#296 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

as I attempted to buy wine the next day – I was asked for ID. As I got back in the car to go home I slammed a solid fist pump into the air believing that my primping was responsible.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#296

Have an at-home spa day

This may be the ultimate in Self-care activities. Spending an afternoon or an entire day pampering your face, your hair, your skin, and your nails. Back in my youth this meant massaging a gross amount of mayonnaise into  my hair and wrapping it in a warm towel; rubbing my heels with Vaseline and covering my feet with cotton socks; and then applying baby oil all over my skin from head to toe. Just to be cute I would use cucumber slices on my eyes on occasion but mostly they got cold compresses. That was the process of beautification as I knew it.

Today, while those methods may work fine, there are dozens of fancier options. From homemade facial scrubs to electric foot baths – having a personal spa day is easier than ever. Get started with a bath, a glass of wine, some soft music, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Spend time moisturizing your hair, your face, and your extremities. A sugar scrub for your face, hands, and feet will exfoliate and prep your skin for the lotions that come next. Using honey, buttermilk, coconut oil and/or avocados are a natural way to hydrate the largest organ (your skin) on your body.

Finish up with attending to your finger and toenails – to polish or not is a personal preference. Some light yoga or meditation may be a great way to still your mind while while your body regenerates and then perhaps some outdoor time in a garden or a short nap.

In my late twenties I treated myself to a full day of pampering and as I attempted to buy wine the next day – I was asked for ID. As I got back in the car to go home I slammed a solid fist pump into the air believing that my primping was responsible. Who knows? The more you take care of your skin – the longer it looks good so go ahead and treat yourself to an…

At Home Spa Day.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#297 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

When I built those bookcases I mentioned above, a friend share the tip that “a little bit of caulk and a little bit of paint, make the carpenter what he ain’t.”.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#297

Use a caulk gun around the house

Recently, a friend prepping for a big family gathering mentioned that she spent the day ‘caulking’. When I inquired further, she indicated that she has made it an annual habit to roam the house looking for woodwork that had settled and/or separated over the year.

While I am quite familiar with a caulk gun when I am constructing something (built some bookcases a few years back), I’ve never randomly searched for areas in my home that needed that particular attention unless I was doing a thorough paint job – which, definitely doesn’t happen annually.

Happiest of all Mother’s Day to the moms out there today!

When I built those bookcases I mentioned above, a friend share the tip that “a little bit of caulk and a little bit of paint, make the carpenter what he ain’t.”. I’ve never forgotten and believe me… there was a tube or more on those shelves.

After the discussion with my earlier friend, I’ve notice many places around my own home that were quite oblivious before that conversation. Little cracks appear in almost every baseboard and I’ve noticed a few window sills that can use some attention.

Remember that post about Honey-do Lists I posted last week? This task is being added without further ado…

Use a caulk gun around the house.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#313 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

We challenged ourselves to introduce a new recipe into our evening routine at least once a week when we weren’t using a meal service and the intrigue continued, anticipating the preparation and new flavor combos.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#313

Try new recipes

At the age of 12, I found myself responsible for making dinner for my family several times a week. My recipe collection was limited limited to the three things that I recalled my mother making… Tuna Noodle Casserole, Meatloaf, and Spaghetti with meat sauce. That’s it. Sadly, those meals went into a rotation that seemed endless. So much so, that my siblings still resist anything resembling those entrees.

When my children were small, getting them to eat was a challenge sometimes and so I leaned into the pattern of making the dinners I knew wouldn’t be met with opposition. They were mostly uninventive, predictable, mundane, and bland. Eating wasn’t much fun for the adults in the house.

 

Until I made an effort to try new recipes.

I’m not talking about exorbitant delicacies from Bon Appetite, but those from Rachel Ray or Ina Garten; maybe even a really simple – follow the picture – recipe from Tasty that proliferates our Facebook and Instagram feeds.

A great way to explore new recipes and flavor combinations is to use a meal delivery service such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated or the half dozen others that are now in the market. We’ve tried several and what they share is variety from the meals I’ve cooked for decades now. Using a meal service has allowed us to regenerate an interest in cooking again. We’ve been introduced to foods like Israeli Couscous and Lemon Risotto; using olive oil and lemon zest more than ever before.

The meal service allows you to try different recipes without committing to an entire package of something as they send only enough for that particular meal. If you find that lamb with mint jelly isn’t your thing then at least you won’t be throwing away an entire jar of it.

We challenged ourselves to introduce a new recipe into our evening routine at least once a week when we weren’t using a meal service and the intrigue continued, anticipating the preparation and new flavor combos. Who knew that stimulating our dinner routine was a easy as …

Trying new recipes.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#316  of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Of course, there are some people who don’t want their feet touched… I simply cannot understand denying yourself that pleasure as it can be almost orgasmic with the right massage – but o.k…

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#316

Get a pedicure

From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, life is better when things are put together. No, that’s not really the kind of poetry I referenced a few days ago. I’m talking about making your toes – and your heels – pretty. Even the funkiest feet are prettier with clean, trimmed nails and soft, smooth heels. This includes – YOU, gentlemen.

Admittedly, I was well into adulthood before I had my first pedicure but quickly understood it was such a simple pleasure that I added $25 to my monthly budget from anywhere I could in order to treat myself. I love to go barefoot and so – no visual needed – my feet were in constant need of TLC and I was slow to respond personally. The fact that there are people in the world willing to take on that task blows my mind but I try never to look a gift-horse in the mouth (sorry – for all my non-american or much younger readers, I’m not sure of a good substitute for that idiom). I graciously accept the loving care that anyone is willing to commit to my feet.

