious or panicky, I still always had things to do, always had things to think about. ALWAYS. I’m honestly really surprised I fell asleep at night so quickly with my mind on constant alert.

This state of mind was taking effect on not only my body, but also my relationship with my husband. I wasn’t prioritizing time with him, never “having time” because oh wait I need to go wash the floors right now and it can’t wait another minute!

Kind of totally completely ridiculous.

Since beginning this post (months ago), I had a beautiful, eye opening conversation with my dearest husband who encouraged me to slow down. like actually slow down. Take time in the day to not think about anything and just relax.

I can’t remember his words exactly, but something he said clicked and I have been taking daily steps to help alleviate that fight or flight sensation I had become addicted to.

I know many others struggle with his addiction, especially women. It’s not healthy or profitable. Yes, your floors will be clean- but how about your relationship with your family? with yourself?

There is beauty and dignity in taking life slowly. not trying to rush to the next step because before you know it you’ve missed all of the small beautiful moments, and will never get them back. 

A few ways I am trying to slow down:

  • Devoting more time towards my interests and passions.
  • Having a certain time when I turn my phone off.
  • Whenever James or someone else asks me to do something, let go of my predetermined plan and enjoy the company.

Although small, they have made a significant change in my mood. I don’t feel as stressed or on edge. I don’t feel guilty for relaxing or not knocking out a ton of things in a day. I am starting to incorporate a more peaceful lifestyle and it has been SO nice.

Slow Living– It is an art form, so it does take practice. But you will be happier and a better person because of it.

Road Trippin’ Travel Tips (pt 2)

now say that ten times fast

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So on our trip to and from New Hampshire, James and I had to drive separate vehicles. James was pulling the trailer and it would be all wacked out if we had attached my 4runner to the back of the trailer which was already attached to James’ hitch.

Making the 30 hour trip is no fun, and it’s especially no fun when you have to do it alone. So I thought I would share my tips for making trips all by your lonesome self: 

You absolutely need multiple forms of entertainment; audiobooks, podcasts, music, and sometime even just someone to call. (Hi, Mom) 

Bring your ipod with all of your music, and have that baby on shuffle; you will be pleasantly surprised when music you haven’t listened to in years comes on (hello short but oh so passionate boy band phase)

Put your bass setting on the highest level possible.

Have a multitude of books on tape with different genres; I recently learned that depressing romantic books don’t do the best on long trips.

Snacks; you need them. you will desire them. Even though your body isn’t moving at all, you will find that you will be hungry 99% of the time. Maybe from the boredom, maybe from using that brain power, either way you need snacks. 

Recommended snacks- nuts – (great source of protein, fat, and carbs) they will keep you full and they don’t need to be prepared or refrigerated // fruit – delicious, juicy, hydrating, sweet // veggies – like carrots, cucumbers, celery- anything that can be cut up into small sticks // crackers (and if you’re skilled you can also bring some hummus so you can dip while driving) // smoothie – a liquified meal- hello. 

The whole water situation is tough- you will get thirsty, but you will also have to stop more often to pee so its a funky balance *****also***** singing, although a great way to pass the time, it will immediately make you thirsty 

Dancing is also great- and driving will give you the opportunity to learn some sweet shoulder, head, chest, and hand dance moves. ( nothing below the waist obviously, you would get into an accident) 

If at the end of the day you’re starting to get mad ancy, roll the windows down, blast music, and dance and sing your heart out 

Wear layers- you don’t want to be hot or cold.

Try and stretch before, after and maybe even during your day trip- your hips, knees, shoulders, and neck will get all outta-wack. 

bring sunglasses- not only for those sunny days, but they can also be really useful during a rainstorm when it’s hard to see. the sunglass tint will make is easier to see the lines in the road and other lights. 

If you are staying at truck stops, you need earplugs for when you sleep- some guys don’t turn their trucks off at night and it’s insanely loud. 

 

And that’s pretty much all I have for ya.

 

xxJoannaxx

Why Hello There

Yeah, it’s been a few months.

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth.”

-Galadriel (Lord of the Rings)

Now who would I be if I didn’t quote Lord of the Rings every once in awhile? Not Joanna, that’s for dang sure.

So I suppose some updates are in order; current life always seem to pass you by so quickly.

We recently took the trip down to FL to begin the (unbeknownst to us) the long, emotional, roller coaster search for our ‘house.’ Long story short, it was really hard for us to really zone in on what we absolutely needed in a house, and let go of the other desires. Tampa isn’t the most ideal location for those who want a beautiful house with a large backyard in a safe, convenient area. But through persistence and patience, we finally found a home (hopefully). There are still some discrepancies at play, but seriously this whole experience has been so good for James and I. Even if by some crazy chance this house doesn’t’ work out, I won’t regret any of it.

I’ve been working a lot on my business, specifically the ‘behind the scenes’ work; website, social media, future products, etc. I will say I have learned A TON. I really hope all of this hard work pays off. I am excited to move back to FL for the really great opportunities for the growth of my business. Shameless Plug – If you are interested in trying out some of my products, there’s a really great sale going on now. All you need to do is subscribe on the website to get your code <3

While in FL, my mom took me to an AWESOME yoga class with the best teachers. And because of this, I am now super into yoga, AND HAVE THE GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO ITALY THIS SUMMER FOR A YOGA RETREAT WITH MY MOM. <<< One of the greatest sentences I have ever written.

