Keto – 0 / Holiday Food – 1

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I am an idiot. I decided that I would start a Ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting, 1 week before the holidays. I did great. I lost 2+ Kg in that week! And then, I ate. For 3 days I ate like a normal person. It was wonderful. Guess what happened? In 3 days, I gained back 3 kgs! GGGGGRRRRRR!!!

Quite necessary to say that I hit the diet again today.

My question today is: What good is a diet if you gain it all back over a bad few days? Or is there a point when you get kind of ‘safe’?

Back in the ‘fat pants’…

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay



Happy Holidays and Link Party!

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Hello all 🙂

It is that time of year again. I just wanted to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday! Enjoy being with you beloved ones, forget about the diet for a few days and take the time to just stop and enjoy the moment!

In the spirit of the season, I am opening the comment section on this post for everyone to share your blogs. Give us a short description of your blog and leave the link. If you feel like it, check out some of the other blogs there too!

Happy Holidays!

-Mliae

Is Alexa Recording Your Conversations Without a Wake Word?

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I know, I know. I sound like on of those paranoid nuts in a sci-fi film. Unfortunately, it seems that I am not. Having stumbled upon an eye-opening article on Reuters that was recently published, I wanted to do a bit more research.

Amazon has sold in excess of 10 MILLION Alexa Echo devices worldwide. (Levy, Nat, 8 May 2017, Geekwire) That figure alone is staggering! We are told that Alexa has a wake word. Mainly calling it by name ‘Alexa’. This will start a recording and you can gain information from the device. However, as many people assume that the device will cease all functioning and sleep completely when it is done with the task at hand. Not so. Amit Ashbel, director of product marketing for a research firm, told CNET that there is “a flaw in Alexa that allowed the device to continue recording indefinitely.” (Kosoff, Maya, 24 May 2018, Vanity Fair)

It seems to be common knowledge that Alexa is recording at times, but people seem to just dismiss it as a glitch. Maybe Alexa misunderstood, etc.  Unfortunately to say, I have spent some time reading about Alexa online. Only on reputable news sites. And I can safely say that yes, Alexa is recording you – even without your knowledge. And those recordings are accessible to others.

Below are a few straightforward quotes that I found:

“..The privacy implications may be even messier. Consumers might not realize that some of their most sensitive conversations are being recorded by Amazon’s devices, information that could be highly prized by criminals, law enforcement, marketers and others. On Thursday, Amazon said a “human error” let an Alexa customer in Germany access another user’s voice recordings accidentally.” (Dastin, Jeffrey, 21 December 2018, Reuters)

“How are the privacy concerns surrounding Amazon Echo different than those involving, say, smartphones?

Traditionally, the home has been the apex of 4th Amendment privacy protection in respect to law enforcement. You know, a man’s home is his castle, that sort of thing. You always need a warrant to get into someone’s house. The tricky thing about a device that’s recording data inside of your home is that you may be transmitting that recording in such a way that the government can directly collect it, or, as in the case we have in Arkansas, it may be that the data is sitting on Amazon’s servers.” (Q&A excerpt, French, Agatha, 5 January 2017, LA Times)

 

“We’ve invited these systems into our lives in ways that we are only beginning to see the negative consequences for,” Gillmor said. “There are situations where we don’t need to have these things. A lot of people got the Echo because they feel like it’s this magic thing. Maybe the magic isn’t worth it.”  (Gillmor, Daniel)

So it seems to me, that if everyone knows that Alexa is recording us in our homes, sales would not be what they are. This is where I get a bit baffled. I mean, who would violate their own privacy in their own homes just to….what, have easier access to information that’s already easily accessible at the touch of a button?

What do you think?

-Mliae

*Sources:

Reuters article (linked)

French, Agatha, 5 January 2017, LA Times

Kosoff, Maya, Vanity Fair, 24 May 2018

Levy, Nat, 8 May 2017, Geek Wire

Soper, Spencer, 24 May 2018, Bloomberg

I Almost Had it Together This Year….Only Not Quite.

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That moment when you realize that you’ve been invited to holiday parties but realize that you don’t have even one hostess gift. You have 1 day to shop, again, for those – and today is that day!

So this is what I’m doing today, people. Going out to get the obligatory ‘Thank you for inviting, imbibing and feeding me – here’s ________’ gift. I hope the stores aren’t full of people. Otherwise, my hostess gift may be a bag of bird food.

Arrrrg!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Interesting Topic For Discussion. What Do You Think?

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Last evening, I found myself engaged in a debate. And the debate was this: Do dogs feel love or do they rather feel a sense of security and loyalty which we mistake as love?

Personally, I would like to think that dogs do have a sense of love and attachment. However, there were really good arguments made for both sides of this. I would really like to know what you think!

