Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Joe's QALO Ring

Not going to lie, my husband has some pretty decent fashion sense.  Sure, he makes some rather interesting choices on occasion, but don't we all?  Anyway, because I like the things he picks out, I have become more and more inspired to do some men's fashion posts.  I know this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but, some of the items I'll show you may come in handy as gift ideas, or be good suggestions for the men in your life!

Today, I wanted to talk about Joe's QALO wedding band.  This is not the ring that we were married with (that one we save for special occasions), but it is the one that he wears on an everyday basis.  It's much more comfortable for him, and I think it looks really cool.  So, what makes it so different I need to talk about it?  Well, they are built for an active lifestyle.  Say you do a lot of manual labor, or do a lot of camping, hiking, just spending a lot of time outdoors in general.  This ring is essentially built for you.

They come in a variety of colors, and having my sense of color, Joe obviously went with black.  Does this remind you of my Diffusing Essential Oils post at all?  The coolest part about this ring, though, is that it's made out of silicone.  Yes, you can bend and stretch this ring, and it will be absolutely fine.  Is that not amazing?  So, it's safer than some rings, isn't going to get stuck on your finger, and they only cost $19.99 for a solid ring like this.  

It's definitely not your traditional wedding band, but we absolutely love it, and I think it would be worth a try if traditional rings are uncomfortable to you, or if you live a more active lifestyle.  It doesn't even matter if you're a man or not, because they have rings for women, too.  In fact, both my parents have been looking into getting these rings for themselves for that exact reason.

If you've had or wear a QALO ring, I'd love to know your thoughts on it, so please leave me a comment below!  Or, let me know what kind of ring you or your significant other like to wear.  I'd love to hear anything you'd like to tell me!  Oh, and can we just take a moment to appreciate how attractive this man of mine is?  I don't know that I could have been more blessed!  Love you!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rubber Band Prayers

 A while ago, the youth minister at our church introduced the concept of keeping a rubber band prayer to me, and I knew while he was telling me about them, I had to share it with you guys.  Basically, the idea is to make a bracelet out of a plain old rubber band, and write prayer topics on it to remind you of things you need to pray about.  Obviously, this can get really personal, so the one I'm sharing with you today is a little more generic than one I would keep for myself.

While this concept is really simple, I did want to go through just a couple tips with you that I found made a big difference in how I make my rubber band prayers.  You'll need three items: a pen (preferably non-permanent), a journal, and a rubber band.

Slip the rubber band around the journal, as pictured below.  This gives you a nice, secure way to write on the rubber band, and it's surrounding the journal in prayer, as well, which will be a cool thought later on. :)

I did add hashtags to the beginning of each of my prayer topics...mostly because that's what the minister did.  There's not too much of a reason behind it.  It just looks kind of cool and modern!

I would also recommend writing really wide letters, because once you take the rubber band back off of the journal, you're left with much smaller letters.

Just keep on adding prayers until your rubber band is completely filled up.  Earlier, I mentioned that it is best to use a non-permanent pen to do this.  The reason behind this is that eventually, these prayers will fade, and you will have to put new ones in their place, or if they're still relevant, you'll have to look at them again with new eyes.

Finally, I'd mentioned that surrounding the journal with prayers would be a cool thought later on.  It is now 'later on'.  Once your rubber band prayer has been completed and added to your wardrobe, you can use the journal as a prayer journal to keep tabs on how your spiritual life and prayer is going.  This keeps you accountable, and you can get as personal as you want!

I love the concept of prayer rubber bands, and I hope you guys do, too!  Not only is it an awesome reminder to continue working in our faith, but it doubles as a cool, edgy fashion item, suitable for both men and women!  Let me know what your thoughts are, and if you made one yourself, feel free to let me know what some of your prayers are, so I can be praying with you!  Love you!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Diffusing Essential Oils

My goodness, it seems like everyone is talking about essential oils, doesn't it?  Now, every time I go on Pinterest, I'm finding recipes for different medicinal remedies using them, beauty recipes, even suggestions to use oils in food!  To be honest, I haven't fully decided what I think about all that, but one use I have definitely decided I like is diffusing oils.  

While even in diffusing there seem to also be an endless array of possibilities from using specific oils to kill off airborne bacteria, help in curing colds, etc., I've found that for the most part, I just like to have a nice scent wafting through our house, specifically in the bedroom where I like to diffuse a nice, lavender oil.  Before I get into that, however, I wanted to talk about the diffuser I use, specifically.

