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This is a massive throwback, but I realize that I did not share these amazing photographs last year and they scream Summertime! Second Ave Photography is responsible for these juicy Summer shots. Michael Stars is the featured Eco fashion company. Enjoy these squirt-able photos!

DIY Dried Lavender Potpourri and Incense
There is nothing quite like the fresh wafting scent of lavender in your home. Right now is prime lavender season and perhaps you are lucky enough to have these sturdy herbs in your backyard. If not, get to a lavender farm! You may be interested to know that you should and can use the whole lavender plant...even the stalks. When I trim my lavender for floral arrangements, I am always left with green stalks and lots of them. I thought, "How can I use these highly fragrant, but seemingly throw-away lavender ends?" That's when the thought hit me to simply arrange them in a bowl.

Arranging them in a bowl is so savvy and adorable! It has a very chic and modern look. It looks like stalks of grass, but smells of lavender! Remember, no water in the bowl. Let the lavender stalks dry out naturally. When the stalks dry out, you can use them for your smudge sticks! This is a win win situation. The dried lavender stalks smell just as good as the florets. I even had a tiny ceramic frog to place into the scenery. So, the next time you are trimming your lavender for floral arranging do not throw away the ends. Instead, use them for a lavender potpourri!

Hangin' Tough: A Humorous Lesson in Patience
If you are an 80s child then the New Kids on the Block title reference will not be missed, if not then I am sorry for this three sentence rant that follows. I do suggest you Google "Hangin' Tough by New Kids on the Block" pronto. I will leave their musical genius and video below for nostalgic purposes. Back to the point of this post! What does "hangin' tough" mean and how does it pertain to difficult times? Let's go right to "hang in there man". That's what many people will say to you when you are going through difficult times. They say this because #1.) They have no idea what to say to you and #2.) Your shitty time will eventually pass as all things do....even the really shitty times.

Hangin' tough means waiting it out, having patience, and sobbing all over Mr. Whiskers. However, no one ever tells you how much time you will be waiting for emotional relief during and immediately following hard times. Someone should prepare you and perhaps send a short text message like: "Stock up on whisky" *smiley emoticon* or *crying emoticon* or *smiling-crying emoticon*. I am here to tell you this single truth: You will be waiting for what could be months and seemingly swimming to an open island called "nowhere". There you will get sun burnt until patience carries you through to your next happy moment. All jokes aside, hang in there man.

How do you conquer this patient time period? Patience would be nice, but let's say you have little patience to offer to the world. The next best thing is making plans to keep yourself busy. I am not talking about a business plan, just simply something to do. Travel, having dinner with friends, playing a game with your kids, or even taking a walk around the block. Pass the time. Start watching a new television series...anything other than twiddle your thumbs and thoughts. You will have a moment where you feel like you can breath again or that your chest isn't crushing inwards towards your internal organs. During that moment, you are coming off your island. Perhaps you are ready to come out of your cave and greet the world again. When you are ready, you will know...and don't let your therapist tell you any different! Laugh through the tears. It will get better, but you have to believe it will.

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