See Health Closer: 5 things I’m loving right now

When I started my blog, See Things Closer, my hope was to share more about how I was learning what an ethical lifestyle looked like for me. But through some recent health setbacks, I have also really started looking into what a “healthy” lifestyle looks like for myself and learning more about how to naturally heal my body, so I have decided to add health and fitness to something I am also seeing closer.

Health is so unique to each person, so know that I certainly don’t plan on giving you any medical advice on what you should or shouldn’t do. Rather, my idea is simply to share about what I’ve found joy in and how it’s bringing meaning to me personally.

Another goal in these new weekly “things I’m loving” posts is merely to blog more. I hate writing (I know, I know…ohh the irony that I started a blog), but these posts will hopefully be a quick way to give you a few things every week that I’m enjoying and that I think you might enjoy, too.

So, to start us off this week, I’m focusing on 5 things in the “health/wellness” category that either make working-out more enjoyable or are helping me lower the noise of this busy world we live in. I’d love to hear topics you would like me to cover in the coming weeks, or if you’d tried any of my first 5 wellness ideas below in the comments! Here’s to being the best versions of ourselves possible.

Oh, and rest assured that none of these are sponsored ;)

656F4E8B-B5B6-4369-B115-B1AE5A60D4B1.JPG

The Catalina Deluxe Tote

For a simple canvas tote, it’s kinda embarrassing how much I love this bag and find purpose in it. I sold my previous weekender on Facebook Marketplace and used the money to purchase the Catalina Deluxe Tote from Lo & Sons because it works as both a weekender and a workout bag.

The bottom pocket provides a separate storage compartment from the rest of your things, so I love that you can keep the germs from your shoes off your clothes. The best part, though? It has a convenient pass-through sleeve on the side that slides onto a suitcase handle, so no more worrying about wearing out your shoulder when you travel. Yes, please.

Apple Cider Vinegar + Lemon water in the morning

Now I know I said I wouldn’t offer any medical advice, so consult your doctor before you start this, but — my doctor recommended drinking one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of lemon juice in six ounces of water every morning, 30 minutes before you eat. It not only helps hydrate your body after a full night’s sleep, but it also helps clear out toxins and gets your gut off to a good start every morning.

I can honestly say it feels like I just drank a shot of espresso after I drink this. Game changer.

7915ABFE-16F6-4E97-9FFE-3C2C0286FB58.JPG

The Mindbodygreen Podcast

I think we all know the health and wellness category is trending BIG right now, but if you’re like me at all, you really don’t know what to believe. And that’s where the Mindbodygreen podcast comes in. It shares “motivational interviews with the people shaping the wellness world: pioneers, cutting-edge thinkers, and entrepreneurs who are changing the conversation. Topics include health, fitness, nutrition, self-help and more.” I love the insight it gives you into trending wellness topics.

Highly recommend. I’m hooked.

Pilates

My chiropractor and doctor both recommended I start Pilates classes to build up my core strength to help manage my scoliosis. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but it has helped relieve so much of my back pain that I am shocked. Then again, the whole class is almost all abs so am I really that surprised? I have never done so much ab work (send help) but the relief I feel is worth it!  

Floating

I’ve been hearing about “Floating” from friends for a few years and my husband even tried it before me last year, but I finally took the plunge (pun intended!) in February and danggggg, it was incredible.

Here’s how Sean Lavery from Float-Toronto has described the experience:

“You are floating in 850 pounds of epsom salt so you won’t be fighting gravity and the water is kept at 93.5 degrees which is skin-receptor neutral, which means you lose track of where your body ends and the water begins. Your ears stay just below the water, and the tanks are insulated against sound. After you shut the door and turn off the light, you float in total darkness. During your float the outside world is gone, and amazing things happen. It turns out that when you’re not fighting gravity or constantly taking in information your body has a lot of extra resources at its disposal. Your mind is free to mull things over without distraction, your brain pumps out dopamine and endorphins, and your body gets to rest, de-stress, and heal.”

Needless to say, Floating is 100% worth the hype. I have literally never experienced something where you can truly escape from being overstimulated completely. No sound, no gravity, no light. For living in such a tech-heavy world, the gift of disconnecting from all the stimulation is really surreal.

And, if you’re in St. Louis, I loved my experience at Float STL and they will give you $10 off with this code: pb-640692

Let me know if you try it and what your experience is like!

2 0 1 5

Well, after about three months of writer's block, I'm excited to be writing again! I took some time off focusing on the holidays and time with family but I'm back and ready to take 2015 by the horns! My holidays were filled with friends and family -- like the pictures below (ice skating in Forest Park). For the second year in a row our best friends visited us during Christmas and it was the best time. I'm so grateful for friends who encourage, pray and love you through hard times. 

I love January and this special time of year. It is a great time for reflecting to set goals and dream how you want to spend the next year of your life. There is something about it that just feels so new and fresh. And, to start my year off focused on God and my goals, 

I took part in a social media fast with my church. I had no idea how wonderful it would be. If you know me, you know I LOVE photography and Instagram. Border line obsessed. Along with half with world. 

I was expecting to really, realllllly miss instagram and facebook. Like dread being away. Have extreme fomo (fear of missing out) and totally fail. At best, I thought I'd only make it halfway through the week before getting "back on." BUT, I'm proud to say... I stood strong and have learned so much about myself and our culture during the week I was "off the grid."

I learned how I fill every spare moment checking my latest feed on Instagram and how obsessed I was with how many "likes" and comments I was getting on my latest pictures. And, most importantly, I realized just how much anxiety social media was causing me. It's hard for me to admit that I am/was struggling with anxiety but it's the truth. But, this week... I feel like a weight had been lifted off of me. Filling my minutes and hours looking at other people's lives whether good or bad, has slowly began giving me anxiety -- daily anxiety to be exact.

