NSE Tropicals is the closest to a jungle you can get.

When I was struggling with Lupus this past fall and winter (and currently into spring)  I really focused on different therapies that could make being trapped indoors feel less.. well, trapped.

Of course my plant lust grew and I fell in love with Pinterest home jungles. Dozens of plants hanging from cathedral ceilings and entire floor to ceiling glass walls adorned with hundreds of pots, stands and shelves of exotic plants.

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When I need jungle plants to fill my home I spend hours searching online and the only place that has exotic philodendron and anthurium at an affordable price is NSE Tropicals.

Enid, the owner, puts an enormous amount of love into her greenhouse and jungle. She carefully wraps each plant (some which make her sad to send away!) And is always available for help to care for your new plants.

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Her Instagram is filled with videos and photos of what she’s growing and doing with her greenhouse and her stories keep us all updated on what’s available!

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My beauties from her all arrived happy and healthy! My son and I did a bunch of unboxing videos you can find on my IGTV and I’m always posting updates of my plants on my page.

I appreciate her love for her clients, she is very kind even when I send her obsessive emails about plants I’m searching for! I’m always holding my breath hoping to grab the next wishlist plants as they become available. Lucky for us, she has enough plants to keep all the plant addicts supplied!

 

10 Reasons Cork is Good for Your Yoga Practice

I have tried many products and always come back to cork for yoga. I prefer a cork mat, blocks and anything else I can get my hands on. I love the feel of cork but there are so many more amazing benefits besides it’s durability. Some facts you may have not know…

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1. Cork forms antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic compounds that may reduce the risk of heart and degenerative diseases (Furthermore, waste from the cork industry gives rise to composites which are used in vaccine adjuvants to enhance immune system response).

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2. It’s durable, unique and environmentally friendly. Plus, cork is a natural material, so it doesn’t off-gas like many other types of materials.IMG_20190403_090855_776

3. Light weight: Due to the fact that more than 50 % of the cell volume of a cork piece consists of air, cork is one of the lightest solid substances, with a specific gravity of .25.

4. A cubic inch of cork can withstand as great a pressure as 14,000 lbs. per square inch without breaking, and retains 90% of its original form after the pressure is released. Less or more normal pressure increase return to original form from 97% to 100%.

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5. Because heavy pressure does not break down or destroy the tiny air cells, but compresses the air within the cells, the cork begins to spring back when the pressure is removed. A roll or sheet of composition cork can be compressed in one direction without losing its dimensions in the other direction. This is of great importance for many applications of composition cork.

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6. While cork is not completely impervious to moisture penetration, its cellular structure gives it a high resistance to penetration by water which with the addition of the proper binder can be proofed.

7. Cork is a highly frictional material, both in its natural form as well as in cork composition. Even when wet or coated with oil or grease, cork retains this quality which surpasses that of leather, rubber, and many other products used for frictional or non-skid purposes.

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8.  Next to a vacuum, a “dead” air space minutely divides one of the most efficient non-conductors of heat. The cell construction of cork provides this property for which cork is so famous.9. Cork, with its 200 million air cells per cubic inch; of which 50% is air, essentially acts as an “air cushion”, absorbing vibrations and direct impacts.

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9. Cork is a tough, durable substance with remarkable capacity for retaining its initial properties wherever recommended. The high degree of stability under varying conditions is paramount to the continuing success and use of cork in the world today.

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10. 42 Birds makes eco-friendly yoga mats and accessories using cork from Spain and Portugal. The brand is driven by functionality, sustainability and natural beauty. They are looking to create the best performing yoga products that also look good in your home and in your practice. These products should be owned and enjoyed with the knowledge that they both come from and support nature’s eco system.

Can a blanket help sleep, fibromyalgia and anxiety?

I was recently asked by some friends if I thought a weighted blanket would help their children sleep better at night. I jumped into researching it and the concept looks great. With two children who have sleeping issues and struggle with anxiety I couldn’t wait to try this theory out.

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The more I looked into it the more I saw all sorts of therapy for different issues. These included fibromyalgia therapy as well as panic attack therapy. Could this blanket really help a variety of issues from pain to anxiety and sleep problems?

