When you disappear

I recently struggle more and more with the state of our country. Everytime I hear the school alarms go off, I fear the worst. Everytime I turn on my phone, I see the worst. Raising a female, I battle what sometimes seems like the inevitable in this country, that she will be abused because of her gender. I question how to raise my son to be an empathetic, giving, kind, compassionate person.

Sometimes it seems like my hobbies are so insignificant with all the pain and suffering in the world, most especially so close to home.

I lose my love of writing. I forget to share all the things that heal me in battling 8 autoimmune disorders. I forget sharing what has healed me from the trauma, abuse, loss and oppression I have experienced. Sometimes I forget to battle the anxiety and depression that used to just be a part of my complicated health issues and traumatic experiences.

But that is why now is more of a time to share my path to healing from the inside all the way to my soul outside of me.

I spend a lot of time trying to spread awareness. One of the biggest battles this country faces is hatred. I try to spread awareness of important social issues that need to change, like the rampant racism, ethnocentrism, misogyny, disregard for our environment and animals, sexism (which is a separate issue from misogyny), violence and dehumanization of nearly any group of people that isn’t “white”.

With that awareness and constant education brings this feeling that maybe this is hopeless, maybe this country is getting worse and more violent. The headlines of everyday news can easily cause despair.

So I think it is important to have something that is carefree and positive. I practice short yoga flows, yoga nidra, some form of art, and indoor gardening. These outlets aren’t “life-or-death” terrifying, they focus on my breath and growth and give me space the clear the inward pain, release the fear and come back fresh.

It’s important to release so you build your energy back up and don’t become mentally or physically ill from all the despair, violence and fear.

With that, I begin again.

Later I will post a new article on indoor gardening and online nurseries! I have found some beautiful sellers who never disappoint and I can be rather picky when spending money on plants!

Find something good each day, to give a little attention to and fill yourself up with good so you can serve the country positively and work for change.

Follow @Shaunking @rachel.cargle on Instagram for easy access to keep yourself informed and aware of social issues.

What does acupressure really do?

I’ve recently shared acupressure mats and pillows with family members and they asked me lots of questions about why, how, where. I realized so many people probably have the same questions and would love to learn more about it!

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I’ve tried the new Ajna Pillow which I use multiple times in a day for underneath my legs, my lower back, shoulders, neck and head. Basically any time I am sitting or lying down I’m using this mat to heal.

I love all Ajna Wellbeing products, but I adore this pillow for accessibility, price and quality. Check out my review on their full acupressure mat!

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What is acupressure?

Acupressure is NOT acupuncture as it requires no needles or anything penetrating the skin. Research is now showing that a lot of our health is affected by fascia, a thin sheath of fibrous tissue enclosing a muscle or other organ. Acupressure is thought to work through putting pressure on these tissues to release toxins, built up pressure and/or inflammation.

Before the realization of fascia, traditional Chinese medical theory describes special acupoints, or acupressure points, that lie along meridians, or channels, in your body. These are the same energy meridians and acupoints as those targeted with acupuncture. It is believed that through these invisible channels flows vital energy — or a life force called qi (ch’i). It is also believed that these 12 major meridians connect specific organs or networks of organs, organizing a system of communication throughout your body. The meridians begin at your fingertips, connect to your brain, and then connect to an organ associated with a certain meridian.

According to this theory, when one of these meridians is blocked or out of balance, illness can occur. Acupressure and acupuncture are among the types of TCM that are thought to help restore balance.

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How to use acupressure?

Use it for 20 minutes or until you feel a reduction in pain. If you want to use a neck pillow with an acupressure mat, lie the maton a flat surface. Slowly lower yourself onto the mat and place the pillow under your neck. Adjust your body and the pillow as necessary until you are comfortable. Many people suggest using acupressure mats as soon as you wake up. Doing this will help you in flushing out toxins and other waste materials from your body. Drink at-least 24 ounces of water after being on the mat, which might help your body to release the impurities through out the day. Some other quick tips on how to use acupressure mats on a daily basis.

