Top 5 gifts for the minimalist

With the holiday around the corner, it’s gifting crunch time. But the last on your gifting list are always the most difficult to shop for.

All of us have one. That person who doesn’t want anything. They’re impossible to gift because they don’t like things cluttering their space. At the same time, you’re going to gift them anyway because you simply can’t not. So, here are my top five gifts for the minimalist:

  1. Mugs make great gifts for the minimalist. Everybody uses mugs, you can choose from a huge variety on Amazon, and your giftee will happily tuck it in a kitchen cabinet to avoid clutter!missnaughty
  2. Phone cases are always fun to switch up. You’re minimalist will get good use out this Pink Furry Thing iPhone 6 case from Urban Outfitters!

phonecase

3. Shaving kits are a great choice for the minimalist men in your life. Another Urban Outfitter find is the Proraso Travel Shave Kit. You know he’ll use it!

shave

4. Bath bombs are bomb gifts for minimalists. Lush’s best-selling bath bomb is full of yummy, relaxing ingredients. Let’s be real—who wouldn’t be excited to get a bath bomb?

bathbomb

5. Books are perfect gifts for the minimalist who’s thirsty for knowledge. Once your minimalist has read the book, they can keep it around on their bookshelf or pass it along for someone else to read. The only trick is which to pick! Try a non-fiction books like The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis. Make it an even more thoughtful gift and snag a signed copy from Barnes and Nobel.

book

Our minimalists are always difficult to shop for because they don’t like to keep a ton of things around. But when you think like a minimalist, you can gift like a minimalist. I hope this list makes your shopping a little easier.

Thanks for reading 🙂

KB

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My first Reiki experience

After searching meetups in my area, I discovered a Reiki circle near me and went to my first Reiki meeting.

It took place inside a small spiritual center, which was hidden from the street by big, bushy trees, on a chilly Wednesday afternoon. As I walked down the hall to the meeting room, the smell of incense grew stronger. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find the smell’s source. There was an absence of incense smoke and no fragrant sticks in sight.

The door to the meeting room was like a portal. Once inside, you were in a tranquil trance. The room was dark and relaxing. There was a small water fountain sitting on a counter, posters of chakra, aura, and reflexology reference charts lining the walls, and a fold out bed in the center of the room, which was covered by a white sheet and pillows. They called the bed the “healing table.”

There were only five of us all together. We each took turns on the healing table while the rest of the group healed.

At first, I didn’t really know what to do. The general idea was to hover your hands over the person on the healing table to balance energy and the chakras.

When it was my turn on the healing table, they asked if they had permission to touch and heal. I was impressed by the room’s overall considerate nature and comfortable environment 🙂 One of the more experienced healers took out crystals to aide my healing.

I was extremely surprised because the two more experienced healers, including the sessions Reiki master, almost immediately hovered their hands over an area in my right side where I had been feeling sharp pain for almost two weeks. She didn’t ask, but told me I was experiencing pain there. I knew I hadn’t done anything or said anything to let on that my side had been hurting, so I was frankly baffled by the experience!

Thanks for reading!

KB

 

Notes (and why they’re important)

A couple of days ago I went into work and was pleasantly surprised to discover an appreciation note in my mailbox. It was a handwritten note from my boss saying my work doesn’t go unnoticed. It wasn’t anything major, but it entirely changed my mood for the better that day.

It’s easy to get whisked away in the hustle and bustle of modern day living. There’s work, school, reading, volunteering, and keeping up with the latest entertainment. Not to mention errands and drive time. It’s easy to take other people for granted. But it’s so important to set aside time to write notes.

Notes benefit both the writer and the receiver. How? First of all, notes give you time to write down something positive. Positive writing can help express emotions and lead to happier living. Of course, reading positive words, especially about yourself, is enough to boost anyone’s spirit. Plus, when somebody receives a positive note, they’re more likely to write a positive note. Thus, issuing a chain reaction and spreading positivity in your world.

I like to keep of box of my signature cards, whale all occasion cards from Target, on my desk for random note writing, and more seasonal blank cards throughout the year.

Here are some fun blank cards you can find at Target:

  1. Bella Blue Foil Thank You Cards

    blue-card
    Looks like Tiffany Blue 😉

2. Gold Cat Pink Notecard Box

meow
Meow.

3. Line Art City Scene Holiday Boxed Cards

chic
Holiday chic 😮

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Thanks for…
  • I like how you…
  • I appreciate…
  • I noticed…
  • I just wanted to say…

You can follow these prompts with anything positive about the note receiver like his/her cheerfulness, helpfulness, or kindness! Try it at home, at work, at school, or even to employees you see regularly at your favorite places.

Have fun and thanks for reading 🙂

KB

Things Left Behind Documentary

I had the privilege of watching Linda Hoaglund’s documentary, Things Left Behind, at a special screening at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. It was sponsored by the OU Presidential Dream Course, “Nuclear Legacies.”

The documentary captured Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako photographing clothing, shoes, and other objects that survived the 1945 Hiroshima bomb during World War II. Her photographs were displayed in a temporary museum exhibit in Canada. It was one thing to read about Hiroshima bombing in my text book in high school, but another thing to witness how it completely devastated ordinary people through remnants of the bombing and how it affected descendants of survivors who attended the exhibit.

Ishiuchi’s photographs were breathtaking. They were so dynamic that I found myself questioning whether I was looking at her photographs of the items or if I was looking at the actual items encapsulated in glass frames.

