It's You Time: Tips to Relax and Reset

We love summer, but too often we find ourselves biting off more than we can chew. Take some time to re-focus on yourself this week: meditate, go for a walk in the gorgeous sunshine, or just spend some time doing something important to you. We've put together our favorite tips and ideas below to make it easy.

Just remind yourself: you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anything else!

Journal your inspirations, aspirations, and dreams.

Writing down your thoughts or feelings at the time can be extremely cathartic. It's important to write down aspirations and goals as well so you can develop a clear vision of what you want to do. 

Wear daily reminders of the things you're working on.

Give yourself physical reminders of your intentions. Perhaps you're pledging to yourself to work on not stressing about the little things, or remaining calm in trying situations. Wearing a physical object on your wrist or finger can not only help remind you throughout the day to practice your new habit, they're darn pretty as well :). 

Make your yoga practice easy and stress-free: create a calming environment when you practice.

When you're doing yoga or meditating, it's important to feel safe and comfortable in your space. Create a calming environment with burning sage, candles, green plants, and stones. It will only enhance the experience!

Place positive reminders around your home or workspace.

Remind yourself of what an awesome job you're doing! Life can be tough - nobody said it was easy - and we need all the encouragement we can get. Find a favorite quote or illustration to hang in your home or workspace to remind yourself of what is important.

Crystals

Certain crystals and stones carry special meanings and are used for specific purposes. Wear them as one-of-a-kind helpers or reminders on your journey.

Our Favorite Crystals & Their Uses

Quartz: Balance, Clarity, Power
Rose Quartz: Unconditional love, Heart-Opening, Self-Love
Druzy: Light, Joy, Harmony
Turquoise: Healing, Stress-Relief, Abundance
Moonstone: Intuition, Calmness, Protection
Amethyst: Peace, Intuition, Sobriety
Amazonite: Communication, Creativity, Trust
Citrine: Success, Abundance, Mental Clarity
Agate: Strength, Courage, Protection

 

Schedule You Time

Spend some time and focus inward. Some of our favorite activities include taking an art class, coloring, picking up a new hobby, taking a bath, reading, and more. Keep your appointment with yourself like you would another person. 

We find mandala painting, drawing, or coloring books to be particularly helpful. A mandala is a spiritual and ritual symbol used in Buddhism and Hinduism. It represents the cosmos, a microcosm of the universe. In spiritual philosophy, mandalas are used as an aid in meditation.

Good vibes only!

-Amanda

DIY Shoe & Purse Maintenance

I don't know about you but after a Chicago winter, we find our shoes and purses in desperate need of a little extra TLC. In need of some serious moisture - a lot like our skin! - and a bit scuffed around the edges from the daily trudge to and from work, an afternoon of some quick and easy DIY tips and tricks will have your accessories back in tip-top shape. Check out a few helpful hints below!

 Image via  @carson.kit

Image via @carson.kit

Ditch the Clutter

Whether you have one statement bag or you swap through various purses and backpacks during the week, you are sure to have some clutter and miscellaneous junk ready for the trash. The best way to take care of a purse is to ditch the clutter as often as possible. The more stuff you cram into a tote, the more the fabric stretches, strains and stresses. And really, who needs to be carrying all that extra weight around anyway? Empty your bag and seriously consider what needs to be tossed and what stays.

For Dehydrated Leather, Try Milk

 Image via  NY Daily News

Image via NY Daily News

While the jury is still out on whether milk actually does the body right, it is a secret technique used by most cobblers and leather workers to hydrate dry, damaged leather. My late grandmother left me quite the collection of vintage Coach bags and after a few failed attempts to get them restored, one cobbler suggested I rub the bags with a soft towel damp with milk, not a bath, but soft, light dabs. He said this would help soothe the cracked fabric and was better than any treatment he could do. My grandmother's bags have never looked better and all I needed was a half gallon of milk and a washcloth...psst, this works on leather shoes too!

(Always do a spot test before trying this technique. Though I was assured this was safe, I would hate to have any ruined leather on my conscience! And never use this trick for suede, just saying.)

Whiten Those Sneaks

 Image via  NBL

Image via NBL

Though Chicago was spoiled this winter in terms of very light snowfall, there was still enough sludge and ice, salt and rain, to wreak havoc on your sneakers. To get shoes back to their shining glory, try this handy tip from Nicole of NBL. Just combine baking soda with laundry detergent, pre-scrub, toss in the washer in a mesh bag, rinse, repeat and let air dry. Sooner than you know it, those sneakers will be right as rain and looking brand new in no time.

Renew Suede Shoes

 Image via  Apartment Therapy

Oh Suede, you fickle, fickle fabric. What is not to love about the luxurious fabric suede other than its persnickety demeanor and fragile exterior? Whether a purse or shoes - even a jacket - this material can go from slinky and chic to worn out and distressed in no time. Apartment Therapy broke down some ways to revamp your suede with just a brush, eraser and emory board. A combination of all three seems to works best and never wet this fabric unless you really want it to go to the dogs.