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Where to use acupressure?

You can stand on a mat with bare feet to energize the body and release fatigue.

People also sit on the mats to release any thigh or glute tension or recover after sore muscles. It also brings blood flow to these areas and helps reduce cellulite.

You can lie flat on the mat with a bare back to help any back pain from the shoulders to pelvis. Or lie on your front to release any tension held in your front body.

You can lie on your side with a roll under the mat to reach your side body.

Pressing your hands into the mat can help with dexterity and motor functions.

Rolling the back of your skull slowly from side to side on a mat can reduce migraines and headaches as well as stress.

These mats can be used endlessly, these are just some suggestions! Check out Ajna Wellbeing as I recommend these for their quality and affordability!

 

How to make your kitchen Eco Friendly

As the hustle and bustle of the school year kicked off, including soccer practice and games and gymnastics for each kid.

I’ve taken the steps, like many other parents to work on making my child’s lunchbox more eco-friendly. This includes reusable sandwich bags, reusable straws, stainless steel cups, wax wraps and unpaper towels.

But take it easy, this didn’t make my preparation harder.. it actually made life so much easier! Everything is washable and I never run out. There is no garbage left around the house or backpacks.

I’ll share with you my two favorite shops for making your kitchen a healthier, happier place.

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The Prairie Cloth Company makes tons of products for the home to get rid of single use items like paper towels. She hand makes bags, snack bags, napkins, hand towels and more!

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Emily started Prairie Cloth Company in 2015,  five months after her first child (Cora) was born. She’s a nurse turned stay-at-home mom who loves sewing and needed a creative outlet! She started out making cloth diapers and wipes and that quickly evolved into all sorts of eco-friendly items for babies and homes. After her second child (Calvin) was born in 2017, she took a year off of the business and came back this summer refocused on reusable items for the home. Her family uses all the products that they sell and love exposing people to easy ways they can make their lives more earth friendly. Emily has a fabric obsession and is always on the hunt for fun, bright fabrics to bring into people’s homes!

 

I started using her snack bags in my daughter’s lunchbox and her unpaper towels in my kitchen after the crazy storm of mornings before school. The snack bags are perfect for EVERYTHING from sun butter sandwiches to pretzels and carrots. The kids fill the snack bags up themselves with whatever they can reach and grapes work so well with these! I love that there is no waste and you can easily wash and reuse. Plus the pattern is adorable and my kids love seeing it in their lunchboxes!

 

The Unpaper Towels are absolute genius, not only are they super soft but they absorb everything.. even smoothie messes! Which we have every morning when rushing and elbows hit everything.

What’s the deal with paper towels?

In the U.S. alone, paper towels yield a $6 billion market.
544,000 trees could be saved each year if each US household used just one less roll of paper towels.
17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted to make just ONE TON of paper towels.
13 billion pounds (6,500,000 TONS) of paper towels are used each year in the U.S. alone.
It would take 51,000 trees per day to replace the number of paper towels that are tossed each day./td>
120,000 tons of waste could be saved if each American household used three less rolls a year, plus, it would eliminate $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees. One tree has significant value. Just ONE TREE. .

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I also fell IN LOVE with SuperBee Wax Wraps and they have seriously changed my life. One of the most frustrating things to me is finding bowls of food in the refrigerator uncovered because there is no lid or someone was too tired to deal with annoying plastic wrap (I hate plastic wrap).

 

The SuperBee Wax Wraps come in so many sizes and have so many more uses than just covering bowls (though that’s my favorite!). They last TWO years with proper care (gentle cleaning with eco friendly detergent soap, do not put in dishwasher, heat or put in washer).

 

SuperBee makes eco friendly reusable products from wax wraps, toothbrushes, glass straws, bags and more!

