Friday Faves

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Hello hello! Happy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? It’s a frozen tundra here in Tucson – 30 degrees. My Arizona soul is suffering – and I’m thinking of living in my sauna blanket at least once a day. Other than that, P has a soccer game, we have a dinner party with friends on Sat (my fave), and I’m looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday.  I hope you have a fun and wonderful weekend ahead!

Something I wanted to include from last week: a class at DEFINE in San Diego! My friend Carina started DEFINE and is an incredible instructor – we used to teach barre together when I lived in San Diego and I always loved taking her classes.

If you haven’t take a Lagree class, you’re in for a treat 😉 It’s SO challenging and totally different than traditional reformer Pilates. I used to take Lagree classes in San Diego but we don’t have a local studio… I wish we did! It was so amazing to see her, check out the gorgeous studio, and take her class. If you’re in the SD area, definitely check it out!

(with Betsy and Carina!)

It’s time for the weekly Friday Faves party! This is where I share some of my favorite finds from the week and around the web. I always love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Friday Faves

Read, watch, listen:

LOVED this Sakara podcast episode with one of my favorite IG follows, Dr. Connealy.

Can’t wait to see A Man Called Otto (and read the book years ago). Has anyone seen it??

This was heart wrenching yet beautiful to read.

Health, fitness, and good eats:

EquiLife detox starts on Monday, and I’m spending some time this weekend brainstorming recipes and prepping for days 3-7. You can still follow along at your own pace if you want to try it out. My link and the code FITNESSISTA20 get you 20% off your first one. I’m definitely looking forward to amazing sleep and a nutritional reset. If you decide to join in, we’re going to be sharing our experiences over on my Facebook wellness page! Join here if you’d like another spot to connect. I plan to post many more videos and hot topics in 2023.

 Love your booty workout

Ways to boost your metabolism after 40

Another reason to potentially add yoga into your routine!

Fashion + beauty:

Be

6 sleep sounds to listen to tonight

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From white noise to music and meditations, we’re rounding up six sleep tracks to help you drift off tonight

6 sleep sounds to listen to tonight

The idea of playing some kind of sound to help you fall asleep may feel very 2023. But, when you think about it, drifting off to soothing sounds isn’t entirely new. Humans have been singing lullabies for millennia, and there’s something about repetitive, gentle sounds that really help us to switch off.

For some people, playing sounds as they fall asleep helps them to focus on something other than anxious thoughts, or worries about what the next day might bring them. For others, the sounds can help combat the distractions that come with living in built-up areas. But, whatever the reason behind it might be, the genre is booming right now.

Interested in trying something new tonight? We’ve brought together six sleep sounds to help you find your perfect bedmate.

White noise

White noise is a sound that contains all the frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound. It sounds a bit like the static you might hear on an untuned TV or radio. There have been several studies into what makes this seemingly uninspiring sound so soothing for some people. The results have been mixed – it works for some, and not for others – but when it does work, it has been found to be very effective, with one study from The National Center for Biotechnology finding that adults fell asleep 38% faster while listening to white noise.


Classical music

Studies have shown that music that has 60 beats per minute, about that of a resting heart rate, is shown to have a soothing effect on our minds. Now, technically that opens the door to music across the genres, but the thing about classical music is that it doesn’t contain distracting lyrics, and depends much more on movement and melody – elements that enhance relaxation.


Guided sleep meditation

Meditation is a fantastic tool for relaxation and wellbeing, and it’s a growing area of content, which means that you can find plenty of guided meditations designed specifically to help you fall into a deep and restful sleep. This example, from Jason Stephenson, will help you to slow down your breathing, let go of stress, and find a sense of serenity. Plus, the addition of the rainforest sounds adds another dimension to the relaxing soundscape.


Sound baths

Sound, or gong, baths have been used for healing since ancient times, with some records suggesting they go back as far as 16,000 B.C. One study, from 2017, found evidence to sugges

12 affirmations to support you through the year

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Claire Titmus, author of ‘The Crystal Year’, shares her monthly affirmations for 2023  

12 affirmations to support you through the year

The seasonal cycles of the year often affect our focus, natural rhythms, and physical and mental wellbeing throughout the 365 days. This has been observed since time began, and even led to the full moons receiving their celestial and spiritual names, due to different poignant nature-driven activities. Affirmations are a wonderful way to help you focus in alignment with this energy, offering you emotional support or encouragement when you need a dose of positivity.

The meaning ‘to affirm’ is to state something out loud. To give yourself the confirmation that you are speaking the truth, to affirm to your mind that you believe in the power of the words being spoken.

Whilst you can practice these affirmations at times of meditation, during relaxation, or as part of a ritual, know that keeping them to hand to read out when you need to is absolutely fine. In fact, keeping it simple and bringing them into your day-to-day routine will make them even more beneficial, as the words will be associated with activities you and your mind are familiar with.

12 affirmations to support you through the year
The Crystal Year (Quadrille, £15)

The following affirmations have been chosen to use in the given month, however, if you feel drawn to one at any other time, just go with it. You know you best.

