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Welcome Spring -Decluttering your home, body, and soul.

Hello My Loves∼ Can we talk about Mother Nature?!?!  It’s about time this weather started clearing up.  There is just something about the Spring that evokes feelings of rebirth, cleansing, and renewal.  It’s in that spirit that I decided to do a little spring cleaning of my home, body, and soul.

Of course I have tried to come up with some simple and inexpensive ways to do this because Spring also comes on the heels of winter (HOLIDAYS) and we know we are all a little financially challenged around this time. LOL!!!

I’m just going to share some of the things I’ve done so far for my home, body and soul for zero to little dollars to start that cleansing process.  I also feel that after the whole “new year, new me” shenanigans, this is probably around the time that people have hit a plateau or fallen off the wagon so this is a great way to reenergize and start over!

Home:

  1. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way.  I focused on my living room first since that’s the entry point.  What a difference it was to go from a stone color to a very pale gray.  I hunt for “oops” paint from Home Depot, so I was able to pick up two one-gallon cans for $9.00 each.  I did pay someone to paint.  However, painting is super therapeutic and a great weekend project if you want to do it yourself.
  2. Throw stuff out!  If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months (I know some people say a year), but really just donate it.  Declutter your closets and your drawers.  Throw out all those single pairs of socks – they are NEVER coming back from laundry hell!
  3. Purchase new linens for your bathroom and bedroom, new sheets, towels, shower curtain make small differences and brighten things up a bit.  If your towels are still good try to incorporate a second color – for example, my old towels were shades of gray, so I went and picked up a couple of white and blush pink towels on sale at Target.  I took my old towels and recycled them to clean up, mop, and for car.
  4. I had a lot of dark bronze home decor, towel rack, three tiered shelf in bathroom, small mirror to name a few.  Instead of chucking them I picked spray painted them a brushed gold and they look like completely new pieces.
  5. Go through your kitchen cabinets and linen closet.  Check for expiration dates, old sunscreen, those hotel samples and throw them out!

These are some simple things you can do to start the decluttering process in preparation for Spring which leads to Summer.  And I know sometimes it is so overwhelming.  If you’re anything like me I want to do it all at once, but I didn’t want to clutter my mind more, right?

So I made a list of all the things I want to do at home and I tackle large projects on the weekend and smaller ones during the week.  My bathroom is done.  Check it out!!  I love it and it probably cost me less than $75 bucks to revamp.  (I’ll blog about it later!)

I’ve done things in the rest of apartment but haven’t finished yet, tackling my room this weekend, then kitchen, and lastly my living room.!  It is such a great feeling walking into my brighter, cleaner more springier space!

OH! One more simple thing you can do at home – REARRANGE furniture.  You’d be surprised I switched a couple pieces up and all of a sudden I see the whole space in a new light!

The Body

Now let’s talk about decluttering your body, literally! LOL

Listen we are on the heels of the holidays, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s day.  And for me, also my 50th!  So the eating has been the worst.  So I decided to go on keto not too long ago, just to try and curb the carb and sugar cravings.

Of course I am not promoting Keto, but I am suggesting a change in diet as part of your physical spring cleaning….Try a one week detox or an egg fast (this is the big thing now).  Anything to get your body UN-stuck. Liquid cleanses are hard, but are great for cleansing those intestines and getting your digestive system moving.  The beginning of these are always challenging as your body goes through withdrawal making you feel sluggish, but the benefits at the end are great.

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Grabbed this at Kiehl’s. Great starter kit for $68.  The eye cream is everything!!

Other little things you can do are more self care, face sheet masks, hot baths with Epsom salt help to shed water, and body scrubs for some of those dead skin cells.  I’ve recently purchased some new products from Kiehls because I want to try some new face products  as it seems my previous ones wern’t giving me the results I wanted anymore.  Shampoos and conditioners are always a great place to start as well.

Once your home is decluttered, you need a happy invigorated body to enjoy it!!

The Soul

This is my favorite of course, because in order to enjoy all of the above, you have to get your soul right.  I find this especially important at this time of year.  It’s like coming out of hibernation after a long winter’s sleep.  I always have a variety of ways to do this.

The first thing I am doing is revamping my vision board.   See what has shifted in my life, what needs more focus, what I’ve checked off, how I’ve grown.  You can do this as a quiet Sunday project, get your materials, light some candles, meditate, reflect and visualize!  Or you can have a vision board party and bring that collective energy into the room!

Secondly, I’ve also committed to journaling more frequently, right after I meditate for a few minutes in the morning.  Many of us struggle with meditation.  I did for a long time, until I heard Eckart Tolle say that all meditating is, is paying attention to the breath.

One conscious breath in and out is a meditation.

