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Link Love: A Little Lift

Colourful Cranes
It’s been a rough week for my family, and I’ve been getting a little bogged down with worry and sadness. But feeling sorry for myself just won’t do right now (or ever, really!), so this week I’ve pulled together a list of uplifting and inspiring links for you. I needed them. Here’s hoping for happy news, good times, and lots of sunshine this weekend! —Aleigh

(Image via blentley)

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Link Love Friday: Peony Season!

It’s that glorious time of year when the farmers markets are starting to burst with fresh fruits and veggies, my favorite flower is blooming (see above!), and I can pretend the full heat of summer is still a ways off. I’m soaking it all in—and I’ve scoured the internet to come up with some great links to share this week. —Aleigh

On No More Dirty Looks, there’s an ongoing discussion about perioral dematitis happening right now, and reminded me that Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics has a lot to say on this topic! If you’ve struggled with this skin condition, these links might be insightful.

NASA released a list of the best air-filtering houseplants. I have exactly one of these in my house. Time to add a few more…

I love this list of 6 weird things that make you happy, from Prevention. (Tear-jerker movies for the win!)

I can’t wait to try this double duty beauty parfait from the Whole Foods blog.

What have you been reading + enjoying this week?

(Image via buttersweet)

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How do you pull yourself out of a slump?

Confession time, lovelies: I’ve descended into a bit of a fog. I’ve had a nasty lingering cold, work is busier than ever, and I’m feeling sluggish and unmotivated.

There’s also one other thing: I’m dreading the first anniversary of this.

I believe happiness is a moving target. I know this feeling is only temporary. But sometimes you just need a push to get past the blues, and I’m pulling out all the stops.

Here’s what I have planned:

Do something with my hands. There’s something soothing about craftiness, right? I’ve been taking lapidary (gemcutting) classes for the past several weeks, and I’ve got another one lined up for this weekend. (Right now I’m working on a round brilliant cut smoky quartz.) I always get a boost when I’m learning something new!

Do something for my health. I haven’t been well enough for yoga in the past few weeks, and now that I’m feeling better, it’s time to get back on the mat. It’ll help me feel—and look—better. (After all, yoga and natural beauty are a perfect pair.)

Do something for my sanity. This is an easy one! My prescription: a soothing facial mask and a hot bath. Possibly also a good book and some aromatherapy.

Spend time with family. My baby sister is coming to visit for Thanksgiving, and the timing could not be more perfect. So excited to spend the holiday with one of my favorite people ever!

I think this plan just might be a success. But I’m open to more suggestions. How do you pull yourself out of a funk?  —Aleigh

(Image via D. Sharon Pruitt)

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Let’s talk about: trying new things

When Ian (my husband) and I were in the mountains a few weekends ago, we went to the awesome Nantahala Outdoor Center and spent a few hours on the new Zip Line Adventure Park, a 600-foot zip line and two-level ropes course.

This was a new experience for me—I haven’t been rock climbing in years, and somehow in the years since, I’ve turned into a fraidy-cat. Lately, when I consider activities that include ropes and harnesses, my mind starts on an endless loop: I’m going to break my leg, I’m going to break my leg, I’m going to break my leg…

You guys, I did it anyway. And it was a blast.

The whole experience made me realize all over again just how important it is to try new things.

Mood. There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush that comes with pushing yourself—whether it’s trying something completely new, pushing your body a bit harder than you normally do, or even just doing something out of the ordinary, like traveling to a new place. It’s a mood-booster.

Inspiration. As a writer/editor, one of the biggest parts of my job is coming up with new ideas day after day. It’s not always easy, and there’s something about stepping outside your comfort zone (literally and figuratively) that seems to turn on the creative part of my brain. The past few weeks have been pretty great for brainstorming, and I can trace the spark back to that ropes course.

Happiness. When I start to feel like my life is an endless loop of the same old routine, day after day, I am not a happy girl. I know that I need a change of scenery every so often—and now it’s crystal clear that if I want to maximize the benefits of that change of scenery, I need to branch out and try some new things. And maybe remind myself of some things I used to love, but haven’t done in a while.

I’m always trying to connect the dots between mood, my creativity, and how happy I am. And—in case you’re wondering what this post has to do with a blog about natural beauty—happiness is more powerful than any beauty product out there, in my opinion. (Plus, it helps you live longer!)

So, how long has it been since you tried something new? —Aleigh

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