Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sad Announcement

This week, we lost our precious fur baby, Arthur, to cancer. For those of you who have experienced the loss of a pet,  you know how devasting it is. Last Monday, we noticed he was having difficulty breathing and vomiting, so we took him to a nearby animal hospital. After hours of tests, it was determined that our boy had several masses in his abdomen and chest. 

We took him to an oncologist to see if there was anything that could be done, but unfortunately, he was not a candidate for chemotherapy. 

Arthur was a beautiful rescue story. We were blessed with a year and three months with our darling boy. It still feels like a nightmare, like I will come home to find him napping on the couch, like always. 

Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. <3

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

10 Self-Care Ideas to Beat Stress

Stress. Unless you are completely debt-free and surrounded by happy, shiny people, chances are you are battling stress. It's such a part of our modern life. But it doesn't have to be! 

As I mentioned in this week's Monday Motivation, I am focusing on ways to overcome stress this month! This week, I am going to give you ten ways to beat the stress using self-care. These are my ten favorite ways to wind down after a particularly stressful day. 

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means a small portion of the proceeds go to support Pines and Peaches, at no additional cost to you. 

1. Spend time in nature 
I love love love to spend time outside. Sitting on the porch while reading, going for a walk, or visiting a park are great ways to get some nature time in. Methods such as grounding (walking barefoot) and forest bathing have become more popular as we learn the impact of outdoor time as a stress-reliever. 
For more info on this, check out Forest Bathing by Dr. Qing Li. 

This book talks about the Japanese practice of forest bathing and has tons of gorgeous forest pictures from across the globe. 

2. Read a book 
Books are my friends. Nothing in the world de-stresses me like chilling with a good book.  If you are feeling stressed, settle down with a cup of coffee or hot tea, and escape into the world of fiction! Bonus points if you are reading an inspiring book, stay tuned for more ;)

3. Take a hot bath
Whether you've had a long stressful day on your feet or sitting at a desk staring at a computer, a hot bubble bath is a perfect way to relieve tension. I love to use essential oil or a scented bath bomb to add some aromatherapy! My favorite scent is lavender or rose. Check out some of my favorites here: 

If you are battling allergies or a cold, use sinus bombs or a minty essential oil, like those found here:

4. Do yoga 
I've been doing yoga off and on since my college days when I first started dealing with overwhelming stress and the burn-out that comes with it. There is definitely a huge difference in the way I feel when I practice regularly! Yoga not only makes you more flexible and relieves tension, but it also helps calm your mind enabling you to handle stress in a more healthy way. Tara Stiles is one of my absolute favorite instructors. Check out her YouTube channel here: 

Tara Stiles Yoga YouTube Channel

She also has several wonderful books, here are my favorites: 

Seriously, she is my Yoga hero. Check her out! :) 

5. Meditate
Meditation typically goes hand in hand with yoga, yet it took me much longer to pick up. Honestly, it is super hard when you first try it! I'm a naturally hyper person, so it's really hard for me to sit still and quiet my mind. Once you start, it really does help so much. The key is to start off slow, remember, five minutes is better than no minutes! One book that really helped me understand the importance of meditation is Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson. This book delves into the neuroscience behind meditation and positive thinking. Check it out here: 

6. Light a candle or a diffuser
I adore aromatherapy! I have diffusers in almost every room (safer than candles when you have seven cats!). The Galaxy Oil Diffuser is so beautiful and has several timer and color options: 

As I've already said, lavender and rose are my favorites, but here are some great starter kits: 

7. De-Clutter
This one may not seem like much fun, but it is worth it! A cluttered home or workspace creates stress. When we are surrounded by chaos externally, we feel chaotic internally. When I feel overwhelmed, I put a movie or some music on, and start cleaning! Organizing is a big key to getting and staying clutter-free. Here are a few great items that help me stay organized: 

Of course, you can't talk about de-cluttering without mentioning Marie Kondo's wonderful book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This book really is life-changing. Except for that part where you only keep thirty books...I haven't been able to bring myself to that yet. The folding section of this book blew my mind, and changed the way I store my clothes! If you haven't read it already, check it out here: 

8. Listen to music.
Music is the universal stress-buster! Sad songs say so much, but so do happy ones. Personally, I'm a huge fan of 60s and 70s music, so most of my music library comes from that time, but no matter what your favorite genre or era is, find some uplifting tunes and listen your blues away! Stay tuned for my Stress Less Playlist post, coming later this month. :) 

9. Be creative. 
One thing that really gets me down is not getting to express my creativity. Long hours at work and an overbooked schedule can get in the way of our self-expression. If you find yourself stressed, try taking a painting class, or experimenting with a new craft. Recently, I started an Etsy shop to sell some of my crafts (mostly jewelry, but I'm hoping to branch out a bit in the future). Check out my shop GypsyTreasureDesign here: 

Gypsy Treasure Design Shop on Etsy

10. Indulge in a favorite hobby. 
Adopt a new hobby, or enjoy a favorite. Don't think of it as time wasted, look at this time as investing in yourself. Hobby time is a great way to recharge your batteries so you feel more refreshed and ready to take on the world! In addition to reading, I also enjoy video games, Taekwondo (counts as exercise too!), and crossword puzzles. If you don't have a favorite, experiment around until you find something you enjoy that helps you de-stress! 

Thank Y'all for reading! Be sure to follow Pines and Peaches to get all the latest updates! 

Monday, June 03, 2019

Monday Motivation- June 3rd

Happy Monday! 

     This quote holds such meaning for me, particularly after the year my family and I have faced. This year has been one of overcoming obstacles and betrayals. Even though the battle has been hard, I know I've come through as a stronger and better person. I know there are others going through tough times as well, so this month, I'm focusing on ways to beat stress and encourage you through whatever difficulties you are facing in your life. 

Stay tuned for more posts on how to maintain positivity and overcome stress! 

Stay Strong! 

Thank Y'all for reading! Be sure to enter your e-mail address to get all the latest updates from Pines and Peaches!