Why avoid Cling Wrap? Here’s what forerecycle.co.uk has to say:

“Cling film – or plastic wrap, as it is known elsewhere in the world – is a thin plastic film which clings to itself or other smooth surfaces, meaning it can handily cover food without the need for any extra devices or fasteners. Cling film can be made from a variety of plastics, however the original and most popular material is polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Not only is there talk of this plastic being harmful to human health, it is also a single-use product, meaning it is ending up in landfill and in our oceans where it is causing harm to the environment and nature.

What is the threat to human health?

Plastic is made up of chemicals, and there has long been concern surrounding the leaching of these chemicals into the natural environment, and transference of them into our food and drink.”

It is also not recyclable and not easily biodegradable as it leaches chemicals for years and years in the ocean and on land.

If that’s not enough to make you ditch the plastic, the research proves plastic has over 175 cancer causing chemicals.

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A little about the brand trying to change all that, SuperBee from their Etsy shop:

“I’m an Australian ex-pat living in Chiang Mai, Thailand with my German husband and two children. I started making the wraps in my kitchen for my own use. My friends and family thought it was a great idea and the demand grew. The name SuperBee was thought of by my son Noah- for it was to be the SuperHero who saves the world from Plastic. My online shop launched in July 2016 and has grown ever since. Now I have employed the girls of the local villages to empower them in their community and to support them and lead a women empowerment network helping those who might not have as much opportunity as others.

My wraps are made with love. They are reusable, sustainable and completely eco-friendly. No bee is harmed in the process of extracting the wax for which I get from a local farmer here in Thailand. I shop the fabrics at a local market so they change regularly. The use of plastic is harming our world as we do not have the space for the landfill. it is harming our oceans and killing our animals. We all need to make our stamp on the world in doing what we can to be conscious of what is happening around us. This is my contribution. I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy making them for you in order to make our world a better place. Bee Happy!”

Check out Prairie Cloth Company on Instagram!

And SuperBee Wax Wraps on Instagram too!

Primitive Tribal Craft Clothing

The beauty in this store is that the clothing do have a Primitive feeling to them!

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Their clothes are made from beautiful materials like organic cotton or linen. They strive to share clothing from communities all over the world. This helps keep their cultures alive and spread awareness about different cultures.

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The outfit I received is absolutely comfortable. It is humble in appearance but makes me feel at home. It is the closest thing I have to natural materials and feels as though someone handmade them, it is truly an honor to wear them!

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From the owners:

Eco ~ Tribal ~ Fairtrade ~ Creations ~

dedicated to bringing the awareness of conscious consumption, honoring and preserving the old traditional crafts and skills and supporting rural and tribal populations around the world.

I started this shop while traveling the world, encountering fascinating lands, people, communities and their arts and crafts, wanting to support them, keep a taste of that magic and share it with the whole world, And especially keeping alive these skills that are fading away in our modern world ~
I wished in my heart to find a way of supporting the preservation of these ancient crafts, bringing awareness to the modern world about it and helping these societies to sustain.

For us it’s not about clothing but being a channel for evolving deeper consciousness, growth, kindness and love to all beings and the planet ~

I believe that it’s time that we reunite as a tribe and create a more peaceful, connected and loving way of being ~

Our agenda is to help bring the positive change to the world. To support the movement of conscious awakening. To bring awareness to what we buy and from where we buy it. Choices which creates a big impact on the world’s economy every day.

We aim to support ecological, social and conscious projects around the world.
please feel free to reach out to us with any ideas, visions, or projects.

Our style of designs is inspired from the ancient world and the tribes mixed with a modern touch. The Vision is to go to the source of the most ethical, fair-trade, traditional, ecological and natural materials.. right from the seed ~

We are All Children of Mother Earth.
May All Beings Thrive in Freedom, Peace, and Abundance.

This message of unity and fairtrade is what makes this different from other brands. They aren’t just trying to sell clothing or make money but they’re sharing cultures, spreading awareness and buying from communities that need the business. Primitive Tribal Craft doesn’t mass produce or recreate what they find. They strive to honor the cultures that reflect the beauty of being human beings.

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Primitive Tribal Craft is a unique shop unlike anything else I’ve seen on Etsy. Fairtrade clothing are hard to find in good quality and not ripped off for mass production.