Discussing this with my mom earlier this week, we chatted about how social media and it's far-reaching network gives us a way to see into the lives of so many people and how that just isn't normal. We are not meant to be that hyper-connected. It is just too much to take in on a daily basis. No one's heart or soul can take in that much information about every little detail of everyone's life. 

So...all that to say, I'm excited to share my thoughts on how I'm going to take this week and apply it to my life moving forward in 2 0 1 5. 

Social Media Boundaries:

1. Get all my instagram notifications turned off so I'm not 

constantly reminded of what is happening on instagram. 

2. Keep my instagram app hidden on my phone -- meaning, it will 

help me avoid constantly opening the app when I have a free moment. 

3. Delete the facebook app completely off my phone. 

Because honestly, that will cut down 90% of the time I am on facebook. It will make me open my laptop(which isn't everyday) 

in order to get on facebook.

4. Leave my phone in another room when I get home from work every night so I can focus on my husband who I haven't seen all day & actually get things done and not be distracted by phone.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this social media hyper connected and consumed world and what/if any, actions you take to be in control of it and not let it control you.  And, don't get me wrong, I think that instagram specifically is wonderful and it has given me new friendships I wouldn't have otherwise, but it's all about boundaries and finding a balance. 

I'm so grateful to have friends like Courtney and many others who encourage me along the way. I pray that if you don't already, you find your "tribe" who can keep you accountable and love you during this journey we have here on earth. 

Here's to 2 0 1 5! I am so hopeful for what God has in store this year. If you haven't already, I encourage you to take a social media fast too. It's such a great time to focus and set some goals for yourself. I don't think you'd regret it. And, if you do, let me know how it goes! You got this -- it's not impossible to go a week without it. Trust me. If I can do it.... you can too. 

Complete our looks:

Brooke's Look (left) 

Red Cozy Zip Scarf

 - handmade by Noonday Collection

Crescent Moon Earrings

 - handmade by Noonday Collection -

current obsession

Delta River Bangles

 - handmade by Noonday Collection

Milly Lace Boot Socks

 - Grace and Lace

Lines and Stripes Catch All Purse

 - handmade by Noonday Collection 

Courtney's Look (right)

Bright Stripes Arm & Leg Warmers

 - handmade by Noonday Collection

Gem Trio Studs

 - handmade by Noonday Collection

Hand knit scarf - by Janell Rardon

----------

Both dresses from

Twice

. Second hand clothes - game changer. 

Happy New Year, y'all! Let's make it a good year.

xoxo

What's in your Bag?

I have been totally inspired by the Noonday Collection blog series "

A Peek inside our Bag

". I love how it makes you feel more connected to the girls who work at home office and I couldn't resist joining! :) 

And here's little more of why I love each item in my bag:

1. My fossil wallet is a must: My Uncle Mike gave me my first fossil wallet when I was in middle school and I blame him for my fossil obsession. I started young and it hasn't faded since. I have a huge obsession now with leather, which you'll also read about at #10. ;)

2. New York & Company Sunglasses: My husband Aaron convinced me to try out aviators two years ago with this pair and I bought two more for $4 each to keep in safe keeping in case I ever lost a pair. Their my favorite sunglasses I've ever owed. And the best value.

3. Rifle Paper Co Notebook: It might be that Anna Bond, creator of Rifle Paper Co, & I are both Alumni of Liberty University that drew me to her work, but it is her incredible talent that keeps me coming back. I am obsessed with her stationary business and love keeping notes in this gorgeous notebook. 

4. BareMinerals Lip Gloss: I became obsessed with this lip gloss last year and haven't turned back since.

5. Kind Bar: With my attempt to eat more healthy snacks, I turned to Kind Bars with the suggestion of my best friend, Taylor. She never fails to bring her A game. I didn't expect to love my healthy snacks but I'm totally hooked on the almond & coconut flavor. You gotta try it. I owe you big time, Tay.

6. Bath & Body Works Lotion: Peach & honey almond lotion for the win. Not only is the packaging gorgeous, it smells divine.

7. Fossil Watch: As said earlier, my obsession started early with fossil. My watch is a testament to that. I don't leave the house without it. And if I do, my wrist feels alone all day. 

8. Noonday Collection Bracelet: my

Very Versatile

 bracelet from Noonday totally caught me by surprise. My sister-in-law, Natalie, purchased it first and I fell in love with it the moment I saw it in person. It has that edgy style I don't typically go for but I feel like every girl should own this bracelet. 

9. Canon Camera/ iPhone 5: The first and last picture are essentially the same except one thing. The camera or iphone. The last picture on the blog is taken with my iphone to show case my camera. After my sister, Candace, & Dad, Rob, introduced me to photography, I haven't looked back. It's a hobby that I love to continue to love about and try new things. Capturing photographs with my Canon or iPhone is something you will always seem me doing. It brings me so much joy!

10. Noonday Collection purse: The last thing on the list is my beloved "

Rustic Leather Tote

" purse from Noonday! It is made from a group of women who have leprosy in India. This purse has for the first time in their lives, given them purpose and recognition in their community. They have been shunned for their whole lives and looked down upon and this is the first time ever they have dignity and respect from their community. That's something I can't say about my fossil purse. So inspiring and that is what continues to fuel my passion to "purchase with purpose!"

iPhone version to debut my favorite hobby....my Canon. 

Enter Noonday Collection's

giveaway

to win our Lines and Stripes Catch All bag! Only one day left! And, I want to know, what are some "must haves" in your purse? Can't wait to hear!