Bring the Cozy Lifestyle of Hygge Into Your Day

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*You can also watch my YouTube Video: The Cozy Lifestyle of Hygge

Images and post by Rain San Martin

Hygge means coziness. It was one of the big trends for 2017 on Pinterest. This way of life naturally combats seasonal affective disorder. Hygge is a big part of life for the Danish people. Because they spend so much time indoors during the winter season they need to make their interiors as welcoming and joyful as possible. This is how they have adapted to the colder climate. Though it is primarily a way of life for the winter, the same philosophy can be used during the spring and summer! Those who practice the minimalist lifestyle will find it is also compatible with the simplicity movement.

Make relaxation stations.

I have three areas that I have set up for when I would like to enjoy comfort: The kitchenette, living room and bedroom. The first is the kitchenette which has a homey vintage style coffee sign. This has a view of the sunrise, making it a great spot for coffee or breakfast. For the living room, we own an antique heirloom rocking chair. This is seated next to a wooden table with magazines tucked away in the drawer. There is a view of the mantel which is perfect for placing glowing candles.

I bring that feeling of “hygge” into the bedroom by having a sturdy back pillow cushion and extra blankets accessible in the closet. White string lights hang above the bed which makes a soft enveloping glow for reading. 100% pure essential oils are grouped together in a tray next to the bed.

Have warm beverages available like hot chocolate, tea, and coffee.

I keep extra tins of Stephen’s Gourmet Hot Chocolate available. Along with a couple of bags of marshmallows for when the mood strikes. For coffee, I stock up on bags of Seattle’s Best Coffee (a subsidiary of Starbucks). My favorite blend is Medium Dark Rich – Level 4. There is no better tasting coffee in my opinion and the price is very good.

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Have cozy robes and socks.

I got a plush robe last Christmas which I love. If you have young children or a spouse they will enjoy snuggling up with you and your robe. My young son hopes to get one as well! Then we can burrow together like a couple of hamsters. In the spring and summer, you could try a cool satin robe for comfort.

Decorate with natural elements.

When we bought our home eight years ago, we were blessed to see it furnished with wooden floors and cabinetry. Rugs give added warmth. I have a carved wooden bowl which is one of my favorite ways to enjoy a prepared meal. A wooden table set creates a homey rustic feel. Iron pans and copper cookware are also timeless.

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Hope you enjoy bringing the coziness of Hygge into your everyday life!

Decluttering Girls Closet

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Join me on YouTube as I declutter my daughters closet. Sure we want our children to clean up as much of their own bedrooms as possible, yet occasionally jumping in and doing a clean sweep will make it that much easier to maintain. The rooms of our children not only impact them, the whole family can’t help but feel relaxed as they walk past a clean room!

Though my original plan was to spend only 1 and a half hours on the project,  the process ended up taking a total of 3 hours to fully complete. This would be about 2 weeks worth of “Flylady” style decluttering, averaging about 15 minutes per day.

I achieved the following tasks  when decluttering the closet:

*Hung clothes that fell on the floor.

*Folded jeans and shorts.

*Tossed out trash or anything broken.

*Placed unused items in good condition in a box for giveaway.

*Grouped books and art supplies on shelves.

Now it’s your turn to declutter a closet in your home!

Why We Should Avoid Physic Readings

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*You can view my YouTube video: The Dangers of Physic Readings here.

Image and article by Rain San Martin

I remember the interest and appeal of visiting a psychic. There were a couple of times in my life that I explored the process out of curiosity. Deep down I believe I was looking for affirmation of something positive in my future. Yet as I studied the bible more deeply, maturing in my faith as an older adult, the folly become more apparent.

The dangers of visiting a psychic.

Though I believe most psychics may wish to help people, they are setting themselves up as a conduit for dark spirits beings. Some of the information may be from “familiar spirits” or dark spirit beings who have observed you throughout your life. They could be working together in a network to give information to the psychic. Just enough to get you hooked.

“When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.”For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.” (-Deuteronomy 18:9-13)

As stated in the article “The Psychics: Can They Help You?”, clairvoyants may try to protect themselves with a white light when going into altered states of consciousness. This does not necessarily work as dark entities can appear as a being of light, offering deceptive information.“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (-2 Corinthians 11:14) Yet I do believe that thinking about positive things will naturally attract fewer demonic spirits.

Place your destiny in your own hands.

Rather than obtaining an affirmation from a clairvoyant. Lift up your prayers and requests to God. Next write down your goals and take daily action toward achieving them.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.” (Mathew 6:25-34)

May you live with passionate purpose!