Most of the people that I know personally use a Young Living diffuser, since we have a fairly large community of people that swear by them where I live, and honestly, if I end up purchasing more oils, I'll probably go through one of them, if only to support their business.  However, I can't say that I am the biggest fan of the way their diffuser looks.  Actually, let me restate: it's a beautiful diffuser that just doesn't go with my decor :).

So, I took to Amazon, in search of a diffuser I did like, and found this Jasmine Aroma Diffuser by Stadler Form.  They come in a ton of different colors, but my favorite, of course, was black.  I just think it's such a nice, sleek design, and just blends with all of our other decor items so nicely.  It can also diffuse continuously, or at an interval of 10 minutes on, 20 minutes off.  Personally, I love the interval option, particularly when we're sleeping, because you don't really have to worry about it, and you don't get used to the scent, either!

As for the oil I use in this diffuser, I love using lavender.  Like I said earlier, I don't know about all the medicinal uses - I'm still reading a lot about them - but from essentially everything I've read, lavender is supposed to help relieve stress, and allow a person to relax, and sleep.  Some of you know that I occasionally struggle with a bit of insomnia, and my husband has a rather stressful job.  So, if all of this is true, then bring on the lavender!  But, we also just both really like the scent of it, and the lavender does create a nice atmosphere, too, so in that way it's basically a safer version of a candle.

The specific oil I use is from a brand called Aura Cacia.  I just found this at my local grocery store, and it does what I need it to just fine!  Maybe in the future I'll purchase some of the fancier oils, but this has definitely lasted me a while!  In fact, if you wanted, you could go back to my DIY Dryer Balls post (which I still use, and love), and you'll see that I used the exact same bottle of lavender oil.  A little of this stuff goes a long way!

While my jury is still out on my full opinion of essential oils, and I haven't chosen between Young Living, DoTerra, or any other brand, I am curious as to what you think of them!  Let me know what you think about essential oils, diffusing, and different brands, so I can make an informed decision!  Love you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bee Well Essentials Lip Balms

I suppose I should get a little disclaimer out of the way here, before I get started on this post: I am friends with Danielle, the girl that makes these lip balms.  However, this fact does not influence my opinion on them, and she does not in fact know that I am writing this post, yet.  I just had to tell you guys about them!  If you saw my February Favorites video, you'll already have heard me talk about them a little, and my opinion has not changed.  If anything, I'm more attached to them now than I was before!

So, these are the Bee Well Essentials lip balms in Lavender Bliss, and Cocoa Vanilla Bean.  They are handcrafted balms made with organic ingredients like Beeswax (I think directly from her father's bees - yes, he's a beekeeper.  How cool is that?!?!) and essential oils. They are the most hydrating balms I've ever tried, and even beat out Dior's Creme De Rose in my opinion, no matter what the cost!  Though, they are only $3 a piece, or 2 for $5, which is pretty amazing.  I know there are a couple places around northern Minnesota that are selling them already, but I would guess that for you guys, the easiest place to get your hands on them is going to be Etsy.  She has her own shop, and is really good at responding to any questions you might have!

So, since these are so amazing, and not incredibly expensive, I've already picked up three.  I have two of the Lavender Bliss ones, and one Cocoa Vanilla Bean, and love all of them!  The Cocoa Vanilla Bean is a lovely, bakery like scent that reminds me a little bit of hazelnut, and I keep this up in my "office", which also happens to be my filming room and our guest bedroom, just to have while I'm working.  It's a nice, relaxing, comforting scent, and feels amazing!

Obviously, my favorite is the Lavender Bliss.  Naturally, it smells like lavender, which is actually a scent that I'm becoming more and more attracted to...not going to lie, it might be because of this balm.  Since getting it, I've played around with lavender epsom salt, diffusing lavender oil, and using this.  It's another calming and relaxing scent, and I must say, since I've incorporated more lavender in our home, I think both Joe and I have been sleeping better!  Anyway, since I love this so much, I have one that is a permanent fixture in our bathroom, where I get ready every morning, and one in my purse for those out and about moments.  

Like I said, I love these things.  I remember one day, when I just had the one Lavender Bliss, that I'd forgotten to use it, and was out of the house all day, and I legitimately missed it.  I'm not usually like that, either.  I can forget pretty much any lip balm and not miss it, except for this one, and I've heard similar stories from other people that have used it.  I think it's just that good.  So, please check out her Etsy store, and let her know that I sent you!  I hope you try these guys out, and let me know what you think of them!  Love you!