I. Love. This. Movie. It is absolute perfection and no one can convince me otherwise! There is a reason why it was so popular and won Best Picture at the Oscars.
Here's how I described this movie to my friends: "It is a beautiful love story between a woman and a fish man."
There's not much more to it than that! It is certainly an unconventional love story, but one that completely captured my heart. I adored the touches of French music and cinematography (even though it takes place in Baltimore, Maryland). The movie set and wardrobe are in shades of green up until a certain point when it changes to symbolize a shift within the main character, Elisa, which I thought was really interesting and added a special touch.
I was in tears by the end, overcome by the wonderful story line and joy for the characters. This is a must watch in my opinion. I hope you like it as much as my husband and I did!
I try using all-natural products as often as I can. The less chemicals in our home, the better.
I especially think about the chemicals I am applying to my hair and skin through various shampoos, face washes, lotions, and other personal hygiene products. I found a wonderful all-natural replacements for these types of items through Rare Bird Soap Shop located inside NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids.
This little shop charmed be from the beginning when I first visited a few years back. I frequented it when I visited NewBo, but mostly for my essential oil needs. Just recently I have started exploring the full handcrafted line of products Rare Bird offers and as long as they are around, there’s no going back for me!
Here are just a few of my favorite products:
A couple pumps of this foam cleanser is all you need. It thoroughly removes my make-up and leaves my skin feeling soft. I enjoy the natural scent. I struggle with acne and thought I would never be able to use anything but chemical laced, acne specific cleansers, but I feel like my skin reacts even better to this all-natural option. For a little exfoliation, I use a woven exfoliating facial buff, also available in the shop.
Rosehip Seed Oil Facial Serum
Again, just a couple pumps of this serum goes a long way. I never thought I would apply oil to my already oily skin, but I don’t know that I’ll ever go back to a regular facial moisturizer. This oil is light, absorbs quickly, and does not make my face look greasy. I put it on in the morning before applying make-up and again at night. It creates a really nice base for my make-up. My make-up goes on smooth and has better staying power. I also honestly feel that I’m seeing less “shine” on my face throughout the day. I did some research and Rosehip Seed Oil actually has a ton of benefits for your skin!
It will be impossible for me to use regular shampoo from a bottle after discovering this product. The shampoo bar suds up nicely and leaves my hair feeling both clean and moisturized. I don’t use conditioner, just the shampoo bar, and my curly (normally dry) hair has reacted really well. I’ve also noticed that I experience less dandruff. What I love the most about using a bar is that there is no plastic container, so this is a green option for those of you trying to consume less plastic as well!
As I mentioned before, I visit the shop in NewBo, but they also have a website and Etsy shop if you can’t make it to the physical location. I’ve always had a really good experience with the owner. She is very nice and is always willing to answer questions about when and how to use her products. The costs are also very reasonable for what you are getting.
If you are looking for natural, effective products to incorporate into your beauty routine, I highly recommend Rare Bird Soap Shop!
Green color correcting concealer has been around forever. I have seen it in magazines from the time I was young until now (still young, of course). As a person who has struggled with acne her entire life, you thought I would have jumped on the green concealer bandwagon a long time ago – but better late than never, right?
I’m 33 and still struggle with acne. It’s beyond frustrating. It’s embarrassing. It’s hard to hide. But I do the best I can with what I have.
So what I do with this concealer is put it on before the rest of my make-up. I wash my face, put on moisturizer, then my green concealer. It’s designed to help with redness, so I primarily use it on new acne and scars from past acne. Just a little dab will do. If you can see the green after you blend it into your skin you’ve used too much. Once I have this on, I put on my foundation, regular nude concealer and so on. It makes a HUGE difference and disguises my acne really well (at least in my opinion).
I use this kind and I love it:
It's called L'Oreal True Match Color Correcting Crayon. They have different shades available for different color correction needs.
An obsession I’ll talk about soon is the Netflix series Queer Eye. On one of their first episodes they showed a man how to use green concealer. He had really bad rosacea all over his face and rubbing some green concealer on it really took the redness down. So it is gender neutral as well, which I think is cool.
If you have adult acne and have any tips for either treating it or covering it up, I’m all ears!
I have never been an online shopper. Until I discovered Wish.
My mom had mentioned Wish a few months back. She boasted about how cheap their prices were and the wide range of items they sold. It sounded way too good to be true, so I disregarded her recommendation. I should know by know that when my mom says something – it is the truth – but I have a feeling I’ll never fully grasp that fact!
