Gays in the Life

building our white picket fence.

Category: Vibes

7 minutes

I make it a point to meditate for seven (silent) minutes after a morning yoga session. It’s a great way to workout any lingering cloudiness before you head into the office. I must say, then zen is here today. I’m completely unbothered and calm, but I’m still a work in progress; Only a couple of emails have received a slight side-eye today. If any of you are familiar with corpse pose in yoga, that’s a great position to meditate and process in as well. 

Be zen, 

The Budget Queens Strike Again

So I went to Michael’s to get a couple posters framed over the weekend. The customer service rep at the counter was extremely nice, but there was no way I was paying $110, each, to get both of our Radiohead posters framed.

S and I plan on painting our loft a gray that is slightly lighter than the seal-toned color we had in our first apartment. I have a tendency to lean towards dark colors. Knowing this and the fact that our office/music/yoga space would be painted gray with pops of color throughout the space, getting white frames for these posters was my only goal at the popular craft store.

After learning the price to frame just one of the posters, and confirming the second would be the same or more because it was an odd size, I asked “…so where can I find your standard stock frames and white chalk paint?”

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Praise be to my mother, for blessing me with creativity and the gift of decor, and for a good sale on craft supplies. I was able to get two frames for $30 a piece and scored an additional 40% off one of those and my paint. I got out of the store for just over sixty bucks; NOT two-hundred and twenty plus. Go me.

S has always been a huge Radiohead fan. I had no idea who they were until they released In Rainbows – making a huge statement across the music industry, instructing fans to buy the album directly from their website for however much they wanted – no label involvement. I paid five euros and I can’t get enough of opening track, 15 Step.

We knew how we’d decorate the loft area in our condo from the moment we saw the space in person. “This space needs to be productive and filled with music” I thought now a little over three years ago. Keep this picture in mind as I describe how the loft space will look – things are rearranged in the living room now, but keep the color scheme in mind:

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The space will be gray-walled and trimmed in white. With a funky floral chair, resting on a spicy red rug, bookshelves (filled to capacity) and music art will surround what will be the funkiest corner of a library you’ve ever seen in a person’s home.

Our condo is open and the loft area is exposed, so picture the colors we have going on downstairs, suddenly shifting from chic, shady tones, to a color-punched and bold workspace. I do yoga in this space, S works in this space, and we hangout with friends, the most, in this space. Wait… I’m writing in this space.

The gray walls, paired with bright art and white trim, will make every piece stand out. Eventually I’ll have my trumpet hanging above one of the windows – serving as art and a reminder that I should pull it down and practice more – and my guitar and bass guitar on stands in the corner by the bookshelves.

Our Pinterest Palace is well on its way, I’d say, and finally having these posters framed will kick off the upstairs transformation.

Some nights… 


…call for a crispy Pinot Grigio moment. Tomorrow’s hump day.

The Oil Cleansing Method

Looking for  a more natural and chemical-free way to achieve clear, luminous skin? Check out my latest video for a piece of my daily skincare regimen – The oil cleansing method. You won’t be disappointed:

 

We’re Vinyl Queens Now.

 

 

(We opened a present to ourselves a little early. A record player and a mini stack of vinyl!)

This will be amazing in the loft once we have that space back. We always have music playing  around the condo. Our loft area upstairs is used as our office and chill area. Having music filling the high ceilings will be a great addition to the vibes up there.

We’ve got Solange’s A Seat At The Table spinning tonight.

Upside Down Paschimottanasana

Tonight’s time on the mat was needed to process my rage towards the rogue button that popped off my jeans at work. I haven’t the slightest clue why I was so annoyed – but I was.

Super short story time:

The button on my jeans broke today. I’d had the pair for going on a couple weeks and had already returned and replaced a previous pair from the same brand a few weeks earlier. I wanted to adjust my shirt properly, so I took a few steps toward the men’s room mirror. Lightly tugging at that the denim, I was enraged to hear the button hitting the floor; landing inches from my feet.

Working through each pose, focusing on connecting my breathing with each movement, I decided that the little things can’t get to me like this moving forward. I was genuinely annoyed, but harboring that kind of hidden negativity can be so terrible if it simmers too long. In upside down paschimottanasana pose, I purged the last of my peeved thoughts – concluding that things are finally calming down and all I need is some rest and focus.

If you’re hanging on to some non-sense for no reason. LET THAT **** GO. Take a moment for yourself, get it together, and get ready to squash the next thing that gets under your skin.

I’m usually following a video on Tim Senesi’s YouTube channel if I’m not going through Bikram poses. Tonight’s session:

Be easy, everyone!

That Holiday Feeling…

Now that we have another Thanksgiving behind us, it is high time for Christmas decorations around the (loft) condo. I’d been scanning Pinterest for a few weeks now – mostly checking out DIY wreath posts – and finally stumbled upon an idea for our front door.

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GORGeous, right?! I was out Christmas shopping when I decided to grab all the materials I needed for the project I’d been craving to execute. When it comes to inexpensive DIY craft materials, Walmart is a source I frequent. Nine times out of ten, I can find everything I need for less than six dollars an item.

The original frame I grabbed from Walmart died when I decided it was a good idea to try forcing the glued glass off the frame with the palm of my hand. The glass came out, but the frame broke. I can easily fix it with the Gorilla glue we have in the garage, but I wanted the project completed today – and repair was not on the agenda. The frame I used in the end came from Target; $19.99. I’ll repurpose the broken frame for another project.