I’ve spent the last 4 weeks using the Magic Weighted Blanket for all of these problems and the results surprised me. I picked Magic Weighted Blanket because they’re the original weighted blanket and they have mastered how to make one perfectly for every type of person!

First I immediately started putting the blanket over my sons legs at night and then covering him with a sheet. He went from screaming throughout the night from nightmares to waking and finding a way to feel better without waking everyone else up. He varies depending on how frightened he is but often takes a sleeping bag into someone else’s room and sleeping on the floor.

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Once we had that routine down pat, I introduced my daughter in using it before bed. While we are relaxing or reading together I’ll throw it over her lap to help her get sleepy enough for bedtime so that she doesn’t take so long to fall asleep. Many night we also add a children’s meditation and she’ll fall asleep within 10 minutes.

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My son also brought me the Magic Weighted Blanket the week I was suffering from extreme pain due to fibromyalgia or lupus. Although it was too difficult for me to sleep with the weighted blanket on, it knocked the pain down from a 9 to a 3 within minutes. I kept the blanket on the painful joints for 20 to 45 minutes and used warm compresses as well and it has been the best treatment for this attack of pain that I have been getting for most of my life.

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While the blanket does seem to help each issue, it can only go so far. If their nighttime routine is interrupted or delayed, their bedtime issues are exasperated. If I don’t treat my pain quickly, the weight and heat can only go so far. Despite that, I do think it is an extremely useful tool to have in the house! It can only help as much as it is used and once you’re in the habit of using it you will look back and realize how much it has helped since you started. I believe the longer you use it the larger the benefits will be!

How to get your kids into yoga AND meditation in 3 simple tips.

People are often amazed that my children will practice yoga with me. They’re downright in disbelief when I tell them my kids also meditate with me. They follow up with how their own children just “never would do anything like that”.

I’m here to tell you that any child can practice yoga and meditate. It just has to be fun!

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Your child will practice what they see you practicing. If I don’t get on my mat my children rarely ask me to do yoga with them. Not only does this motivate my child to do a healthy mindful practice like yoga, but it gives me that extra oomph to get down on my mat and practice too so that they learn by my actions.

I invite my children to practice meditation with me (separately from my own meditation) and let them choose a fun crystal from my altar or explore sounds with our singing bowls. By showing them this area is filled with joy rather than something they should stay away from encourages them to meditate to bring themselves joy.

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Kids like to play games. My kids have a collection of yoga inspired books and games. We do these together as a family and the real object of the game is to focus on what you’re doing right in the moment. This is the basis of a meditation practice and an amazing skill for any person to learn. It leads to deeper satisfaction and overall happiness, as well as less anxiety and better coping skills during stress.

Consistency will build their own practice. Just like anything else, teaching your kids the practice of meditation and yoga will become a habit they can eventually do on their own. Make a point to practice for 5 minutes a day with them. Everyone has 5 minutes to spare and there are even apps for guided kids meditation that can become part of the bedtime routine.

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With kids, it’s that simple. They won’t jump in right away or even all the time but they will experience the benefits of the practice themselves and you’ll  be surprised how they go towards it when they need it most. I often stressed the benefits I noticed in my kids after they practiced to remind them why they continue to do it. My daughter struggled with negativity and falling asleep at night, she often complains of nervousness and fears. With her nightly meditation routine she rarely wakes up throughout the night and often falls asleep on 10 minutes or less. It has even inspired her to say one positive thing each morning when she wakes up and every night when she says goodnight. She just turned 7 years old and has been practicing meditation for about a year.

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My kids practiced yoga daily when they were infants and toddlers. Their practices have evolved into gymnastics and karate which they are devoted to and extremely ambitious in. They often point out to me how similar poses are in the three and they see yoga in everything that they do. They still practice random poses throughout the day but they no longer sit on their mats with me and practice like they used to. With it instilled in them, I know it is a practice they will always return to in times of need.

The more your children see you meditating and practicing yoga the more they will want to try. They might even practice in private after being exposed to it on a daily basis.