Anyway, I downloaded the app randomly one day and started scrolling through. I was swept away to sale land. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
There was still a huge part of me that couldn’t imagine how everything could be so inexpensive, but I had to give it a try. So far I’ve purchased two duvet covers, an essential oil diffuser, a Himalayan salt lamp, a light fixture (here's what I did with it), and a small crock pot. Everything has shown up in perfect condition, exactly as pictured on the site, and is normally delivered way earlier than expected.
I’ve been really pleased with my experience and couldn’t recommend it enough if you’re always out to find the best deal. They have a large variety of products. I currently have a bunch of clothing items saved to my clothing cache so that’s the next item I’ll try ordering.
Here are some photos of a few of the items I’ve purchased so far. Happy deal finding!
If you're looking for a movie that lifts you up, I've got just the one for you: The Greatest Showman. I walked out of the theatre feeling so empowered I felt unstoppable. I have never felt that way after any movie before.
A couple of disclaimers: This movie is a musical, so if you're not into that, you won't like it. Also, this movie is a non-traditional musical, so if you're expecting classic/typical musical music, you'll walk out disappointed. The music is pop - similar to what you'd hear on a top hits radio station. I wasn't expecting this, and didn't like it at first, but the messages overpowered any immediate reservations I had.
The movie follows the true story of the rise and fall and rise of P.T. Barnum of the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Hugh Jackman plays Barnum and he is a badass. He is surrounded by an amazing cast who are equally badass. The voices, the dancing, the era, the effects - all so good.
But like I said before - it's the messages throughout the movie that put this one over the top for me. Encouraging viewers to dream, to be themselves, to follow their hearts. My soul felt so full afterwards. We downloaded the soundtrack immediately. I can't listen to some of the songs without crying. It was, and still is, so moving.
Five stars. Two thumbs up. All the good reviews from me. I urge you to go watch it especially if you're looking for something to light you up inside. If you go see it - let me know what you thought!
Like so many, I'm a huge fan of essential oils and their benefits. I've shared in previous posts that I like to incorporate them into my meditation and yoga. I also wear them in place of perfume when I'm in need of emotional or physical comfort before I start my day.
I normally apply my oils topically on pulse points - wrists and temples - and on my chest, over my heart. I then inhale from the bottle a few times, passing the bottle back and forth beneath my nose. Although this routine is wonderful and very beneficial to me, I was looking for a way to make the benefits of the oils last all day long. This is where essential oil pendants come in!
Joel and I happened upon an Artist Holiday Pop-Up Shop in Cedar Falls at The Space where I found my first pendant. It is made of lava stone, which absorbs the essential oil, and a quartz crystal, which is a healing stone for a large number of things. I love the combination of the two. Unfortunately, I don't have the artist's information, but here's a lava stone/quartz crystal option from Etsy!
I also found that lava stones have been used for centuries to help reduce anxiety and calm emotions. (AMEN!) Lava stones are a critical element for grounding and stabilizing the root Chakra as well. So when you combine your essential oils with lava stones, you are combining two powerful natural compounds that increase the effectiveness of each other!
The second pendant I have was a gift. A very thoughtful gift because this person didn't know I wanted a clay essential oil pendant option! The pendant I received is from Essential Pendants, LLC. There are so many beautiful options!
When you have your pendant and are ready to use it, you only need to apply one to two drops of your chosen essential oil. The scent from just a couple of drops can last up to three or more days! Wait for the oil to absorb before you put it on, especially if it will rub on your clothing. When you're ready to change oils, wait for the scent of the previous oil to diffuse completely. If your pendant starts to absorb oils slowly, this just means it needs to dry out. Lay the pendant in the sun for two to four days and that should do it!
Are you an essential oil lover, too? Tell me about your favorite oils and how you use them!
With a world full of causes, sometimes it's hard to determine who or what to support. Joel and I have many causes that are close to our hearts, with the Salvation Army being near the top.
This year will be our fourth year ringing bells for their Red Kettle Campaign. We commit at least one night every year during the holidays to do this. It has become an annual tradition that we both look forward to. It's always freezing cold, but we're together, doing good, smiling, using the bells to play Christmas tunes, and feeling the warmth of peoples' generosity as they drop money into the kettle.
The Salvation Army itself does SO MANY wonderful things for our community every single day. Here's just a few of the ways they help those in need:
How awesome is this?! I think it's just wonderful. And is why I always drop something in a red kettle, even if it's a few pennies, because each donation counts.
If you're interested in ringing bells, it's really easy to sign up. You can go through the Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley when the campaign is running. I've found signing up through them is the easiest and fastest way because you are put in touch with a local coordinator. They have lots of dates, times, and locations to choose from.