Eckhart Tolle

When we pay attention to the breath we bring ourselves back to the present and when you’re in the present everything changes.  Try a guided meditation app if that helps.  I have an Alexa at home so in the morning and evening I ask it to play a guided meditation for me. It’s a great way to start and end my day.

I’ve found all those cute canvas prints about love, positivity and spiritually and I placed them strategically in my home where I see them on a regular – in my bathroom wall opposite my mirror, right on my nightstand, in the kitchen next to the coffee area.  These are just great reminders and act as daily affirmations to set up your day for success!

Lastly, pray.  I know, I know.  If anyone knows me I am not necessarily a religious person so this may come as a shock.  But honestly I pray all day long.  I give thanks, I express gratitude, I send blessings to everyone I meet, and I pray every single night.  Prayer is grounding and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve finally stopped questioning the Universe and God.  Because they always deliver.

Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth – I hope some of these tips help and hopefully you can share some I didn’t mention with me.

Happy Spring cleaning!  Thanks for stopping by.

LolaUncorked♥

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I can’t believe I have to blog about funeral etiquette…SMH!

Hey My Loves ∼

I have so many drafts of blogs to finish and post- BUT I had to come on here to address death and wake/funeral etiquette.  Because apparently in this day and age of technology and social media many have lost all common sense.

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We recently lost a very much loved member of our family.  It was one of those expected, unexpected things.  And at almost 50, dealing with death, wakes and funerals is no easier than it was in my teens, 20s or 30s.

What I have noticed however is that the way people grieve coupled with techonological access equates to such an unbelievable disrespect and disregard for the dead and their families that it compelled me to write this blog.

Listen, I think that technology has so many advantages and has opened endless possibilities for networking, entrepreneurial success, and solving crimes and just spreading information.  I mean, I myself can’t remember life before all this access can’t imagine life without it.  Though the idea of disconnecting for a month sounds heavenly.

But in the midst of all these technological gains, we have also suffered many losses – common sense and sensitivity.   We have become so desensitized to real live human interactions that we don’t even know how to act when someone passes.

I get that we all grieve and suffer the loss of a loved one differently.  Some people maydeath1 cry uncontrollably for days on end, others may not show any emotion and people may think they are insensitive and yet others may have a need to inundate themselves in work and mundane tasks in an effort to not deal.  Everyone grieves differently, but I am going to remind some of you of things NOT to do at a wake or funeral.

This list was compiled as a result of a conversation I had with my family about the things we observed over this past week while making arrangements.

And as you guys know I love lists – it just helps me organize myself.  So here goes – things NOT to do at a wake or funeral.

  1. When a family is grieving and planning for their loved ones services, do NOT impose your thoughts, practices, or opinions into the arrangements of the deceased UNLESS you’re planning on paying for the services. Like who else would know a father or mother better or more, than their own kids. You can’t force your ideals or practices from the past on today. Just, just, be still and offer comfort in silence.
  2. The wake, especially, is a time to sit in reverence, remember, cry, and support. The receiving line is your time to offer some words of comfort, a hug or a handshake and done. This is NOT the time to ask the family what happened. How did it happen? or to offer words like, “Oh but he was so young.” or “Maybe if he or she had done this or that.” Like really?
  3. This one is huge! The Biggest! The Most Important! DO NOT TAKE OUT YOUR
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    Like really, I googled cell phones and funerals and I can NOT believe what I found….

    PHONES.  If you  have to make a call, step out.  If you have to give someone information about the services.  Do NOT Snap or post IG Live videos, do NOT take selfies or group pictures next to the casket or anywhere for that matter.  Do NOT, please do NOT video tape people at the wake, who are crying and grieving. Do NOT video tape the funeral mass and please do NOT video tape the lowering of the casket!!! (Someone did at the funeral site and I kept wishing they would drop their phone in the grave. SMH!)

  4. Common sense folks!  I don’t care if you ask the family.  Actually don’t even ask the family. These people are in mourning, they are sad and upset, they are probably exhausted from the planning and visits and crying.  Just don’t do it.  It’s disrespectful to the people who are there honoring a life gone. Not to mention to the deceased.
  5. This is a funny one and actually happened.  LOL. But should be addressed.  Make sure if you go up to someone, a family member you haven’t seen in a while, that before you start sobbing on their shoulder they know who you are.  AWKWARD!
  6. And if you’re that person that someone goes up to sobbing uncontrollably and you don’t remember who they are because maybe you haven’t seen them in decades, don’t look around at the crowd with a stunned look on your face and hands out like “Who the hell is this?” Play it off, please and ask questions later.
  7. And lastly, but I am sure not least, after the services are done and the family has said their goodbyes remember they have been going through the process long before you heard about the person passing, especially if the person had suffered a long illness.  So when it’s over the family needs time to sit, pray, cry, remember and  be alone.  Don’t show up at their house unexpectedly.  Don’t get upset if your calls or texts go unreturned.  Just let them be.  Let them absorb it all.  Let them be quiet.  Let them be still. Let them mourn.