Blue Jean Baby

 Image via  Hello Hydrangea

Image via Hello Hydrangea

For those who rock the dye-rich denim - whether black, navy or deep indigo - then this tip is most certainly for you. A simple swipe over the hearty fabric with an alcohol-free face wipe like these from Simple will take the denim hue right off.

Crumber Magic

 Image via  Real Simple

Image via Real Simple

No one can deny the magic of a lint roller and if you are like me - with an oversized tote stuffed to the gills with loose change, snacks, paper scrids and pen tops - then this hack is sure to make life a touch easier. Just simply take a lint roller to your "empty" bag and see what you retrieve from the beneath the lining and at the bottom of your sack.

Stinky Feet Powder

 Image via  Bren Did

Image via Bren Did

After a long winter of wool socks, tights, wet feet and puddle jumps, needless to say, your toes and footwear may be in need of a little odor prevention. This awesome at-home recipe utilizes a few of our favorite natural items i.e. essential oils - Tea Tree, Peppermint and Eucalyptus - to rid your shoes and toes of any residual funk. Any excuse to purchase a few extra oils is always good in our book...

And now a pic from Spring because, well, I just can't wait!

 Image via  @carson.kit

Image via @carson.kit

'Til next time!

- KCH

Valentine's Day Makeup

We here at OSB love any excuse to shake things up a bit with our daily look. So even if the word V-day gives you the chills, why not embrace a little of Cupid's spirit with your makeup? Whether you and your honey are off to a romantic dinner for two, or your best girls are holding a seance to excise your exes over wine and cupcakes, or better yet, if Sunday the 14th is just another Sunday, our list of Valentine's Day makeup looks (with a few hair tips thrown in there too!) is sure to have at least one option for everybody.

Pinks and Blues

 Image via  @inthefrow

Image via @inthefrow

While Valentine's Day is usually all about sultry reds and rich, dark pigment, this fresh-faced look is a fun twist on the classic cat-eye. A pared down face highlights the blue eyeliner and mascara, putting all the focus on a favored asset: the eyes, and pale pink lips are sure to stay put even after you mow down on a red velvet cupcake for dessert!

Soft Barrel Curls and Finger Waves

 Image via  @jordanheidenwith

If headed out into the night to see what Cupid has in store, may we suggest pretty barrel curls to give your mane an undone polish. Use a curling iron for more stubborn hair or just wrap sections around your fingers as you blow dry for a more lived-in look, this quickie style holds all through the night with a dash of hairspray but gives your locks - no matter if above the shoulder to below the collarbone - a finished look with only a smidge more effort on your part. We love that!

Red Lips and Messy Chignons

 Image via  @jeannedamas

Image via @jeannedamas

For the most classic V-day style, a heavy red lip with a pulled back chignon is ever so festive but still pretty and refined. A strong bold lip is the perfect punctuation to any outfit as long as you make sure not to clash your reds together. Pull a few loose hairs from your low-slung bun to give this put-together look a relaxed edge and get out there. But don't say we did not warn you: this look is sure to attract an admirer or two when used correctly!

Top Knot with a Magenta Lip

For a no frills girls' night movie date, may we suggest a clean top knot and bold statement lip to add some fire to your evening. With a simple, carefree vibe, give face with hair pulled back in a sleek bun. A vivid berry lip adds a playful edge to this style and also dresses up a white t-shirt if dressing down for your Valentine's Day evening.

Bedhead Fringe

 Image via  @awildatheart

Image via @awildatheart

We have said it before and will say it again, bedhead hair is not only easy to achieve but exudes confidence with a touch of rocker sex appeal. Regardless of your plans, a tousled mane - in our opinion - is quite possibly the best hairstyle for any occasion but definitely when old Cupid is running around working his magic. Whether your opt for authentic bedhead and manage second day hair or if you add a spritz of sea salt spray to add texture, these locks atop a frilly dress, sweatpants or jeans and red sweater stitched with hearts looks just right.

Thick, Neon Blue Eyeliner

 Image via  @stilacosmetics

Image via @stilacosmetics

Add a quirky punch to your holiday by eschewing the traditional reds and pinks to opt for a bolder, brighter hue: why not blue? This thick eyeliner again highlights the eyes but is also a fun look no matter what the evening's plan entails. Teal and cobalt are sure wow and set you apart from the rest of the Valentine's Day crowds.

Barefaced Beauty

 Image via  @inthefrow

Image via @inthefrow

Quite possibly our favorite V-Day look, if staying in - or even going out - a bare face never felt more right. Low key and comfortable, some BB cream for moisture and chapstick to keep lips oh-so-supple - we are in Chicago after all and chapped lip season is still upon us - a pure, fresh face is all you need for a relaxing night in.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours! (Even if yours is a book and a slice of pizza.)

- KCH