If you can't donate time, donate your loose change, because like I said before, each donation truly counts and your dollars help make a huge impact in your local community!
Merry Christmas - 'tis the season of giving!
I've been intrigued by Jim Carrey as of late. He has received mixed reviews (and left some wondering about his mental stability) following recent interviews. His answers to basic questions are "out of the norm" and most would think he's acting a little kooky - even for Jim Carrey.
He has a background in Transcendental Meditation and I really feel like his answers are reflective of this practice. Thinking beyond the here and now. To me, he appears to be on his way to enlightenment, but that's because I understand the many stages of meditation and the places it can take you. So to me, he doesn't seem kooky - he seems to "get it."
My feelings towards him only became more positive after watching the documentary "Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond."
The documentary follows Carrey has he portrays Andy Kaufman in the movie "Man on the Moon." He dives so deeply into the character of Andy that Carrey himself disappears completely.
Throughout the movie, there are interview clips with Carrey that were filmed recently. The thoughts he shared were inspiring and reflect many of my thoughts about the human experience. He also opened my mind to several things I hadn't thought about.
I didn't watch this because of the Andy Kaufman content as much as I watched it for the Carrey content. It's a wonderful reflection of his psyche. Very honest. No concern for what others will think. Extremely thought provoking. I hope many walked away having their minds blown in a good way that will stick with them, but I assume more people walked away thinking this guy has completely lost his grip on reality.
There's something really genius in his "madness" that spoke to me. I'll probably watch it again just for the Carrey interviews. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who is into spirituality, meditation, what exists beyond us, and/or has concerns with conforming to social norms. Or of course, if you are a fan of Andy Kaufman!
“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” - Aristotle
Joel and I love books. We're usually pretty good about going to the library so we don't accumulate more stuff, but once in awhile we like to buy items that we either plan to keep or donate to the library when we're done.
Half Price Books is one of our favorite used book stores. The one we go to is in Cedar Rapids. It has an amazing selection and the books are as good as new. They also have music as well, which is where you'll find Joel during the bulk of our visits!
We took an impromptu trip to Cedar Rapids last weekend and paid it a visit. Here are some of the items I picked up:
This is one of my favorite books. It is great for reflection and meditation. I gave my last copy away to a friend who I thought would appreciate it, so needed to get another copy for myself.
This is a book on tape (CD) that I bought to listen to in my car. There are six discs and it is read by the author, Shonda Rhimes (if you live under a rock, she's a powerhouse television writer - Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, etc.). It is SO GOOD! I'm already on disc two and I've loved every minute of it. If you are like me - an introvert to the core with anxiety, social anxiety and/or "stage fright" - read (or listen to) this book. She gets it. And she finds a way to overcome it. It's pretty powerful.
To be honest, I was initially drawn to this book because it was hot pink! But after flipping through, it looked like just what I needed at this time in my life. Earlier in the day I had told Joel that life's about having grace on ourselves and others, so it was quite ironic that this book fell into my hands. I've committed to reading one chapter each night. I don't (can't) speed through personal development books. If I try, I lose interest. It has been a pretty easy read and I enjoy the author's point of view. It can also act as a workbook, leaving blanks for you to answer questions along the way to help you check-in with yourself. I reflect vs. writing my answers down because I want to give this to the library so someone else can benefit from it when I'm done!
Yes, I still buy CDs. I was thrilled to find these albums from two of my favorite riot girl bands - Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Always a punk girl at heart, baby!
Lastly, here's us, happy to be together for an entire day with no other commitments, wandering as we pleased. Doesn't happen at all anymore, so we definitely made the best of our time with each other!
I continue to try getting rid of our stuff, one item, one box, one car load at a time. Most of it goes to a local non-profit or Goodwill, but there are some items that have some value that we feel bad just giving away.
A buying and selling platform I really like is Let Go. It offers both a website and app option. I personally use the app. It is very user friendly and you can easily snap a photo, add details and upload your item for sale.
I have also purchased home decor items from Let Go. The experience has been really positive. You can communicate through the app with the seller about pick-up details and any delays that come up. I bring Joel with me because I'm a paranoid person, but all transactions have been pleasant.
The prices are usually pretty reasonable, they have many categories to choose from and there is also a free section that sometimes has some good items.
I also like this site as a source of inspiration. There are several people that sell unique handmade items like the bench below that I want to duplicate immediately after seeing.
The format reminds me a lot of Pinterest. Just what I need - a second Pinterest to consume all of my time!
Happy buying and selling! With hopes of more selling than buying, at least in my case!