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I’d love to see these unique pieces become more popular as we move away from machine quality and back toward handmade quality. A machine can never create what a human being can!

Coastal Tropicals for every exotic plant on your wishlist

Banana trees are absurdly common where I am. I live in New Jersey. Houses in my town have trees all over their yards and then suddenly they disappear and small trees return for next summer. I always drool at the little bananas hanging off the trees by August and thought these people must be doing something amazing for these trees to grow in our crazy climate.

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Until I got one and did my research. I’m already in love with my tree from CoastalTropicals on Etsy and cannot wait for this new leaf to unfurl.

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Banana trees like these seem to die after they produce fruit and instead grow pups to continue on the next fruit bearing season. Isn’t that pretty amazing??

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I even went crazy and got a Passiflora and Succulent Grab Bag and small Tillandsia Ionantha and a Venus Fly Trap.

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There is a video on IGTV of the succulent arrangement I made with the grab bag! The succulents are so beautiful and some of the prettiest I have ever received!

My Passiflora got a popsicle stick trellis to grow with, as I can always add more popsicles!

The plants come without soil, which to me is the smartest way to ship. There is less mess for me when opening the package and less shipping cost. The plants were all healthy and happy when they arrived and packaged safely.

I love Coastal Tropicals for all the love the owner puts into her plants and small business. She is a joy to talk to and will answer any questions you might have! I described what I was looking for and my needs in a plant and she came through with exactly the perfect plants for me!

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You can check out her website here: http://www.coastaltropicals.com/

Or if you prefer Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CoastalTropicals/items

Connect with her on Facebook! Or Instagram!

AJNAMAT is the rising star in Acupressure

I’ve fallen in love with a brand. Not just their products, but the company, what they stand for and their customer service.

Ajna Wellbeing is making waves in the healthy living community. Whether you have chronic pain, migraines, fatigue, or just love a boost of energy, skin tightening and mood lifting, Ajna Mat is the new name in acupressure.

“Each mat is crafted using high quality, eco-friendly materials, from the luxurious linen and cotton cover, to the ABS plastic safe spikes, all the way to the antibacterial coconut fibre filling” (Ajnawellbeing.com).

I love the feel and look of this mat. Quality wise, it beats out every other mat I’ve owned, from the cheaper brands of Spoonk to the ever expensive Pranamat.

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The AjnaMat next to a Pranamat

The filling makes the world of a difference with Ajnamat, it’s what stands out the most. While my cheap ones and Pranamat alike all have areas that sink (which was my initial complaint as soon as I got the Pranamat and occurred within a month with the cheaper brands), the Ajnamat is stiff and sturdy. It does not collapse or shrink when I apply pressure to it.

The spikes are sharp, but even squirming on it I haven’t harmed myself. As with all acupressure mat, it takes a little getting used to but the benefits are worth it. I’ve gotten acupressure mats for everyone in my family and I recommend it to everyone! It helps with my chronic pain, it stops migraines in their tracks (if I get on it when I get warning signs), it helps me a lot with fatigue and I love the results against cellulite on my thighs!

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I stand on my mat for energy, especially midday when I start to feel narcoleptic. It also helps when I’m battling brain fog and struggling with communication, memory, comprehension.

I sit on my mat whenever I’m going to wear shorts, this is totally vain of me but I love how the extra blood flow makes my skin look so young and plump!

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I use my mat every single night to release tension in my back and get a good nights sleep.

I use my mat when I have sore muscles from exercise or joint pain from Lupus.

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And of course I adore Ajnamat for uses in yoga!

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I’m loving how affordable this mat is compared to the expensive brands which cannot boast anything that Ajnamat can. Right now they’re on sale so grab them quickly and save some for Holiday presents for your loved ones! I gave my mother one after she broke her leg in three places and has permanent rods and screws and chronic pain. She stood on it with me and the pain that was dragging her energy down lifted and her face brightened!