  • January - Associated with a fresh start – I am strong, capable and resilient. I am determined to build the life that I aspire to. I deserve the best.
  • February – Associated with love – I am deserving of genuine friendships and love. I am loved and I love everything about my beautiful self.
  • March – Associated with new beginnings – I am ready for spring, the signs of new growth and life remind me of the new possibilities ahead of me. I am ready to grow.
  • April – Associated with cleansing – I am ready to let go of what no longer serves me, and welcome new opportunities in abundance.
  • May – Associated with growth – I feel empowered to live, learn and grow. My challenges are opportunities that will feed me wisdom.
  • June – Associated with gratitude – All that I desire is manifesting. I am grateful for the abundance flowing my way.
  • July – Associated with adventure and travel – I attract my dream opportunities with ease. July is an amazing month for new experiences for me.
  • August – Associated with regen

Carne en su Jugo

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Tender pieces of flank steak are simmered in their own juices creating a rich and super flavorful broth to create the Carne en su Jugo recipe (a.k.a. Meat in its Juices) that my family loves so much.

Right at the end of the cooking time, pinto beans are stirred into the pot and then this deliciousness is scooped into bowls and topped with bacon, onion, cilantro and plenty of lime.

Carne en su Jugo - a.k.a. Meat in its Juices

Here we are almost to Valentine’s Day, also known as my 22nd wedding anniversary, and there is quite literally no better way to say “I love you” to my house full of boys than to hand them a fragrant bowl of Carne en su Jugo.

A bowl literally full of “meat in its juices?” That’s a guaranteed win around here.

Our friends Mel and Jon invited us over to their house for dinner a few weeks ago and Mel was awesome enough to make this for us. My kids went crazy over it.

There wasn’t a drop left in the pot after dinner and on the way home, ALL of my guys asked when we could make it again.

Carne en su Jugo

Mel and Jon worked as missionaries in Guadalajara for several years and Carne en su Jugo is a local favorite in that region of Mexico.

Mel was kind enough to share her recipe with me and I made it immediately.

Carne en su Jugo - a.k.a. Meat in its Juices

I’ve tweaked it just a bit to match my family’s tastes: we like a little heat with our recipes, so I upped the serranos to 3. Feel free to only use 1 pepper if you’d like to avoid the heat.

That said, there might be little or no heat with three peppers. It really depends on how hot the available peppers are.

Also, because this is a HUGE favorite with my guys, I typically double the recipe when I make this.

Art imitating life: exploring art therapy and its benefits on our wellbeing

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Paintings, photography, sculptures, and scrapbooks – how can art be used to support us through difficult times?

Art imitating life: exploring art therapy and its benefits on our wellbeing

In the 20th century, tuberculosis was a big problem in the UK, claiming countless lives, and seeing many others confined to sanatoriums. As you might expect, this would have been a frightening and frustrating time, but among the sickness and sadness, doctors observed that patients who drew and painted were better able to cope with both their illness, and their stay at the hospitals. The practice quickly spread and, in 1964, the British Association of Art Therapists was founded.

From 1948 until he retired in 1981, Edward Adamson became the first artist to be employed by the NHS. When Edward first began his work, people living with mental health problems did not have rights, and were subjected to brutal treatment. But Edward saw another way forward. For him, art therapy was about creative expression – not evidence to pass on to psychiatrists to be analysed – but art for art’s sake, and for healing. In his lifetime, Edward gathered more than 5,000 works of art from his patients, from drawing to ceramics, sculptures to paintings, preserved today by the Adamson Collection Trust.

Painting a picture

These days, the NHS states that there are more than 4,400 registered art therapists in the UK, including art, drama, and music therapists, like Chloe Sparrow.

“I remember so clearly what it was like to experience really big feelings, but not have the vocabulary, or confidence, to talk about it,” Chloe says. “For me, art psychotherapy offered a bridge between those big feelings and the expression of those feelings. Being able to express ourselves, and feel understood by another, feels like such a healing human experience. Combining that with one of my great loves, art, feels like such a privilege and pleasure.

“Art psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy practised by qualified, registered art psychotherapists,” she explains. “It can provide you with an opportunity to use artmaking to explore issues or themes that are relevant and personal to you, and can be used to explore a wide range of difficulties.

“You don’t need to be ‘good’ at art in order to benefit from art psychotherapy. The purpose of the artmaking is to facilitate personal growth, and a greater understanding of the self, and you may find that particular themes begin to emerge through the colours, shapes, and concepts, in your artwork.”

Chloe explains how, in most sessions, the therapist will provide you with a variety of art materials and options that you can then pick from. With this as your starting point, you might work from a prompt provided by the therapist or, instead, approach your work with pure creativity and spontaneity. From there, there may then be time for discussion and reflection though, of course, the precise structure of a session will be entirely unique from person to person.

Art imitating life: exploring art therapy and its benefits on our wellbeing

The focus point

When it comes to therapy, one size really doesn’t fit all, and art therapy offers a positive alternative.

“Because art psychotherapy combines psychotherapeutic techniques with cre

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