Check out BalaKids, a Shambhala imprint for a beautiful collection of yoga, meditation and mindfulness books to get your kids started on their journey or strengthen the practice they already have!

ProSource Gym Rings

20190403_135024I love playing around with gym gear. I feel like my yoga practice is very strict and dedicated and when I can goof around with gymnastics it feels like I’m using my skills but also just doing it for fun.

I started yoga to heal and I guess somewhere along the line it became work for me. If I grab some gym gear and let loose it reminds me to smile when I practice yoga too. I grew up intrigued my gymnastics and strength training but also lacked the ability to advance due to my health restraints.

I’m stronger and more flexible than I ever have been before and while I love watching my kids play all sports, I particularly love watching them flourish in Gymnastics and Karate!

My son adores ProSourceFit and their gymnastics gear, but mostly their wooden rings and chalk.

I love the rings because they’re smooth and safe, lightweight so I can move them back forth between my hookups indoor and my sons jungle gym outdoors. The straps make it so easy to adjust the length between my kids and I and wherever we decide to throw them up.

They’re an awesome price if you’re looking for some good gear to practice at home! Check them out on ProSourceFit here:

https://www.prosourcefit.com

Here is a complete workout on gym rings to get built and have fun doing it!

https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/built-like-a-gymnast-pack-on-the-muscle-with-gymnastic-rings.html

The Home of the Fiddle Leaf Fig

Have you avoided the infamous Fiddle Leaf Fig because of how finicky it is rumored to be? These beauties don’t have to be difficult to care for.  I got my beauty from PlantEmporium along with an Alocasia Stingray and Alocasia Odora Variegata.

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People easily get intimidated by plants because of how popular they are and of course the price factor. Don’t let this hold you back! I find that treating a plant like it is “special” often leads to me overcaring for it and eventually it’s demise. Follow these simple tips to help your FLF flourish for years to come.
FIDDLE LEAF FIG CARE
Light: Give it bright consistent light, preferably by a sunny window. Turn the plant every few months once it begins to lean toward the light.
Drafts: Make sure that your window is properly sealed. Figs are used to the still, warm conditions of the rainforest. Cold drafts from windows, doors and air-conditioning units may cause its leaves to dry out and drop.
Soil: Rich, well-drained peaty soil. Plan on re-potting about once a year because once roots become crowded they will start growing through the container’s drainage hole, causing circulation problems and even root rot.
Water: Water only when soil is dry to the touch. Then water thoroughly (until the water drains into the saucer) and allow to dry out again. If plants don’t get enough water, new leaves will turn brown and drop; on the other hand, if they are overwatered, the oldest leaves (toward the base of the plant) will turn brown and fall off.
Fertilizer: Feed with a water-soluble plant food throughout the growing season according to directions.
Pests: Figs are vulnerable to aphids, mealy bugs, scale, mites and whiteflies, causing leaves to turn yellow and drop. Inspect the foliage regularly, and if signs of infestation occur, wipe down the leaves with a solution of ½ teaspoon dishwashing detergent and one gallon of water. To protect the leaves from further attacks, add neem oil to the solution according to directions.
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To check out the PlantEmporium packaging I took a video you can see on YouTube and IGTV! Click the photo to watch the unboxing!
YouTube:
YouTube

IGTV

Screenshot_20190403-103504_Instagram.jpgIt’s easy to see why they have almost 900 five star reviews on Etsy! PlantEmporium puts a tremendous amount of care into their plants so that they arrive without any damage and very happy! Each of my orders from them has been a great experience. None of the plants I received this year or last year have had any bug problems and while some stress from shipping expected, all my plants are doing really well!I’ll share care tips for both alocasia plants in the upcoming weeks as well! I plan on doing weekly plant care posts in addition to my yoga and health posts! Spring is so inspiring!

Here are the other beauties from PlantEmporium:

Don’t forget to check out PlantEmporium for all the rare plant beauties!

Check them out here https://www.etsy.com/shop/PlantEmporium and leave a comment with which plants you would like care tips on!