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Finding Your [Original] Zen August 18, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Cleanse Mind Body Spirit, Cooking, Health and Fitness, How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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We’ve all heard about finding our zen; mediation, yoga, running along the lake front. For many people “vegging” out, or finding their center means working out, dancing, going to a Bikram class or taking a singing lesson. For others, going to church or another religious institution, therapy or sitting alone and drinking tea while reading works. All these conventional methods allow an individual to take time out of their day for their mental, emotional and spiritual health. Something different works for everyone but there are so many of us out there who are still trying to find their zen activity. Running is great, but maybe it’s more work than relaxing. Some people get intimidated in a Pilates class or at the gym. Spirituality is individual, but for many, going to a church or temple isn’t something that gives them inner peace. Sitting still is also very hard, and while it’s important and healthy to just be, it isn’t something that often comes easily. Finding your zen means finding something you enjoy that also relaxes you and gratifies your soul – meaning, sitting on the couch watching TV is out, no matter how much you are trying to convince me that it “makes you emotionally healthier.”

vintage-beauty-vanityThink about something you can do, a singular activity, that you can do without the need of other things. In example, maybe you love knitting, but you find that after ten minutes you get bored if you’re not watching a movie or TV re-runs. Find something that fulfills you on its own. Many people find cooking as a place of peace – it’s mentally interactive, focuses your attention on one thing, and it can be very cathartic. Most importantly, at the end of the process you are left with something beautiful, delicious and made from scratch! A zenful activity is one that satisfies, whether this means you have a finished end product or just a sense of accomplishment. (more…)

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Household Tricks You’ll Use For the Rest of Your Life! April 29, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Apartment Life, Fashion/Clothes, Health and Fitness, How To, Tips and Tricks.
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Rather recently, DLIH stumbled upon a phenomenal article at Funcage.com – 18 Useful Household Tips and Tricks. Like with all things, DLIH happily accepted the challenge! We are happy to report that the tips and tricks we chose, not only, blew our minds, but changed our lives forever. Here are the DLIH TESTED, DLIH APPROVED household, life-changing, tricks! Try all 18 for more fun and mind blowingness!

In order of AWESOMENESS!

1.

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 How has no one else ever thought of this?! It’s perfect for in the office, at the gym, or especially if you work from home and always forget to stay hydrated!

2.

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So logical! Most of all, you save the earth – no more toilet paper roll trash! I have also seen toilet paper roll tubes used to organize your dresser drawer (ladies). Roll your stockings or tights and then stick them in the tube, opening facing up, just like the box above. Then, when you are getting dressed you can easily see all your colors and it will keep them safe and snag free.

3.

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I did not think this would work. It totally worked! Of course, don’t turn the thing up full blast and leave the room, but for normal boiling (pasta, rice, potatoes) it works wonders! Wooden spoon salute!

4.

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So many hands, fingers, ponytails saved! (more…)

Fall Asleep FAST! April 20, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Beauty, Health and Fitness, How To, Medical, Tips and Tricks.
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Sleepless, stressed and most importantly sleepless. Did I mention sleepless? It’s the most agonizing thing almost anyone can go through. Just laying there, staring at the clock, thinking about how many hours you have left to potentially get some rest before you have to wake up? If you haven’t been there, you’re not human. Try this on for size! The 4-7-8 breathing trick! DLIH TESTED, DLIH APPROVED!

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It’s not the easiest thing in the world, do not be fooled. Also, it may not knock you out in a 30 second flat like the article seems to claim, but what it will do is relax your body and get you into sleeping mode. Due to the concentration on breathing and counting, it will eliminate the chance of your mind wandering to things that you are stressed or worried about. If it doesn’t help you fall asleep right away, it will get you to Mr. Sandman time much faster!

The Keys to Success March 14, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Finances, Following Your Dreams, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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Learn to laugh at yourself. Invest in your future. Take responsibility. Have a thick skin. Don’t be afraid to take risks. 

What do all these things have in common? Success. Success isn’t something you stumble upon, it’s something you work towards. This article illustrates some of the top traits successful people have, and how to hone in on your own success! Whether it’s in class, at work, or in your personal growth, success is what you make of it!

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Stop Being So Negative! March 10, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Health and Fitness, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Tips and Tricks.
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Another great article form Elite Daily on the 7 negative things 20-somethings are doing!

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Be a happier, healthier YOU! Read on to find out which if these 7 behaviors you’re guilty of and make some positive changes today!

Why You Need a Vacation February 13, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Cross Training for Life, Health and Fitness, Jobs and Work, Tips and Tricks, Traveling.
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Vacation; it’s something we can do without. It’s a luxury. It’s a self-indulgence. So, if we don’t take one for a couple of years, we’ll be fine. After all, that money should be going towards our savings, our student loans, our car payments, or just under our mattress for a rainy day, right? Wrong. Here’s why you should take a vacation at least once a year, and how to do it.