Our feet are important! They carry us where we want to go. They hold us in position. They are abused, squished, tormented, and only sometimes – temperature regulated. They deserve any extra attention they can get!! Additionally, when ‘professionals’ are regularly assessing a body part, they are more apt to discover early warning signs of potential problems (i.e., bunions, corns, fungus). Pedicures most often include a brief foot massage – improving circulation. And, if absolutely nothing else – taking 30 min. – give or take – out of your daily routine to completely relax has its own specific health benefits.

Of course, there are some people who don’t want their feet touched… I simply cannot understand denying yourself that pleasure as it can be almost orgasmic with the right massage – but o.k., I respect that a few will protest this suggestion. Winter, spring, summer, and fall… once a month and just because …

Get a pedicure.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

 

 

#319 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Each time I sat in that room I could hear a faint rendition of Helen Reddy’s “I am woman, hear me Roar” and smiled a grin of pure satisfaction. I built something I wanted …

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#319

Build something

If fixing something offers a sense of accomplishment, then building something magnifies that tenfold. Starting from scratch is satisfying in so many arenas and construction is no exception. I’m not suggesting that you get all motivated and decide to build yourself a house – you may want to try something basic like a birdhouse – to make sure that something you build is inhabitable. Frankly, even birds wouldn’t nest in the first birdhouse I attempted; but it looked cute and rustic in my flower garden.

I was fortunate enough to have a dad that could fix almost anything and allowed me to get comfortable with a hammer at a young age. My little brother was so good, he took out part of a wall with nothing more than a Fisher Price plastic one. It made caused Dad to be more discerning about what he was teaching us!

As a joke, I received a tool belt one Christmas because I was apt to place a nail with my shoe or a stapler; whatever hard object was close at hand. It worked – but no doubt, jobs are easier when you have the proper tools. A tool belt kept everything I needed reasonably handy.

Once I was comfortable, I decided on a big project – a wall of built-in bookcases. I wasn’t overly anal about how square they were but at least I made sure they were level!  A talented carpenter I know once told me that “a little caulk and a little paint – make a carpenter what he ain’t” – so I knew that the imperfections of those shelves would be hidden away; mostly.

Each time I sat in that room I could hear a faint rendition of Helen Reddy’s “I am woman, hear me Roar” and smiled a grin of pure satisfaction. I built something I wanted and it looked and performed the way I hoped it would. I haven’t been as successful with other projects, but more than anything I have the sense of accomplishment that comes from trying.

What would you build if you were to …

Build something?

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#320 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

The sense of satisfaction that comes from fixing something yourself runs deep. Becoming your own handyman for those little things that are more nuisance than not is empowering …

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#320

Fix something

As you look around your house, do you see something that needs fixed? Are you frustrated that it doesn’t work? Is it more of a hassle to think about fixing it than the actual ‘doing’ of fixing it?

A few years ago I got tired of not being able to drain my bathroom sink – the sink stopper had broken months before and it was that kind of thing that you completely forgot about until you needed it. I opened YouTube.com and searched ‘fix broken sink stopper’ – which, is actually called a ‘Pop-up Drain Assembly’ and found a dozen explanations – with videos – on how to repair it. After a quick trip to Home Depot for the part – it literally took 5 minutes!! I must have complained about it being broken for more than 5 months and it was a really super easy and quick fix.

My neighbor fixed her leaky toilet ‘innards’ in a similar manner without any significant effort. It seems that almost anything you need fixing has a tutorial available online. It may take rewinding and repeating a few times as we ‘catch on’ but technology makes that super simple and no matter what you want to repair… there’s a video to guide you through.

The sense of satisfaction that comes from fixing something yourself runs deep. Becoming your own handyman for those little things that are more nuisance than not is empowering – especially for us women who are sometimes less exposed to ‘repair’ experience than our brothers. Certainly – sexism in NOT intended here – only demonstration of typical norms; which, are definitely changing as years go by. Thanks perhaps, to those videos that offer teaching moments for those of us who didn’t get it by way of life. The point is – regardless of gender or experience, YouTube offers a tutorial so that you can …

Fix something.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#321 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

A poem is YOUR heart… YOUR voice… and may promote freedom of expression and emotions where they might otherwise not work. You can use metaphors or describe literally… grab a notebook

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#321

Write a poem

Poems stand alone in a variety of forms and sometimes, they are set to music and become song. They rhyme or not… they are rhythmic or not… they are short or not.  They cite heartache, fear, joy, and hope. They are stories and parables.

How would a poem about you begin? What about a poem of your life? Would it be silly and childish like those of Shel Silverstein? Would it be inspiring like Maya Angelou? Would it be tragic or hilarious?

Poetry can be as simple as a collection of your visions and/or inner thoughts, strung together with or without subjects and verbs or punctuation and grammar.

Photograph

I see it there, moving

Me

Reflecting time, gone now-

You

Captured e-lec-tricity,

Us

Colored memory.

Ghost

 

Or they can be more vividly representative…

 

The ONE

The day you left me long ago

The angels came to say

They would take you home to rest

You wouldn’t be far away.

 

I listened to their wisdom

I tried to let it be

And I was looking for the day

When they returned for me.

 

The days and nights are lonely

Now that we’re apart

But I have always saved for you

A piece of my heart.

 

The rest has gone to one so small

You hardly knew

He’s the apple of my eye

He has the best of you.

 

We will live without you now

And try to go on

But rest assured my dear sweet love

You’ll always be my ONE.

A poem is YOUR heart… YOUR voice… and may promote freedom of expression and emotions where they might otherwise not work. You can use metaphors or describe literally… grab a notebook or open a document and give it a try…

Write a poem.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

** both of the poems written above were written by me – the first recently as I observed a photograph of my partner and I kissing the day of his cancer telling PET scan and the second is a poem I wrote more than 30 years ago after the death of my son’s father.