Planning a baby shower can be a challenge, when you’re looking to do something unique and creative. Many themes have been done (and over done). And it’s especially difficult to come up with a novel idea, when the “mom-to-be” has planned many baby showers herself. So for this super baby-shower extravaganza, we decided against having one theme. And instead decided to have a Multi-themed June Baby Shower!
RhythmixTheatre, located in Almeda California. was the perfect setting for this baby shower. With an open space, a stage, and great sound system, we had the foundation for a great party.

We created a layout of (4) four event tables of stations. Each with a different theme, and each with a game to be played. Every element on the table was for baby. Whether a toy, a book or nursery decor, we made sure mom-to-be had plenty of great things to help get started with her new baby!

1st stop: Cars & Trains
-Thomas the train tracks + motorized trains
-Hot Wheels galore!!!

2nd stop : The enchanted world of books
{We asked each guest to bring a book, to help build baby KEW’s library}

3rd stop: Safari
-Stuffed animals
-Complete safari figurine set

4th stop : Wide world of sports
Mom-t0-be was an athlete and is an avid sports fan!

Overall space decor

Kendrick Edward Willis !

Tool boxes with chalkboard fronts will come in handy in babies nursery. For now, they are holding well wishes for the mom-to-be!

We created well wishes cards, using the custom graphic of mom-to-be and her chic chihuahua “Coco” {as in coco-chanel}.

Ofcourse there were games…

1. Guest the objects inside of the bag by using only your hands to feel out the items (no peeking).

2. Designer Onesie!

And here was the winner:

Lots of great food…

Congratulations to the new mom!

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Ibn Battuta

 And that’s what we intend to do! We love to travel and experience the glories of God’s work. A good trip will leave you changed for the better. Erganic Living wants to give you a glimpse into our travels and the takeaways we learned from each trip…

My sister and I had a flight voucher to use and needed to decide where we would travel. We wanted to go somewhere that would provide us with a cultural experience. After doing some research, we stumbled upon Cartagena, Colombia. We saw pictures of the beautiful landscapes but that wasn’t what peaked our interest…

Our random Google image searches showed us pictures of people who looked like us. This is what we wanted to see. Other products of the African diaspora.

The Palenqueras selling the freshest fruit ever! They saw us and called out to us… “Sisters!”

We experienced the sandy beaches, and the romantic buildings, the beauties of the old city (see below). But we wanted to see something more real.

Old City Colombia

The highlight of the entire experience was our encounter with Alex Rocha, the founder of The Alex Rocha Youth Centre. We found a tour, The Real Cartagena, that promised to show us the “other” side of Cartagena. The side that tourists rarely visit.

The tour started off with a trip to Getsemaní. Walking distance from our hotel. The old walls of the community were painted with portraits of black women, people were sitting outside on their porches, the plazas were filled with Afro-Latino music. It was exactly where we wanted to be.

Before heading to the barrio where Alex’s youth center was located, we went to a market where we ate with native Colombians and they asked Alex if we were from an Island off of Colombia where people looked like us. Took a mangrove swamp tour where little brown children ran out to the edge of the water to wave and dance (in their birthday suits while Alex playfully sang “No tiene ropas!”). And ate a delicious fried fish and plantain meal by the beach.

Seeing the children at The Alex Youth Center was inspiring. They practiced their English with us, shared with us their favorites activities and foods, and even allowed us to practice our Spanish with them.

Alex is dedicated to giving back to the barrios where he grew up. This was apparent by the passion he exhibited when he talked about the conditions that his people (our people) were living in and how he plans to make a difference.

The goal of The Alex Rocha Youth Center is to keep the youth of the community off and the streets by teaching them social skills, music, arts, and English. The English component is very important. This helps set the youth up for finding jobs in the tourism industry, which is big business in Colombia.

My sister and I went for a getaway and left enlightened about the Afro-Latino experience in Colombia.

Are you feeling overwhelmed in your daily life? You’re not the only one. With all of the pressures and stresses of life (work, social, family, finances) – it’s easy to find yourself burnt out. If you think this might be you, check out the signs of burn out below and learn how to recharge.

SIGNS YOU’RE BURNT OUT

You Keep Drawing Blanks

When you’re under stress, your adrenal gland pumps out cortisol, and research has shown that this hormone can hinder your recollection skills, making it tougher to access stored facts (including so-and-so’s name and where you left your keys).

Adding lack of sleep into the equation and your memory can diminish even further. “During sleep, your brain replays whatever you learned that day and moves it into long-term storage,” explains Sandra Ackermann, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in biopsychology at the University of Zurich. When you don’t get sufficient rest, the process your brain goes through is interrupted.

Body Takes Longer To Heal

Whether you give yourself a paper cut or get a small cut from pruning roses, you can except the healing process to take longer than usual if you are burnt out. “When you get an injury, your immune system engages right away, sending signals to produce collagen, form a blood clot and recruit cells to protect against germs,” explains William Huang, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. “But when you’re stressed, your body has higher levels of chemicals called glucocorticoids, which suppress your immune system and make healing slower.”