Science has shown that in men, a risk of a heart attack increases by 30% if they opt out of a vacation, that number increases to 50% in women. We hear that and we think, okay, that’s something I’ll worry about when I’m 40 and by then, I’ll have the finances to take a vacation annually…but what if you won’t? Will that be the never-ending excuse? Statistics also tell us that, not only do American’s receive less vacation days than most employees of other countries, but fewer and fewer Americans are using all their days. Perhaps there’s a feeling of guilt, being away from the job, perhaps our employers put that pressure on us, that idea that every e-mail needs to be answered, every phone call needs to be returned and there’s no good reason to abandon clients for a week while you’re sipping on mai-tais in the Bahamas. Just like a sprained ankle needs rest and healing, your mind and spirit need quiet time too. Today, it seems like you’re invincible, perfect skin, flawless hair, a work ethic for days and the energy of a small child but the truth is, if we don’t take a break every now and then we’re going to spiral out of control and soon that super hero ability will turn into exhaustion.

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Detaching From the Situation June 16, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Family, Friendships, Health and Fitness, How To, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Tips and Tricks.
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“You’re a horrible person.”

“You did the opposite of a good job.”

“What made you think this was a good idea?”

“You’re seriously under performing.”

Things we’ve all probably heard at one point or another. Whether it’s coming from a boss, or co-worker, a friend, a parent or a partner, it’s the worst thing to hear and it’s shocking. When you’re sitting at the opposite end of a table and someone looks you dead in the eye and starts telling you that you’re, basically, worthless, your first reaction is shock. In your mind you’re thinking “What is happening right now? Is this for real?”, then you’re next reaction is defense, followed by total loss. You want to spurt back “I did a great job! And you know it!” but what actually comes out it something more along the lines of “I..well, I, after looking over the report, I, we,…it appeared that it would be the best..more appropriate decision.”  Which usually only opens the conversation to more details about how much you suck. No one, human being is built to withstand a verbal hurricane, no matter how strong you are or how many times you’ve been through it, there is no way to prepare yourself for a sudden blow.

In a recent experience, someone I highly respect was delivering a message from someone else, once again, telling me I was failing at life and should probably just stop trying to impress anyone with any attempt at pathetically proving them wrong. Then she paused, looked into my eyes, and said “I think not caring comes with age.” I laughed. I laughed because the girl next to me was near tears, and I was considering putting my fist through a wall, and I laughed because it was true. Both still in our twenties, we took this reprimand to heart. When you’re an adult, there is no more first grade teacher around to tell you that even though you didn’t write all the letters correctly, you’ll try again tomorrow and it’ll be better! No, in the real world, sometimes you get one shot to not make the N backwards and if you fail, you fail. You failed. And someone is going to make it known to you. I laughed, because I realized how stupid it was to care so much about something that would, moving forward, be fairly insignificant in the grand scheme. I decide that, regardless of being young or old, I was going to learn how to not care.disneys-peter-pan

My mother told me that confident people don’t put others down. Confident people also rarely refer to themselves as confident. A person who is secure in their profession, their relationship, their situation in life, won’t spend the time to find small faults in others. So, when your significant other of six-months starts outlining how you’re just not emotional invested enough in the relationship, maybe stop to think if this is something that he or she is actually dealing with? Perhaps your boss insists that low sales are a result of you not trying hard enough; a good boss is going to give you constructive criticism, not blame you and waste everyone’s time. Maybe you’re not so close with your parent or sibling, and they’re always highlighting your imperfections; sounds like this is something they’re insecure about. The examples could go on and on, but the lesson is more valuable than the stories.

So I tried, the next time I got a snippy e-mail, or saw a rude Facebook post, or even just felt discouraged at my job. Before I could let myself really get down, I thought of something that makes me happy. Not something superficial like sitting on my yacht, or on a beach with a cocktail, or driving around in my BMW – none of which actually exist; but something real like what I would be doing with friends that weekend, or a nice dream I had, or an event that recently occurred that made me smile from ear to ear. After I got  this mental picture in my head, I just moved on with my day. Whenever I felt that tension or frustration rise up again, I pushed it away with happy thoughts [Peter Pan and Tink really had something there]. You can’t just push it away though, you have to release it, not hold it in. Don’t talk about it too much with others, don’t harbor on it, basically pretend it’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard in your life and forget about it!

I tried…and it was super hard! It was so hard to pretend it wasn’t bothering me, it was hard to think of something else, it was tough to just not keep bringing it up. I don’t even think I’m that great at it yet, but I tried, and I got over what was bothering me and most of all, I didn’t let insecure people get under my skin! Be the cream, rise to the top and just be above it all. People who want to be insecure and cause tension are welcome to relocate back to high school. Space is always open snd registration is free. Focus on being s better you and let losers find a way out of their own mess.