I can’t even express how totally excited I am, already starting to plan months in advance.

Oh yeah, I got ‘french bangs’ and I am SO in love with them. I really wish I had done it sooner.

Currently, at this very moment: 

James is stoking the fire

Just basted chicken that is baking, smells diving

Some fantasy movie is on with Kristen Stewart (bleh)

I wish the Big Bang Theory was on instead

Can’t wait to hear back from the Doctor about my blood work results, really hope he can heal my stomach problems

Drinking a green smoothie and protein shake

Thinking about the future, and becoming increasingly excited for what it has to offer

Fin 

xxJoannaxx

Here and Now

Hey babesababesbabe.

I have life updates. For me personally, not the normal James+Joanna combo I usually write about.

  1. I started a business! well I began it awhile ago, but it’s actually in motion now. I have insurance, a website, business cards, so I’m pretty much a professional. Ha yeah. I have been doing some craft shows here and there, while also selling online at Etsy and my own website. The business is called Moon + Sea and I create all natural and organic beauty products! It’s pretty dope, and I really want to succeed at this.
  2. I’m going to school! It’s an online school called the School of Integrative Nutrition. I’m learning all about health and diets and food and wellness and it’s so great. At the end I will be a certified Holistic Health Coach! This is a passion of mine and I’m so blessed to be able to pursue it.
  3. Currently trying to heal my gut. I have digestive issues where pretty much everything I eat causes stomach pain…. it’s pretty horrible. I was going to one doctor but he was having me take 65 vitamins A DAY. and after two months there was literally no change. So now I’m using Dr Axe’s Leaky Gut Program and I reallly hope it works. Fingers Crossed.
  4. Well, as you would have read in the previous post I/we are moving! So that’s big news.

And that’s about all of the new news.

love love.

kisses**

change of tides

As common as it is, as often as it arises, as much as you may try and prepare for it,

change is not something that comes easy.

It does not matter if it is something that is so wonderful and needed, something that has been waited for and dreamed about… nothing comes without sacrifice. It may be small and insignificant, but you must always lose one thing in order to gain another.

Our recent move from the homeland of Florida to New Hampshire was, for the most part, stress free. Although new and unknown, New Hampshire is beautiful. We are stationed near a small town, surrounded by trees, lakes, and mountains. There is so much for us here.

 

But you can’t help the soft knocking of memories from old times. They sneak in when all is silent. You hear them knocking and cannot help but open the door.

Those memories of living with family; having that warm remembrance surround and engulf you. Remembering the days of freedom and security and being worry-free. Even the smallest memories come with a huge wave of emotion.

 

But you must always remember.

Yes, that part of your life was beautiful and it will always be a sacred, safe place. But life is in constant motion and it can never be stopped, so you must not dwell on the things that have come and gone. You have the present and future. And, even though they are not as well-known, they still hold beauty and importance.

Always be thankful.

but never forget.

and always keep your eyes and heart open.

East – the beginning

We stayed in Pennsylvania a couple nights ago. We were greeted with a beautiful, long awaited thunderstorm, lush green trees and all of the wild sunflowers bursting with their bright yellow faces.

Feels like home already.

There’s just something about the east that is so comforting and homey that the other parts of the US don’t have. It may not have crazy unique parks or landmarks, but it is beautiful. We drove up and down and side to side looking for our ‘home,’ and all along it was right above us somewhere on the east side. We’re being as patient as we possibly can to finally discover our home. I am absolutely aching inside to decorate it. Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse.

I’ve also been craving pizza and twizzlers. I’ve resisted for a good amount of time, but I don’t know how much longer I can last under the pressure. When the body wants something, it almost always gets what it wants sooner or later. (PS I’m not some health food snob, but after sitting for hours on hours every day I start to feel frumpy and try to eat healthy to combat that. But lets be honest…there’s just something about road trips and junk food that go so well together.)

UPDATE- I have satisfied my junk food craving with a full, delicious meal from Wendy’s. best decision in a very long time.

Trailer Life (travel trailer that is) 

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As newly weds, we have spent more of our marriage in this 30 ft long trailer than in an actual house.

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There’s the layout. We have two slide-outs for the kitchen and sitting area which is really nice, adds a ton of room compared to when the outside is flush.

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Surprisingly, neither of us have gotten tired of the small area, and are really comfortable. It is  amazing how little space one needs to be content. Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally can’t wait to have a regular house and a kitchen with ample cooking space, but I am totally happy with living in this trailer. I even have a tiny space on the floor where I manage to do yoga.

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One pro is that it doesn’t take long to clean. The flip-side of that is it gets dirty super quickly because it’s such a small area that if anything looks out of place the whole trailer looks like it’s in shambles. The key is to always pick up after yourself, always wash dishes after they’re used, have a weekly schedule to clean bathrooms, floors and do laundry. Honestly though, when you’re on the road, it is insanely hard to keep up with all of that.

But hey, cleaning is never the most important thing when traveling. That’s usually why people travel, amiright?