Strange Dreams Are Made [from] This

If your dreams are a mixtures of The Walking Dead – meets – Golden Girls (two of our personal favorites), this may be a sign that you are in need of more sleep. Sleep deprivation seems to have a correlation to more intense dreams.

One explanation is that when you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, your brain tries to make REM sleep the top priority. REM is the most restorative stage where dreams occur. “Typically, REM sleep doesn’t begin until about 90 minutes after you fall asleep,” says Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at the Sleep Disorders Center at NYU School of Medicine. “But if you’re exhausted, the brain can get there in as few as 10 minutes.” The brain will cycle through the other sleep cycles (stages 1 -3) at a more rapid speed in order to make up for the deficit in REM. This allows more time for creative “nocturnal imaginings” to occur.

 

SOLUTIONS FOR PREVENTION

These simple solutions can help relax your mind and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep.

1. Yoga Poses

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed.
  2. Use your right thumb to close your right nostril.
  3. Inhale through your left nostril.
  4. At the top of the inhale, close your left nostril with your right ring finger and release right nostril.
  5. Exhale and inhale through your right nostril.
  6. Close right nostril again and exhale through left nostril.
  7. Repeat the sequence 16 times.

 

  1. Lie on your back, knees bent and soles of feet on the floor.
  2. Cross right ankle over left knee.
  3. Clasp your hands behind left hamstring and draw thigh toward your torso.
  4. Hold for up to two minutes, breathing deeply.
  5. Switch sides.

 

  1. Sit by a wall with right hip and shoulder touching it, knees bent.
  2. Roll onto your back and extend legs up the wall. Stay here for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is one of the most important foundation practices for meditation. You should set aside a few minutes in morning and evening to sit quietly and consciously breath using your diaphragm. Here are a few helpful tips from yoga meditation teacher Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati:

  1.  Allow ribs to slightly flare out to the sides while the shoulders, upper chest, and abdomen remain motionless.
  2. Do not allow jerkiness or irregularities to disturb the steady flow.
  3. Breathe within a comfortable depth
  4. Allow breath to flow continuously, with no pause allowed between breaths
  5. Breathe evenly so that exhalation and inhalation are of the same duration

3. Foods With Good Sources of Vitamin C

According to a wellness study from UCLA, consuming foods high in vitamin C can reduce stress and boost the immune system. Berries, red bell peppers, and kale are good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps lower the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and blood pressure during high-anxiety situations.

4. Night Time Routine

“For the best sleep, you have to find a way to separate the day from the night. That might mean taking a quick shower before bed or starting a new bedtime routine, like writing in a journal or doing some yoga.”—Joyce Walsleben, PhD professor at the NYU Sleep Disorders Center.

{Portfolio} – Store Design Days part 1

Vancouver, COACH

This design was part of the roll-out initiative for what *was* the current store design aesthetic. This is street location is within a prominent shopping area of Vancouver.

 

{storefront}

 

{interiors}

nnn

{extra long store front : double signage was a bonus}

 

Have you heard oil pulling mentioned in passing but never took the time to research it? Confused about what it really means or how to do it correctly? We have all the information you need here!

 

What is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is a healthier, natural form of mouth wash using a vegetable oil to clean your teeth and gums.

The practice started in India hundreds of years ago and was brought to America in the early 1990s by Dr. F. Karach. Although there haven’t been case studies about the benefits of oil pulling, this practice has gained popularity in the last several years with many positive results.

Holistic communities are trying to spread the word about oil pulling and thus we are bringing the information to you!

 

Coconut Oil vs Other Vegetable Oils

The most popular vegetable oils used for oil pulling are coconut, sunflower and sesame oil. Everyone has their preference, however we believe coconut oil works the best, especially due to the natural antibiotic and antiviral properties coconut oil holds.

 

How do I “oil pull”?

  1. Put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil into the mouth. (It’s most beneficial on an empty stomach, so first thing in the morning.)
  2. Swish around your mouth for 20 minutes making sure to “pull” through your teeth. The oil will get thicker as it mixes with your saliva.
  3. Spit oil into trash can. The oil should be creamy-white. Note that oil is thick and can clog septic systems, so it’s best to spit into a trash can.
  4. Do not swallow any oil!
  5. Rinse with warm water.

 

Benefits of Oil Pulling

There are many benefits to oil pulling which we’ve listed below. In our experience, we’ve noticed the biggest differences in our sleep cycles (sleeping more deeply and for longer periods of time) and increased gum health.

  1. Whiter Smile
  2. Clearer Skin
  3. Deeper and less encumbered sleep
  4. Suppressed appetite for carbs
  5. Better oral hygiene: Reduces receding gum lines and bleeding gums.
  6. Increases Energy: Coconut oil has a natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that remove toxins before they have a chance to take hold in our system. Since your body doesn’t have to fight these toxins, it can use energy for more productive and fun activities.
  7. Reduces headaches: Headaches and migraines occur when the body is under toxic stress. Again, since oil pulling removes toxins, headaches can be avoided.
  8. Aids hormonal changes: Without having to compete with foreign substances, hormones can act as they should.

Please share your personal experience with oil pulling and help spread the word!

 

Sources:

Make Coconut not Fat

Food Matters

Wellness Mama

 

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