The chilling image of a purple dress, burned in the left sleeve and torso areas, haunts my mind. I could almost see the woman who wore the dress. A ghost-like figure occupied the garment. For me, the photographs Ishiuchi took were a visualization of the terror the victims of the bombings endured.

There are arguments for and against whether or not Truman made the right call on the bombings. On one hand it was unethical. On the other hand, it probably saved more lives from years longer in war than the amount of lives that were taken in the bombings. But whether or not the Hiroshima bombing was the right choice, I only hope the world doesn’t resort to a nuclear weapons again. Something about wiping out 100,000 people with explosion, severe burns, birth defects resulting from radiation, and post-traumatic stress disorder seems to illustrate the worst of humanity.

“This happened to us as human beings,” an exhibit goer from the documentary said.

Thanks for reading.

KB

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

I heard about the award-winning architect and diverse exhibits of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science down in Dallas, Texas and had to go check it out for myself. Rather than purchasing just an admission ticket, I splurged and bought admission plus entrance to one of their film showings that day. I didn’t think you could put a price on knowledge, but the girl behind the admission desk rang it up on her cash register for a little over $25. I splurged a little by adding a film entrance to my admission ticket.

Right off the bat, I could see why the museum’s architect won the Pritzker Prize. The building was incredible! It looked sleek and modern, and it was huge.

Inside, there were ten exhibits (minus the children’s exhibit) including information on energy, a space, dinosaurs, sports, the human body, gems and minerals, and more. It was a lot to truck through in one day, but I was determined.

I appreciated the museum’s subject diversity, but what I really enjoyed was the “Expanding Universe Hall.” I always love learning about space, and this exhibit really blew me out of the water with its interactive learning posts and fun quotes.

I photographed my favorite part of the museum—a poster and bench duo explaining the iron in our bodies are star remnants. How neat!

photo-9

photo-8

The film was also a cool takeaway from the trip. It was a National Geographic documentary called “Deepsea Challenge,” which featured James Cameron. Simultaneously spooky and fascinating, the documentary took me on a journey down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. It was a real treat and well worth the extra $8!

All in all, the museum trip was a grand success! The museum certainly offers something for all ages and provokes museum-goers to let loose and have fun learning.

Thanks for reading 🙂

KB

I’m going to make you think about skin care differently

If there’s one thing I’ve learning after years of battling blemishes, blotchiness, oil, dry flakes, sensitivity, and numerous topical allergies, it’s to not. I use to think that I needed harsh skin care products and weird natural remedies to win the skin battle. Little did I know it was a one-sided battle, I the aggressor.

It all started when I noticed my skin became “oiler” than most in my tween years. Simply put, my skin was shiny. In retrospect, it didn’t look bad. In fact, I was always complemented on my “glowing skin.” But because society and the media had (and still has) such a nasty attitude toward “oily” skin, I thought it was gross, and I declared war.

I jumped on the bandwagon and bought all of those medicated scrubs, creams, and lotions targeted at the youth. None of it helped. Actually, everything I used made my skin burn, tingle, itch, or red.

After reading Paula Begoun’s

Don’t go to the cosmetics counter without me,

which I checked out from my local public library, and researching just how our body’s biggest organ actually works, I completely changed my skin care routine and never looked back.

Here are the key things to look for in your skin care:

  • Fragrance free
  • Dye free
  • Antioxidants like vitamins A, B, C, and E
  • Formulated without irritants like menthol, peppermint, and linalool
  • Ideally packaged in a pump or tube instead of a jar to protect ingredients from light and air, which oxidizes products (not to mention bacteria contamination that results from the skin contact of scooping product out)

If you use these gold standards, the list of thousands of products to try suddenly shrinks and can save you tons of money. I found my HG routine using CeraVe Renewing SA cleanser and Sunday Riley Bionic moisturizer.

Thanks for reading 🙂

KB

Review: Coach DINKY crossbody in burnished glovetanned leather

I decided it was time for a big-girl purse. I was going to leave my crossbody bag days behind and upgrade to a sophisticated black leather Coach handbag. Less than 24 hours later, I was back in the Coach store exchanging the black handbag for what I really wanted—a DINKY.

leather

I tried several colors of the DINKY bag on and all of them were darling, but when I tried the DINKY on in burnished glovetanned leather (as pictured above), I knew it was my perfect fit. Shout-out to Austin at Coach for helping me. In person, the color is much richer than the photograph on the Coach website does justice. It’s more burgundy looking than the picture captures, and has a rustic, high-fashion design.

At first, I thought the quirky dark metal and leather strap, which, by the way, can be worn as a crossbody or clipped up as a double handle, might hurt my shoulder. Surprisingly, it’s quite light and comfortable. It compliments the dark metal turn lock on the front of the bag, which secures the flap and the contents of your DINKY. 🙂

Somehow, the coach designers made the inside of this bag even more stunning than the outside. Inside the bag is a striking red color, which contrasts the deep tones of the bag’s exterior. The interior also features a useful coin pocket, so you don’t have to weigh your wallet down with loose change.

The only draw back to this bag is its size. It’s truly a minimalist’s bag, capable of fitting only the essentials. Though, it’s so jaw-dropping it may be time to get rid of the clutter anyway (nudge-nudge *wink*).

This is truly a breath-taking bag that scores me tons of compliments. Next on my wish list is the DINKY crossbody 24 in glovetanned leather with rocket embelishment! Any other space fans?

Thanks for reading,

KB