Some of My Daily Tools

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Just a few items that helped me start my day today. After a shower and quick cold-water rinse of the face, I dug into some of my fave daily tools:

– Now Solutions apricot oil for a flawless glow. Yes gentlemen… you too can glow. Skincare is essential.

– Murray’s pomade (mixed with coconut oil) to lay down the frizz.  My hair is crazy, crazy I tell you! Even at this short length. A good brush comes in handy for my hair type.

– Wilma Schumann collagen eye patches (before apricot oil is applied)

– Bath and Body works Bourbon Shea Butter Body Cream. Don’t sleep on these body creams, gentlemen.

– Burberry London cologne, because, duh. Burberry is my favorite!

– A good trimmer to touch up the beard and hairline in between haircuts

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Let’s Take it Outside

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Going on a walk is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  You can clear your mind, get some easy, low-impact exercise, and enjoy some fresh air. If you were a fly on the wall in  our household, you’d notice that we’re very scheduled and don’t take much time for ourselves outside of the living room. This has improved with time. I tend to play with my schedule a ton, and most of the time it’s to my detriment. I do my best to fit in any tasks I have to complete, worry way too much about when I will hit the gym, and never end up getting through all I want to accomplish. Today I’m focused on being active. Screw everything else for a moment. Today, I will go on a walk, get some fresh air, and get to what I can when I can.

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.

Savory, Sweet Truth

CHAI TEA MUFFINS WITH CINNAMON GLAZE” by You Thyme, fellow WordPress blogger, spoke to me as a person that doesn’t follow the standard American diet. You Thyme talks about feeling shame for indulging in foods that aren’t actually terrible for you and the struggle of adjusting to a paleo lifestyle. 

S and I have been low-carbers for coming up on three years and we have both had tempting moments and slip-ups here and there. It’s completely normal and human. When you restrict yourself so greatly, to the point you can’t stop at the tiniest taste of whatver… You’re already too far down a tough path. 

We enjoy beers when we’re with our brew buddies, which isn’t often, and who can’t resist a bomb margarita in the summer?! We never feel like we’re on a diet and beer has really been the only thing we miss. We LOVE a good brew. I appreciated You Thyme’s honesty in this post and I’m excited to try the recipe! 

You can be healthy AND enjoy life. 

Hold The Treats

Victory comes in the form of turning down all the tempting, delicious, carb-filled treats that my mother-in-law will present when S and I visit home.  We had to put our foot down, and really prove to ourselves that we could stay true our health and fitness goals. S and I try not to worry our friends with our low-carb lifestyle, but a voice popped into my head before we hit the road down South. It was the voice of one of my best friends, ST, in Minnesota. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask someone to respect your diet and lifestyle…” Never wanting to come off as a snooty, delightfully rude individual, I would always eat what was presented, and never put in any special requests for any meal.

What ST said during our visit in Minnesota turned into a gospel, of sorts, just hours before leaving the low-carb sanctuary we call home. The few days we spent visiting the parents went surprisingly well, and it was easy – easier than expected, anyway, when saying no to a mom – to not eat any sprinkled, cream-filled, frosted item.  In the past, we would visit home, and assume we’d be eating terribly. It felt good to put an end to an assumption like that, because we now feel like we have full control over how we eat when we aren’t at home. Dealing with naysayers can be enough when it comes to our low-carb, keto lifestyle, but it’s a small price to pay for how great we feel sticking to our regular routine. The downside of it all will affect S’s mother the most… She’s a mom! She will always think we aren’t eating enough.