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Last but not least, Ajna Wellbeing plants a tree for each mat sold and their customer service is unbeatable! It’s truly a company that has a good heart driving it. For me, that always matters and is usually most important.

Keep an eye out next month for when they release their pillow! I know I am!

You can get your mat here : https://www.ajnawellbeing.com/products/ajnamat

Or on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/ajna

TealSun Crystals and Grids Oh My!

Sacred geometry is very intriguing to me. The more I read about it and explore the nature around me the more I love it. Sacred geometry is everywhere.

So of course, I need grids to match. TealSun has some of the most stunning and elusive crystals I have ever seen! They have Bumblebee Jasper, Kyanite blades, Selenite in all shapes and unicorn shaped crystals.

To go with all these beautiful crystals they sell cloth grids of Metatron, Seed of Life and Flower of Life!

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“Many see in the Flower of Life a symbol that represents or depicts the cycle of creation. This symbol shows that all life and consciousness arises from one
source (this being the first circle).

The next 6 circles are identical with the cell division process. Therefore, the Flower of Life is seen as a model of God’s Creation. The name “Flower of Life” stems not from a flower imagery but from the cycle of a fruit tree.

When observing this cycle we can see that the tree grows flower buds and these eventually transform into fruit (pear, cherry and so on). The fruit carries the seed within and when the fruit falls on the ground these seeds eventually create new trees. This is the cycle which turns from tree to flower to fruit and tree again. It’s fantastic and reveals the miracle of life” (http://flower-of-life.net).

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I love the little points for grid work, pointing inward or outward to direct the energy. They’re beautiful quality crystals and I love the variety!

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According to the myth, Metatron created a cube out of his soul which came to be known as the symbol named Metatron’s cube. The meaning of Metatron’s cube symbol has been a matter of debate for quite some time.

Metatron’s cube is a very unique two dimensional geometric shape. Looking at it might be a little bit confusing at first, but it does follow a specific layout.Metatron’s cube is comprised of 13 equally sized circles, each of which have a line that comes out from the center and extends out to the centers of the other 12 circles.

There are actually six circles on the interior part placed in the pattern of a hexagon – all around a single circle placed in the center. There are also six more circles extending out along those same radial lines. Since there are 13 circles in Metatron’s cube, each of which have nodes or lines connecting to the other 12 circles, the symbol contains a total of 78 lines inside it” (https://www.thoughtco.com/meet-archangel-metatron).

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Lastly we have the Seed of Life. These are one of my favorite as they always make me feel lighter and create space.

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“The Seed of Life is a universal symbol of creation. The name of this pattern instantly offers insight into its deeper meaning and purpose. Found at the heart of an ancient pattern called the Flower of Life, there is an entire cosmology of consciousness encoded into this singular geometric seed. I hardly know where to begin to express the importance of this pattern for life itself.

The Seed of Life is formed from a relationship of 6 circles around one. In fact, 6 circles will ALWAYS fit exactly around a 7th circle of the same size.

Each circle fits into this pattern like a lock and key, forming a dynamic field of possible geometric relationships which reveal the most fundamental shapes of Creation.

These 7 circles mirror our chakras, the colors of the rainbow & even musical scales! It forms a foundation upon which the infinite, fractal nature of life can be understood” (www.krystleyez.com)

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I love all the shapes and sizes TealSun offers, from cubes to clusters, palm stones to points, hearts and unicorns OH MY!

Check them out here on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TealSun

Or on Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/tealsuncrystals/

 

https://www.instagram.com/tealsunshop/

Cacti by the handfuls

Yes it hurt. But it was totally worth the pain. Of course, when using cacti, please wear protective gloves or something to protect your skin in case of accidents.

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My brother bought me a cacti arrangement after the succulent disaster of 2016. I had spent a year endlessly loving 4 large succulents until they grew into massive beasts from my adoration. Then my kids fell into them, completely squashing them into mush. I spent a few months trying to save any of the leaves or plants but was unsuccessful at that time.