My Morning Routine 2017

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One of the most profound ways we can impact our day is by designing a morning routine. It’s remarkable the magic we can bring into our lives by taking the time to plan and implement this ritual. Below is a quick overview of a typical morning. The greatest part is that I can change it at anytime. Be sure to check out my YouTube video: My Morning Routine 2017.
5:00am to 5:45am:

*Wake, brush teeth, weight, dress, turn on lights, fix hair

*Brew coffee, clean bathrooms, put on makeup.

*Enjoy coffee for 20 minutes while reading blogs or a magazine.

*View calendar and key tasks for the day.

*Write on blog for 20 minutes.

*Make breakfast. Usually a Spinach, Mushroom and Bacon Frittata with Buttery Yellow Corn Tortillas.

*Exercise for 20 minutes as breakfast cooks.

You may observe that my morning routine includes being completely ready for the day, reviewing key tasks, cleaning my environment, exercise, preparing a healthy breakfast, relaxation time and time carved out for a long term goal. These elements combined work in concert, making each morning something I truly look forward to. Now design your own ideal morning!

My Favorite Homemaking Blogs and YouTube Channels

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Uploaded YouTube video: My Favorite Homemaking Blogs and YouTube Channels

A few of my favorite homemaking blogs and channels include:

Flylady by Marla Cilley
http://www.flylady.net/

Home Living by Lady Lydia
http://homeliving.blogspot.com/

How Jen Does It
https://www.youtube.com/HowJenDoesIt

A Healthy Slice of Life by Brittany Dixon
http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/

Unplug and Take a Digital Detox!

Article by Rain San Martin

Escape from Continual Internet Distractions and Experience Life Naturally

A PodCast by Invisible Office Hours illustrates that we have reached the pinnacle of matrix-like immersion in their episode, “Social Media Part 1“. While at a Starbucks coffee shop during a social media fast, the co-host Jason Zook observed a person continually staring down into their smartphone even as they ordered. The show host did an experiment to see if paying for this persons drink would make them lift their locked eyes if only for one moment. The result: A glazed over stare into the black hole of the internet as they casually said “thanks”. He observed that we are afraid of being alone, even for a moment. This is more than becoming a cyborg, this is living for a continual state of “dopamine” like levels of stimulation as we are entertained in the online world.

Social media has it’s place for connecting family, friends and sharing news stories. Technology can be an excellent tool if used judicially. However, living primarily in the online world is artificial and will take a toll on our health, mind and relationships. Break free from “connection addition”.

What To Do During a Digital Detox

Create a regular habit where you unplug from podcasts, texting, social media, gaming, television, movies, radio, computers and all mobile devices. Imagine you have gone away to a log cabin bed and breakfast. Recharge your batteries for either a day, a weekend or a few hours. I personally unplug from all electronics 24 hours once per week, with the exception of my digital camera. On regular days technological entertainment is used sparingly.

  • Read classic literature. If you own a Nook or Kindle this is a great tool to have for deep reading sessions. A dedicated “e ink” reader is stratospherically better than using a tablet or even an iPad Retina as there are no online distractions.The display has crystal clear paper-like text. However, during your unplugged time aim to have physical books and quality magazines with fine journalism on hand, which you can checkout at the library.
  • Have a deep conversation with a person in your family.
  • Watch your children play.
  • Clean your home like a monk, enjoying the serenity of peaceful natural sounds as you bless your home space.
  • Draw a picture
  • Daydream
  • Create a happiness journal
  • Paint with kids watercolors
  • Write a letter by hand. Observe the penmanship during the Victorian and Classical Era’s. If you look at the Declaration of Independence, you observe excellence of craft. Could it be that penmanship reflects discipline and integrity?
  • Reflect on who you are at your core
  • Make a phone call with all smart-phone notifications turned off. You may wish to consider owning only a basic cell phone. Some have gone back to having a land line to restore their freedom!
  • Write a letter by hand
  • Play with your children
  • Go on a walk, bike ride or hike
  • Read a book or magazine from the library, or a physical copy that you own
  • Journal
  • Do projects around the home
  • Talk to your spouse about life. Develop your relationship. Save concerns for later, and gently put in writing.

Boost Brain Power by Reading Classic Literature and Articles in Their Entirety

As we aim to boost creativity, productivity, and focus on our life purpose, we need to exercise our brain with a series of disciplines. At the peek of human intelligence, the Victorian Era, immersive reading and letters written by hand were a regular ritual. Classic literature is more likely to encourage deep thinking according to the article, “Shakespeare and Wordsworth boost the brain new research reveals”. Now in this “age of immediacy” we are at risk for “intellectual obesity”, as we train our minds to be satisfied by info snippets and lack discipline to focus on one task at a time. The Forbes magazine article: “Kids Don’t Read Books Because Parents Don’t Read Books” illustrates that parents are no longer modeling good reading habits in this age of entertainment. The good news is, we can change.

