Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Intentional Living

Note: Since writing this post we actually did buy a TV.  We initially only got it to watch the olympics.  And you know what?  We hardly ever watch it now.  Peter uses it for video games, sometimes we'll watch Netflix... but usually... it's off.  So I think this post still applies.

There's usually a mix of reactions when people hear (or see) that we don't have a TV.  Surprise, disbelief, scorn, and sometimes envy.  We invariably get asked a lot of questions about why we don't have one.  How do we survive??? What do we doooo???  I usually just shrug my shoulders and reply something along the lines of, "Well at least we're saving a lot of money..."

But when I really stop to think about it, there are many reasons why I don't want a TV, and only a few of them have to do with money.  I hate background noise, I hate commercials, I get bored easily, we don't have to pay for cable.  But mostly it has to do with intentional living.  TV is a distraction.  For many people, it's an escape... from reality, from their thoughts, from their lives.  I'm sure a lot of people could benefit from unplugging the TV and just living intentionally.

What does that even mean, living intentionally?  How do you do it?  Why should you do it?


Be intentional with your words

Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Don't be a flake.  Don't be superficial or "fake nice."  Pay attention to how people are receiving your words.  Don't barrel through conversations.  Pay attention to how people respond during conversations and adjust your tone if needed.

Be intentional with your time

TV is a big time waster.  What could you be doing instead?  Exercising?  Reading a book?  Starting a hobby?  Spending time with family or friends?  Make time to be with the people you care about.  And when you are with them, really be with them.  Don't keep checking your phone.  Don't let your mind wander.  Pay attention to them.  Do you know someone who's in the hospital?  Go visit them.  Don't always be daydreaming about the future.  Be present in the moment.

Be intentional with your actions

Pay attention to your body language, your quirks, your habits.  Are you trying to emulate someone?  Are your actions contrived?  Just be yourself.

I think the main thing to remember about intentional living is to pay attention to your surroundings and the people you're interacting with.  Don't waste your time on trivial things.  Live in the moment and don't take things for granted.  And be yourself.  Don't try to look or act like someone else.

What do you think?  Do you try to live intentionally?  

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Favorites 2017 || Natural beauty, home decor, monthly bill organizer ||

I'm going to *try* to publish my favorites every month.  This month has a range of items, from beauty products to home decor.  Hope you enjoy!  (This is not a sponsored post and these are not affiliated links.  I only share products I truly love.)

Lucas Paw Paw ointment is a cult-classic out of Australia.  But when I did some research I realized that it contains a lot of harmful ingredients, including petrolatum.  I try to avoid anything with petrolatum in it (yes, including vaseline!).  So I came across this alternative.  It is still made with paw-paw extract, but it is a more natural version of the Lucas ointment.  It is certified organic and contains other ingredients such as honey, beeswax, and coconut oil.  I LOVE this balm.  You can use it anywhere on your skin (as a lip balm, for cuticles, rough skin patches, etc).  My lips always feel super smooth after I slather them with this stuff.  You can order it here.


I wanted a better way to organize my monthly bills.  I found this awesome binder on Etsy.  It has space to write down your bills and when you pay them each month.  It also has convenient pockets to organize each month's paid and unpaid bills.  You can buy it on Etsy here.



I picked up these cotton rounds completely by accident.  I was in a hurry and just grabbed the first thing I saw (that happened to be on sale).  I'm so glad I did.  I love these organic cotton rounds.  They really are the smoothest cotton rounds I've ever used.  They don't tug at your eyelids when you are removing your eye makeup.  They are so soft.  And it just so happens they are organic.  I will definitely be repurchasing, on purpose this time!



I finally found a natural deodorant that actually works!  This one is aluminum free and is made with organic beeswax and organic cornstarch.  It's scented with peppermint essential oil.  It works really well at keeping me odor-free all day.  The only cons are that if I use it every day in a row it can sometimes make my armpits itchy.  It also makes my armpits feel cold (that's the peppermint oil in it).  You can buy it here.


 My Christmas gift to myself was a 3-month Birchbox subscription.  I had always wanted to try it but never had.  My first box came with a lot of things I enjoyed, but this Hey Honey Take It Off Exfoliating Honey peel-off mask was my favorite.  I don't know much about the brand or the product itself, only that I really love it!  It doesn't make my skin feel dry or tight after I use it, and yet my skin feels super smooth and nice after.  I might use my Birchbox points to buy a full size of this!  If you'd like to try Birchbox, you can get 50% off your first box if you use this link: https://www.birchbox.com/invite/alonewithmytea (This is referring link and I will receive points if anyone uses my link to join Birchbox.)


My last January favorite is another Christmas present.  This one was from my dad.  He made this vase!  Isn't that awesome!  That isn't painted - He actually used two different colors of clay to get the marbled look.  I think it's totally cool and I'm trying to convince him to sell his ceramics and pottery items online!  Comment below if you think he should open up an online shop!


Ok that's all for now.  What did you enjoy this month?  Also do you think I should make "favorites" a monthly thing?

XO,
Julie


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Monday, January 30, 2017

What dog breed are you?

I was originally supposed to include this with my January Favorites that I was planning on posting today, but I was having some issues with the pictures I took, so that will have to be rescheduled.  

It's no surprise to anyone who reads my blog that I'm obsessed with my dog.  Just look at him! He's so cute!  Recently the people over at Puppyspot.com created a flowchart called "Find Your Perfect Dog Breed."  I thought this was super cute and wanted to share it. *This is not a sponsored post.*  Take a look at this flowchart and let me know what dog breed you are!








My dog is actually a mutt, but I think he has part dachshund in him.  He is definitely a little cuddle bug and a Loyal Companion.  Just what we wanted!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for January Favorites coming soon.  And thank you to everyone who expressed concern after my last post.  I will post a health update after my next appointment.
XO,
Julie


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