5 Ways to Relax at Home

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5 Ways to Relax at Home via @poorandpretty

I’ve been a little more frenzied than usual lately, maybe because Stan isn’t around to balance me out. (He comes back from his two-week trip to Israel on Thursday!!) I’m a fairly high-energy person, and I tend to juggle a lot of projects at once. One thing I have difficulty with is relaxing. Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep because I can’t shut my brain off. If you have this problem too, you’ve likely tried solving it by a weekend spa getaway or a massage, which do work, but they get a little pricey. Here are a few things that work for me, things you can do at home without spending any money.

Disconnect Your Tech

1. Disconnect your tech. I’m putting this first because it’s the hardest one to do! We are constantly connected — checking our email, responding to texts, tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking… and hey, I’m as guilty as anyone. But turning off everything — phone, TV, computer — for a few hours is just so peaceful. (That’s why I secretly love when we lose power for a little while.)

Meditate

2. Meditate or do Yoga. This one’s a bit more obvious, but it’s worth including. If you live with others, give them a head’s up that you need some quiet time. Go to your bedroom or any room that is secluded and has a door that can be closed — it can even be the bathroom. Close (and maybe lock) the door and lay out a yoga mat or towel. Light a few candles and turn off the lights, maybe put on some relaxing instrumental music or Enya. Go ahead and laugh, but her stuff is great for relaxing. Sit for a few minutes and just breathe, focusing on the rhythm of your breath going in and out of your body. If you want to do some slow, easy yoga stretches, go for it. But remember: your goal here is to relax, not to work out, so don’t push yourself. If you’d rather just meditate, I find that placing a candle in front of me and concentrating on the flame helps my brain stay present and focused. Try not to let it wander off into the realm of tasks and to-dos.

Read a book

3. Read a real book. Call me crazy, but I read actual paper books. I do not read books on my iPad, and I don’t own a Kindle (and never will). I love the feeling of immersing myself totally in a story and a big part of that for me is the literal turning of pages. Oh, and I’m a highlighter and margin-scribbler. When I read, I don’t want to feel like I’m using another tech product. It’s my anti-tech time. Plus, the white/blue light emitted by tablets and computer screens trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, thereby keeping it active (and making it hard to fall asleep). The soft yellow glow of a nightstand lamp or book light won’t do that.

Take a Bath

4. Take a bath. I’m all about baths. I can’t wait until Stan and I have a nice deep soaking tub in our bathroom (it’s on our wish list). When I need to relax, I fill our tub up with warm water, toss in my Lavender Bathing Salts, prop my head up on a folded up towel and just soak until the water gets cold.

Go for a walk

5. Go for a walk. I guess you technically need to leave your home for this one, but even if you just go for a walk around your neighborhood, it costs you nothing and it’s good to get outside and breathe some fresh air. If your to-do list keeps growing or you’re really stressed about a specific problem, it helps to walk away from it for a while and get a fresh perspective.

What are some ways you relieve stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

All photos are courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo. Every month, they email an assortment of beautiful high-quality photos they’ve taken themselves so that bloggers and other creatives have killer photos to use online. Isn’t that awesome? :)

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Cinder + Salt is Makin’ Moves with their #LIKEABOSS Collection

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likeaboss with cinder and salt via @poorandpretty

You guys know how much I love Rachel DeCavage, right? She’s become a great friend and is a truly inspiring and tireless (seriously, girl, when do you sleep?) entrepreneur. When I helped her out with a photo shoot a few weeks ago, I got a sneak peek at her latest Cinder + Salt collection, and now I’m so pumped to officially share #LIKEABOSS with you!

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Inspired by the daily hustle of movers and shakers and lady entrepreneurs, #LIKEABOSS is just as energetic as Rachel herself. Says Rachel, “We designed our products for women who carefully balance their career and personal goals, and crave apparel and accessories that skirt the line. The designs are centered around inspirational phrases and are printed on items that can be worn at work, to the gym, and anywhere in between.”

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The motivational prints and tees are just as much a rallying cry as they are encouragement, especially the stayin’ hungry stayin’ foolish design, inspired by the famous Steve Jobs quote. There are five new designs in total, each printed with reclaimed inks on racerback tanks, slouchy pullovers, tote bags, and as 11 x 14 prints.

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I want one of everything, especially the pink Go Getter slouchy pullover!