One of the best activities to experience while unplugged from the internet is deep immersive reading. I recommend getting a dedicated eReader so you can continue to read without the distraction of apps or internet connection. Read for comprehension, not speed so that you can absorb what you are learning. When we slow down our reading to where we can comprehend the information, we trigger deep levels of thinking.

Reading Classic Literature as a Discipline: My Testimony

I’ve maintained the habit of nightly reading for 15 years, it was a natural cure for insomnia as it cancels out the minds thoughts. I had no idea what a voracious reader I would become, pouring through volumes of books throughout the years. On the rare occasion that I would wake in the middle of the night, I would turn to my reading habit. A couple of years ago I challenged myself to make reading classic literature a part of my nightly reading routine. For about 20-45min each evening I would read the Bible or a Christian informational book, a nonfiction book (this I most anticipated) and a classic literature book. Initially I was resistant to reading fiction Classics as they did not hold my interest. I could not connect with the culture or expressions, and the vocabulary was challenging. Walden Pond, Little Woman and The Hobbit were the only classics I thoroughly enjoyed at the time. Then I decided to take on a challenge and create a new habit. Many classic books were from the Google Books Library Project. Thanks to this discovery, I have access to forgotten history books on inventors, composers and explorers written during the late 1800’s. I was astounded by the rich vocabulary, work ethic and respect in the various authors voice. Today’s biographies are primarily tabloid story moments. As thought they hope to bring down the greatest achievers. As a result I found myself using exponentially more vocabulary words in speech and in writing. Now when I read a modern book I am usually disappointed that I rarely have to look up a word.

Is Texting Dumbing Down Language?

How can culture preserve language when the ubiquity of texting has replaced letter and even email composition? We may lose thoughtful writing as a society if we continue on this trajectory of shorthand urban language used in mobile communication. Some argue this is harmless and a separate language within itself, yet how many prolific texters develop well composed paragraphs throughout the week? Without regular use, muscles atrophy, as does the skill of writing. Technological trends need not always be embraced. We should ask ourselves, “Is this progress”? There is also the trend of fewer pc and laptop sales. Let’s think about the implications of this in regards to communication? How do you think it will impact society once the masses no longer use computer keyboards?

Boost Your Intelligence by Modeling Forgotten Secrets of the Victorians

According to an article on Phys.com entitled: Researchers Suggest Victorian-Era People More Intelligent than Modern-Day Counterparts“, a study was done that proved Victorians possessed higher intelligence than today’s modern individual. The Victorians wrote thoughtful letters by hand. Today the art of handwriting is being forgotten. Auto-suggest writes for us as we type. Often Victorians played a musical instrument if they wanted music in their home. Today all one need do is pull up Spotify or Pandora and passively listen. The craft of studying music is being forgotten. The Victorians held a higher standard of excellence which was displayed in their work ethic and fashion. Pick up any book written in the late 1800’s and observe the rich vocabulary and eloquence of speech. Why do you think people who lived during the Victorian Era were more intelligent than people today?

Today’s Steampunk counterculture movement is highly motivated by an appreciation for lost ideals. Fine literature, penmanship, manners, dress, hands-on craftsmanship and other lost arts of humanity, reflected a greater sense of pride in ones work.

Reduce Digital Distractions During Your Work Day

These workday productivity tips will maximize your day whether you hold a full time paid position, work at home as a homemaker (AKA stay at home mom or stay at home wife), work from a home office or do a combination of the above.

  • Turn off all phone or mobile device notifications. Speaker / Author Seth Godin in his mini blog post “Five steps to digital hygiene” shares a nugget of wisdom, declaring that we should disable our social and mail notifications on our mobile devices.This is hugely important as we don’t want to train ourselves to continually be interrupted. Instead schedule specific times for checking email, social networks and game play.
  • Check your email no more than 1-3 times per day. Set up a daily check in time. Many simplicity experts recommend checking once in the late morning, after completing a meaningful task and again in the late afternoon.
  • Check into social media sites at scheduled times and use a timer. This could range from 1-2 times per day for 5-10 minutes, or once per week for 10-60 minutes.

 

Take a Social Media Detox as a Lifestyle Experiment

Pick a month to abstain from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other social media site you participate in as part of a Lifestyle Experiment.

It is paramount not to replace this time with digital entertainment such as texting, gaming and surfing the web as part of this exercise is to learn how to “break out of the matrix”. Learn how to enjoy life organically as humans have for millennia.

Conclusion

Is life about pleasure or meaning? Technology is a tool, overuse leads to depravity of the mind and relationships. After you’ve taken a digital detox consider ways to reduce your time texting, on social networks, surfing the web, watching tv and even listening to podcasts or music. Add them back into your life sparingly so that the focus of your waking life is organic and natural, just as our ancestors lived before the 1900s. Step out of the matrix, rip off the “Truman Show” artificial dome and breakout into life.