Anger is Awesome March 31, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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Have you ever felt like there was a very specific part about you, something you really value about your personality, something no one could take away from you, something that made you special, suddenly gone?

It’s pretty normal to change as we grow-up, but it’s a trial and error when it comes to which part of ourselves we want to change, and which parts are so “us” that we want them to never change. Some are easy – your bad habits, your juvenile qualities, the things about you that coulcute_angryd be better, or new things that you discover and want to create as part of you. Then there are the things that are so already awesome, that you want them to stick – drive, determination, passion, eye for design, ear for music, ability to take care of yourself. Along the way, lines get crossed, and it gets confusing about what we want to change and what we don’t and suddenly we’ve realized we lost a part of ourselves we never wanted to let go of.

You can’t just get it back…it sounds silly, but it’s true. If you were once really passionate and interested in art history, you can’t just, one day, wake up and decide that you’re going to go take an art history class and suddenly the status quo is resorted. Things get in the way; scheduling, other commitments, time, effort, laziness, and so on. Then we start questioning if we even want to try to get that part of ourselves back, maybe it’s just easier to do it this way, this new way.

Well, after recent experiences, I’ll tell you what does work. Anger. It sounds so strange, so backwards, but once you get mad enough, it’s almost like a reset button, all the squares fall into the square holes, all the triangles fall into the triangle spaces. Things that are truly important to you return to you like a restart function. Let’s say you just went though a bad breakup, or you got in a huge fight with your parents, or your boss just screamed at you for not getting a report in on time. Your mind, body and soul will automatically retreat to what makes you happy, what releases your stress, and what takes you away from the world. We all need our time and our space and for many of us that alone time means doing something that makes us feel like our complete selves.

So, what if you want to get mad without actually being mad? Find your zone. Listen to empowering music, or songs with a really hard beat. Get yourself determined by blocking yourself off from the rest of the world. If you’re on your way to the gym, hide behind your sun glasses, put your music on and walk at a fast pace, with a purpose. If you’re trying to write a novel, focus; find a quiet place that’s comfortable for you, get a cup of tea, and turn off your phone. Anger isn’t just about being mad at all the world, all the time, it’s super intense focus and commitment to something you love or want to do.

It can be hard to find all the different puzzle pieces that make you you. Some are going to be new, some are going to be old, and many are going to be rediscovered. It’s a process that will change again, and again, and again, and again, as you get older but it will become more about small adjustments than drastic changes. Right now, while you’re in your twenties and discovering who you are, take advantage of being angry and channeling that anger in the best way possible.

The Routine March 17, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Health and Fitness, How To, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Tips and Tricks.
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“Keep walking…just keep walking.”

Probably not a saying, phrase, sentence, or slogan you’d associate with the morning. Something like “Open your eyes”, or “Rise and shine” Might seem more appropriate, but if you’re like me, simple pleasantries are not the thing that’s going to work for you in the morning. When it comes to desk organization, scheduling, and lists, I am a master at all, but there are two things I’ve never been able to get down pat – my morning and evening routines.

The older I get, the less I can wake up fifteen minutes before I’m out the door, do my makeup on the train or at work, and have a Starbucks muffin for breakfast. I feel like when I was twenty-two it was so easy and it didn’t affect me too much, but now; Now? If I’m even the slightest bit off in the morning, I feel it, I’m sluggish, my body won’t wake up, and then I can’t fall back into my seven am wake-up call routine the rest of the week. It’s a killer. I’ve tried everything…and I mean EVERYTHING short of this: 95768_v1

So, instead, I’ve invented the “keep walking method”. I place my alarm about five feet from my bed (yes, I know what you’re thinking, it doesn’t work, you just get back in bed. Keep reading.), and then when I get up to turn it off, I start saying to myself “just keep walking, just keep walking…” and slowly, I’ve made it to the bathroom. Once I wash my face and brush my teeth, the thought of getting back in bed is gone from my mind. BAM! Not to say I’m not tired, not to say I don’t want to curl back up into the warmness of the covers, but let’s be honest, the hardest part about waking up is waking up. Once you’re up, once you’ve brushed your teeth and are on your way to get your cup of coffee, the entire processes starts to flow. If you can just get yourself out of bed, the rest will follow.

Much the same for my evening routine, I pick a time, and no matter what, I get my butt up off the couch and take my make-up off, put my PJ’s on, shutdown my laptop and put my phone on silent. If I don’t do this, it’s magically midnight and my droopy eyes have surrendered to the comforts of the coach. While the morning routine has never been easy for me, the evening routine is the one I never liked. I still have a little bit of that ten-year old me, the one who would keep delaying brushing her teeth in an effort to stay up longer. So, if I don’t force myself to start the routine, it’ll never happen. Plan and simple, some things are just about discipline.