Watching some of the above, actually occur left me perturbed and kind of sad   We can’t even go to a wake and sit in reverence and pray for the deceased and that’s a shame.

Here are some websites on funeral etiquette if you’d like to do further reading: https://www.frazerconsultants.com/2017/11/funeral-etiquette-cell-phone-use-at-funerals/, and www.funeralwise.com/etiquette/. Apparently I am not the only person out there who feels people need a common sense refresher.

We will profoundly miss our Moises.  What an honor it has been knowing him and becoming family.  He leaves behind a legacy that we all hope to live up to.

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In loving memory of Moises Santos

Thanks for reading lovies! Remember to like, follow, comment and share! See you soon!

LolaUncorked♥

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Everyone should take a solo trip…at least once!

Hey my loves! So because I just recently went away to South Beach, I did a survey on  www.instagram.com about solo travel!  I was so disappointed that a whopping 67% of you would NOT travel alone. Solo travel is like the best thing ever!

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I’ve made some wonderful friends traveling…that I still talk to today…

So I am here to give you some pros about traveling solo and tips on how to make your solo vacation a success!

Listen, I love a group vacation. But we all know if the vibe and dynamics are not there, group vacations can be ..hmmm…

TEDIOUS!  COSTLY! SOMETIMES, A WASTE OF TIME!

I’ll give you a couple of examples.  We used to take lots of family vacations together.  Ranging in age from 3 to 82.  One year we all went to Florida.  About 10-12 of us.  When it came to going out to eat, it never occurred to us to go out to eat with our respective family units and then meet up afterwards for whatever activity.

We basically spent more time deciding where we were going, then actually enjoying each other’s company.  And then many restaurants couldn’t handle our group, so we wasted a lot of time deciding and not doing.  

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Deciding on a meal….alone…

There’s also the group vacation you take with a group of girlfriends or guys.  Right? Who’s tired? Who didn’t bring enough to wear? Who is a picky eater? Who is counting pennies?  I mean the list is endless. 

And the reality is hanging out with your friends back home for a few hours is V E R Y different than spending an entire week on vacation together.  I’ve only had two vacations with friends that were MEMORABLE!  Out of many.

Hence, why I L O V E solo trips!  Here are my top 5 reasons why I like traveling alone: 

  1. You can do W H A T E V E R fancies you.  Eat when you want, sleep when you want, sightsee what and when you want.
  2. You can have the room all to yourself. And if you meet someone and want to bring them back – you MOST definitely can (hey, it happens!)
  3. You don’t have to share your clothes, swimsuits or toiletries or money! (We all have that one friend!)
  4. You don’t have to split the bill evenly even when you just had a salad or a drink.  LOL.
  5. You don’t have to do anything – you can lay on a beach, listening to your tunes, reading, meditating, napping, without having to engage in mindless chatter.  Silence can be golden at times, something we don’t enjoy enough of.solotravel3-e1529080428197.jpg

Here are 5 tips for making your solo trip a success:

  1. Before you leave do some research (ask friends, read blogs, etc.) about some things you should do while there or places to see.  Or just wing it and explore!
  2. Make sure you pack a book, magazine and journal – if you feel self conscious about being alone, these are always good props to have when dining solo or hanging on beach solo – makes you look occupied and/or important. LOL. You can always use the journal to write about the experiences you’re having.
  3. Don’t take drinks from strangers.  LOL, no but seriously, don’t.  This is how people go missing and get trafficked. I’m real serious.
  4. If you’re paranoid like me because you watch too many crime shows – DON’T walk around alone at night or through dark alleys.  Stay in well lit areas around lots of people.  I mean you wouldn’t walk through dark alleys at home, right?
  5. Trust your intuition when it comes to meeting people.  I hung out with some guys at the https://fontainebleau.com/  in Miami and their vibe was so chill and laid back versus the guy who approached me at the door.  He kept insisting and coming over inviting us to their bed (by the pool that is) and I was just like nahh! We’re good.  They could have been perfectly fine, but I wasn’t trying to find out otherwise.
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People watching is my favorite hobby when I travel solo.

Anyway, I think EVERYONE should take a solo trip or two in their lifetime.  It’s a great way to spend some time alone with yourself and get more comfortable in your skin. It’s a practice in being present.

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This was actually one of my best group vacations…but they left first…and I spent an entire day in my own company…it was wonderful!

There is nothing more grounding (I think) than spending a day alone at the beach or sitting at an outdoor cafe  – you are more in tuned with everything and everyone around you because you’re not distracted by friends and chatter.  Listen, I love my friends, but I also love my own company.  

So go ahead, book that solo trip ASAP! and then tell me all about it.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Friday!

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♥LolaUncorked