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Oh, and she’s even got a set of pencils, for everyday inspiration. Grab your favorites here before March 1st and get 15% off with code TAKECHARGE.

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Friday Faves: 14 Indie-made Valentines

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We’re down to just 8 days until Valentine’s Day, peeps! If you haven’t picked up a card for your Valentine yet here a few made by local and indie artists that I’m sweet on. Or, make your own!

Be My Honey Pie card - Made in the Shea'd

1. Be My Honey Pie card by Made in the Shea’d. I picked this up at Get Baked’s Love Local Market last weekend for my honey pie. ♥

I Love Ewe - Hartford Prints

2. I Love Ewe letterpress card by Hartford Prints! This has Suzi written all over it…

3. Cat Love Card by River Dog Prints.

Let's Make Out - Wiley Valentine at UO

4. Let’s Make Out card by Wiley Valentine, found via Urban Outfitters.

5. Love Greeting Cards 12 pack by Modern Memo.

Heart Garland - Rifle Paper Co

6. Garland Greeting Card by Rifle Paper Company, found via Ruche.

Kisses cards - Brika

7. Kisses Boxed Card Set by Shana Frase.

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8. Lovey Dovey Letterpress Card Assortment by Smarty Pants Paper Co.

You Make My Heart Go Boom Boom Boom - The Social Type at UO

9. Boom Boom Boom card by The Social Type, found via Urban Outfitters.

10. Sugar Skulls card set by The Octopress.

Hay There heart glasses cards - Brika

11. Hay There Cards (set of 4) by Lemonwood Imprints.

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12. I’m Keeping You Card by Sad Shop.

Sea How Much I Love You - Brika

13. Sea How Much I Love You cards by Cartoules Press.

You're My Person Mug by Glitter and Bold

14. You’re My Person mug by Glitter and Bold. Why not say it on a mug instead?

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Upcoming Events: Love Local & Galentine Bash

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Normally, winter is a time of hibernation for my business, and I don’t usually do events. But one of my goals this year is networking, so I’ve got two lovely events coming up!

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I’m so pumped to be part of my very first show as a Nutmeg Collective member. It’s a fantastic, active community of Connecticut businesses. They’re hosting a pre-Valentine’s Day Love Local Market at Get Baked Bakery in Windsor this Saturday & Sunday. I’ll be there Sunday only – hopefully the weather won’t be too bad!

Galentine Square

You know how much I love collaborating with Rachel DeCavage of Cinder + Salt. We’ve teamed up with the Haven Collective to host the best Galentine event in Connecticut. Maybe even the best in the Northeast! (Yes, we’re that confident.) Stop by Saturday, February 7th to shop, mingle, and make. Rachel will teach you how to screen print and I’ll have all the mixings for salt scrubs and bath salts. Just make sure to reserve a spot if you want to craft. I’ll also have my Poor & Pretty Apothecary products in tow and Rachel’s bringing her eco-friendly clothing, jewelry, and accessories. We can’t wait!

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Be Inspired & Empowered at Monarch Workshop

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I have been hoping for something like Monarch Workshop to come to Connecticut for a long time. I live in a small state, sandwiched between big artistic hubs like Boston and New York, which constantly host cool creative networking/inspiration boot camp type events. Finally, we have one too. And until tomorrow at 3pm EST, you can grab Early Bird tickets for just $150. Regular ticket price is $225, so that’s a pretty sweet deal!

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Monarch is a two-day event (March 21 & 22) for women entrepreneurs, dreamers, creators, movers, and shakers. Whether you’re an already-established kickass small business owner or a creative lady looking for inspiration and kindred spirits, you’ll be right at home at Monarch.

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There will be crafting and DIY-ing with Latanya Barrett of Sprinkles & Booze and Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom

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Yummy treats from Whisk + Brush and confetti from The Confetti Bar

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Yoga lessons, branding and marketing tips, photography sessions, and so so much more. Get the lowdown here, and stalk the speakers here.

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I have serious love for founders Jessica Huizenga and Madeline Rhodes for putting together such an incredible event. Is March really two months away?!

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It’s all going down March 21st & 22nd at B:Hive Bridgeport, the coolest co-working space in the state.

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What are you waiting for?! Spots are limited so grab your Early Bird Tickets now! And I’ll see you there. (I may even contribute some goodies to the swag bags!) ♥

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