The best way to get into a routine? Start by not having one. Take the weekend, or a few days and let yourself go: eat what you want, hang out on the couch, sleep in, relinquish yourself of all routine, but then, set a finite line of when this “vacation” from the norm will end. Believe me, one too many hours being a couch potato and you’ll be excited for your routine! Make a checklist, (Yes, I know it sounds juvenile but what we’re dealing with here are a bunch of babies who can’t get up in the morning), sometimes making yourself visibly accountable will force you to get things done, no one likes to see failure on paper. No matter what you do, don’t give up on yourself, if you fall off your schedule one night, don’t call the rest of the week a wash, just keep going, pick back up where you fell off.

Creating a routine is like a marathon; you may need to stop and walk, or take a rest, or need a drink of water, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get your stride back. The more you do it, the easier it will become, and eventually, it will be just that – a routine.

New Year…Same Old You Being Better January 14, 2014

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Around NYC, Cooking, Education, Food/Dining, Health and Fitness, How To, Review, Tips and Tricks.
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New year, new you, right? Or maybe just new year, same old you trying to be the you that you wants to be? Well, that’s a mouthful but chances are January 2014 is the time when you save up all the promises you made yourself to actually take action on them. Go the gym more, finally finish that book you started writing, eat healthier, call your grandparents more, stop spending so much money, meet new people, starting to sound familiar? We always start the New Year off with kick in the butt to get stuff done and then bits and pieces of it fall away as the year goes on. To make something stick, you’ve got be committed, you’ve got to stop making excuses, and you’ve got to learn to love it. Sure, some things are easier than others…so here’s two that aren’t hard at all 😉

There seems to be a huge fad on the coasts of the US (NY and LA, primarily) about green juice. That sweet elixir that comes from the freshest and finest veggies out there. I remember the first time I had one, about four years ago. Everyone stared at me like I had my head on backwards, here I was with a see through cup and straw, drinking what looked like a glass of sludge. Today, everyone has a big mug of gack and it’s normal to mix kale and blueberries now. So, when I moved out to Chicago and realized that the Midwest isn’t as “Green” as the Big Apple, I had a mild heart attack. Green juice isn’t just a “thing” for me, I don’t eat nearly enough vegetables and this was how I got my leafy greens in, it replaced coffee and milkshakes when I had cravings, and it kept me hydrated when I was tired of drinking water all day. Devastated, and not having $500 for a nice home juicer, I surrendered. Enter Mom: who saved the day! If you’re needing your fruits and vegetables in liquid form like me, or just want to give health a new kick, the hand blender is your friend! A cup or two of your favorite antioxidants and proteins , about five minutes of your time and some water and you’re in business. I make my green juice almost every morning while drinking my coffee and by the time I leave for the office I’ve got my green slush in a water bottle. Fair warning, blending does make it thick and at times a little chunky, but if texture doesn’t both you, it tastes just as good as the 18 year olds at the gym juice bar make it! One a day gives you the amount of veggies you need!

imageSo for those of us that are all juiced, gymed, and junk TV’ed out, here is something that requires little effort but huge returns. Lumosity. I’ve been seeing the commercials for years and always meant to try to out, but didn’t actually jump on the bandwagon until late last month. The site is exactly what it claims to be, games that exercise your brain. Most are fun…the math ones are not (but that’s just me!), the same way some people favor cardio over lifting weights. It takes about 15 minutes a day to train the brain and the site measures your progress based on goals, markers, and a point system. But does it really work? That’s the question I was asking myself. It says I’m improving but can you really prove it? Story time! When I was in second grade, we had an in-class spelling bee. I rock at spelling…but not out loud. I was the only one who could spell butterflies, because five people before me got it wrong and I had enough time to scribble it out on my desk with my finger. I probably wouldn’t be able to spell my name out loud if it wasn’t only five letters long. I transpose letters, stick extra vowels in, and overall butcher words. So, imagine my shock, the other day, when I spelled out an entire 18 letter e-mail address out loud, letter for letter, without even as much as a mental stumble. Coincidence? Sure, could be, but I can not reiterate to you how much I CAN NOT spell out loud. So, maybe there is a method to the madness. I figure, if I really need to be on the computer, I might as well be doing something useful rather than refreshing my Facebook feed.

Being a better you comes slowly, and your priorities change with age and life experience, but there are things we can do that will benefit us all our lives, these are just two. Doing it everyday, or almost everyday teaches our minds and our bodies that it’s normal, and when something becomes normal, it stops being something we have to try at. So, try it out, make a commitment, and maybe these two baby goals will benefit you too!