Two days later my brother came over with beautiful cacti all snuggled together in a pot. I fell in love. They were amazing, but you have to keep a distance. So easy to care for, put them up high away from kids, it was perfect. They would last forever.

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Until we adopted another dog and she literally ate the cacti. Ate them, the dirt, the rocks, everything. While she was fine with no injuries amazingly (and went on to eat many other things the second I turn my back on her to, IDK, care for the children) my luck with plants had clearly gone all wrong.

2 years later, my hunny bought a few cacti plants for me for Mother’s Day. They seem to be doing well and avoiding disasters! But I also had these two cacti in a massive pot and it looked pretty dull.

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So despite my history, I reached out to Calcactus and got one of their Starter Pack assortment of 9 plants. When they came, I was absolutely amazed with the packaging of the plants and they all arrived perfectly.

I received so many different shapes and cacti that any arrangement with them would be gorgeous. I grabbed a cement planter from the craft store (on clearance!) And the arrangement came together beautifully.

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I used a cacti soil and my bare hands. There’s even a video up on IGTV: SAVESERENITYYOGA IGTV.

It’s been a couple weeks and the cacti look healthy and happy. I’m so happy with my experience with Calcactus that I recommend them to everyone looking to add plants to their home! They sell so many varieties and sizes of cactus that there is something for everyone.

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Check out Calcactus here on Etsy!: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Calcactus?ref=search_shop_redirect

Bolsters make me happy

I have wanted to get my hands on a round bolster for over 2 years! I have an oval one with a flat wide sides and a pranayama skinny ovalish one but it took this many years to get my hands on a large Round Bolster!

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Why have I been obsessed with getting a round bolster? They support backbends more than standard bolsters and they can follow the natural curves of the body. I need backbends in my life to bring space and blood flow to areas of my spine with degenerative cartilage.

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I like this round bolster from Sol Living because it gives me a nice lift, I like to call it “active restoration” vs. a standard bolster which is full restoration. Although I’m still resting in poses, I can feel the stretch, rather than with pure restorative which sometimes I don’t feel as much but know it’s still working.

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The Sol Living round bolster has a removable and washable cover, which I’ve already done and it’s great. My kids smeared gross stuff on it one day (I don’t want to know) and I threw it in the washer and hung it to dry and it came out perfectly!

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Also mentionable, Sol Living makes their products with organic cotton and this Bolster is no different. I feel great using it, knowing that while I’m trying to get healthy I’m not inadvertently using toxic products.

The bolsters are super stiff and sturdy, creating a massive amount of support for the body. They can be used in endless ways to support, lengthen, relax or deepen your postures.

Check them out here: https://solliving.envelorhome.com

 

Have you heard of Kokedama string gardens??

Kokedamaoi is a Japanese word that, simply translated, means “moss ball”. Sometimes called the “Poor Man’s Bonsai,” the of art of binding plants into kokedama string gardens dates back centuries. The process takes a bit of practice, but is really quite simple.

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The artist in this case owns PetalsomePresents on Etsy. She creates stunning Kokedama that you can hang in windows or place in a pretty dish as a centerpiece. I chose to hang mine across a large window that needed a little love.

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Even better is how little care these plants need. I soaked mine in a sink at night and drained the water before and let them sit there overnight before hanging in the morning.

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They are so stunning that everyone in the family loves them and when people walk in they say “WOW!”. I’m thinking of building my collection possibly to add one to my end table (which is currently plantless). I think a kokedama with stiff strong leaves would look amazing and be beautiful to wake up to!

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PetalsomePresents doesn’t just do Kokedama plants though! She sells the succulents, tropical foliage, beta fish plants, vines and other houseplants. She can make Kokedama out of almost any plant she sells so that’s always an option as well.

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The story behind PetalsomePresents is amazing too. Michelle does this to support her daughter’s dream and she runs this small business on top of a job, motherhood and life. I love a good cause behind my purchases and this is a business you can support knowing PetalsomePresents is built from the love of plants!

Check out her shop here!: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PetalsomePresents?ref=s2-header-shopname