Each ornament costs less than two dollars, the floral pieces were three dollars or less, and my hot glue gun was six bucks. Not bad for a last minute burst of inspiration on what could have been an expensive DIY craft. Just think, if you were to go into Home Goods – love that store, no shade, promise – they would try to charge you at least fifty bucks for a frame or wreath like this. I cut all the floral bundles myself, played with placement of material around the frame before deciding on a look, and finally set everything into place with hot glue.  I couldn’t stop at just my holiday frame extravaganza for the front door – I had to frame it with some candy cane ribbon feels.

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There’s nothing like the warm vibes of the holiday season. Everything seems more cheerful and light. We can all use a little bit of that feeling right now. I wasn’t able to decorate last year because we were in the middle of an emergency remodel when the holiday season arrived. I’m making up for lost time this go ’round.

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I had an extra ornament and some scraps from the frame project, so I started scouting places to put my lonely holiday florals around the loft. The concept of hard and soft in decor has always drawn me in. The strength of the stag and the delicacy of the flowers with their bold softness, compliment each other very well on our fireplace. Good pop-of-color moments get me every time.

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I had some more materials to use, so I put the rest around some candles on the entertainment center – cute.

Does anyone else think Christmas lights around the house set the perfect mood? I like turning off all the lights, except the Christmas lights and candles, and curling up under a blanket. Whiskey or red wine on the coffee table, music playing softly in the background, GQ magazine or a book in hand. I try to do this on a regular basis, but the added warmth of the holiday season puts it over the top. You should try it.

We do have our tree up, but I’m saving that picture for a later post. If you follow us on Snapchat (being_mrj), you probably got a peek there.

Remember to enjoy all the positive people and things around you this holiday season. Soak in that energy.

Be zen and happy holidays,

J.

Clean the Space, Clean the Mind. 

I’m in love with our dark bamboo floors in the loft. I love them more when they’re flashing that clean, just polished sparkle.


Say hello to our creeper dog, Reynold. I tweeted earlier that he just stares at us if he needs or wants something. Creeper dog. He’s actually pretty vocal once we figure out he needs something (haha).

Anyway! For weeks we’ve been avoiding cleaning the floor. Gross, right!? We love the dark floors, but they’re a little more to keep up with on the cleaning front. I’d rather see the dirt and have it shame me on a daily basis, than have it blending in with a lighter colored floor. People always praise lighter wood floors because they “can’t see the dirt as much.” That’s gnarley, in my opinion. We sweep the floors every week, but using the cleaner has fallen by the wayside the past handful of weeks. We don’t wear shoes inside so this helps a ton.

Whenever the floors are just cleaned, I have such a feeling of relief. S and I keep a very clean space, and if things start to pile up or get too dusty, we tend to go crazy; major moods and attitudes (lol).

S is almost done with school and our schedules are almost ready to calm completely down. There will be at least two more fullout cleaning days before the new year. We’ll need the extra zen as S enters finals time 🙂

Labor Day Meditation

I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about how busy S and I have been. Okay, that’s still true, but I’m over it. Let’s talk a little bit about rising above stress and maintaining healthy zen levels.

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In the past weeks, I’ve been really focusing on working meditation back into my daily routine – and encouraging S to do the same. Most hear “meditation” and immediately think they have to sit on a mat and do hours of breathing exercises. That method is used by many – and a session can go as long or short as you wish – but isn’t the sole way to regain a calm sense of self.

 

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My morning started with some coffee and taking care of my houseplants. I have a collection of succulents and a couple bamboo clones that I’m slowly building up, and a couple of them needed repotting. Stepping away from my laptop and phone always gives me an instant boost of clarity and lightness – a moment to process whatever is on my mind at that moment – so getting my hands dirty really breathed life into my morning.

 

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Cleaning is a great opportunity to put on some music – or one of your favorite YouTubers, shout-out to Shameless Maya – and adds a visual aspect to the cleaning you’re processing in your mind. I decided to continue riding my zen wave with sweeping and cleaning our bamboo floors. Jimi Hendrix knows they needed a good cleaning and I felt as if a ton of weight had been lifted after I’d polished the dark surface.

 

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I ran out of incense to burn, but I never run out of candles. This maple hazelnut candle has the loft smelling so delicious. There’s one of my jet bead succulents in its new home on the coffee table.

 

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Having a clean space enhances your ability to maintain a clear head. The last thing you want when you’re coming home from work is a dirty bathroom, cluttered living room, and a gross kitchen. Today after I’d done a huge chunk of our regular chores, the sense of accomplishment amplified my relaxation to a point. When we cook on the grill tonight, the kitchen will be clean – there’d be no mound of lazy-dirty-dish-skeletons. When I come home from work tomorrow, the space will feel open and light; we’ll be able to breathe.

Now, it is high time for some wine…

Warm Vibes & Summer Nights <3

So, I’ve been on my Mother Earth kick for the past year or so. Let’s face it, some of the changes I’ve made in my daily skincare and mental health regimen are in LARGE part to YouTube influencer/Podcaster Hey Fran Hey. From oil cleansing, meditation, and other forms of natural remedies, I continue to experience the benefits of an improved daily life.

I was excited when she announced her collaboration with Spotify – on her podcast, The Friend Zone. Just listening to their conversation about music on that podcast is enough to know this playlist was going to be something serious. A big fan of supporting indie artists, Fran has loaded the 39-track playlist with a healthy dose of artist I had yet to experience. A new personal favorite artist of mine is Iman Omari, thanks to @HeyFrayHey.

If you have a Spotify account, please give this playlist a listen! It’s perfect for some mellow vibes right before bed, background music at a house party or cookout, and even better for a romantic dinner with that special someone. Fun, light, filled with spirit and emotion, Warm Vibes & Summer Nights is what you’re looking for.

Soul and light,