What do you think: Love or loyalty?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Last Minute Stocking Stuffers and Small Gifts

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Hello and welcome to my final gift guide of 2018! These are just a few (more) of my favourite things!

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A set of ornately beaded coasters 

Socks are a great practical gift and stocking stuffer. The older I get, the more I appreciate gift like this. (Visit item by clicking on photo)

allergy-labels

A pack of these stick-on allergy labels could save a life! Made to be used on food containers, paperwork, etc.

If you’re traveling, or are sending your kid to school – this under the shirt invisible pocket belt is a wise decision. (Yes, they have all black too) Personally, I hate ‘fanny packs’ but I always have a good use for something that fits well under my clothes where I can stash emergency money or card. 😉 (can visit item by clicking on photo)

olive boat

An intricate olive boat for the entertainer

coldest water tumbler

Tumbler from The Coldest Water. Keeps hots hot and colds cold for the day!

Men’s leather belt (can visit item by clicking on photo)

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A tin of organic baking cocoa

White cashmere triangle scarf (can go to item by clicking on photo)

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Ethically made Lavender citrus mint dry shampoo

Fire hose and hide keyring by Elvis & Kresse (can go to item by clicking on photo)

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Stylish cheese knife

Pure Cashmere Unisex GlovesA pair of cashmere gloves (item viewed by clicking on photo)

LJ home-candy-cane-soap-1_600x

Fair trade Candy Cane soap. Oooohhh yeeeahhhh 😉

Sams�e & Sams�e The Beanie - BlackBlack beanie (can be viewed by clicking photo)

Hope you saw something suitable! I know a few someone’s myself who might be getting those allergy stickers – for sure!

Happy Holidays!

-Mliae

*Post does contain affiliate links, which may share a small commission with me at no extra charge to you.

Peppermint Chocolate Cake.

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Good day to you all 🙂
I came across this great recipe for peppermint chocolate cake on www.crystalscrazycorner.wordpress.com and I had to share it! This of you who have been with me for a time, are well aware that I cannot bake. Cakes confound me. She made this recipe look simple enough that I think I might even be able to give it a go. Thank you Crystal!

Sustainable Clothing Spotlight: Love Justly

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I am really excited to publish a feature sustainable company spotlight on Love Justly! As you well know, if you’ve been following the blog for awhile, I am a firm believer in voting with our wallets. By that I mean, that by each of us making conscientious purchasing decisions, we do hold the power to create change. We are, after all, the driving force in consumerism/consumption. If our purchasing decisions were not at all important, companies would not spend such insane amounts of money trying to make us believe we need their items. The mantra ‘purchase better, purchase less’ is something I truly believe in. If we begin a paradigm shift with this mantra in mind, the fashion industry will follow. This is why I have chosen Love Justly to write a feature on. Their items are beautiful, fashion-forward, ethically sourced and made to last! In my mind, that checks every box I need in order to make a positive, guilt-free purchasing decision. I know that many of my awesome friends and readers feel the same way, and so I am happy to share a great place to bookmark and revisit again and again. 🙂

I did have a few questions:

Q- The fashion industry is severely competitive and there seems to be a lingering mistrust of good-hearted ethical companies due to the ‘green-washing’ phenom. What made you want to go into the sustainable fashion business?

A- I started Love Justly because I always wanted a place where I could go and get a good deal, but know that people on the other end of that product didn’t suffer. Often items are less expensive because people are paid poorly and treated harshly.

I partner with companies and buy excess stock or past season items at a discount and then sell those items at a discount. The companies I partner with are doing amazing work around the world, so when you buy from Love Justly you know your purchases truly make a difference!

 

Q- How long has Love Justly been in business?

A- A little more than 2 years.

 

Q- How does Love Justly define ethical fashion, as it relates to you?

A- For Love Justly, ethical fashion means the people who made the item are paid a living wage and treated fairly. All too often in fashion, this doesn’t happen.

 

Q- Sustainable/ethical fashion can mean a great many things to a great many people. What is Love Justly’s main focus? (Fair employment, creating little waste – if any, sustainable materials, long-lasting items, using sustainable shipping methods, et al)

A- Love Justly partners with a variety of companies and each of those has a different mission, but the heart behind all of them is a desire to provide hope and economic opportunity to people by giving them reliable income.

 

Q- How do you select the items you sell on your site?

A- The companies I partner with often will let me know what they have to sell and then I select from that. I also take feedback from customers and buy based on what they want to see on the site!

 

Q- Fast-fashion driven consumption has forced the fashion industry to go from 2 seasons per year to 12-52 seasons per year. This seems to me to be absurd. No entity can crank out reliable, sustainable fashion that is long wearing and fair at that pace. How many seasons (or seasonal updates) does Love Justly add per annum?

A- Love Justly doesn’t follow a set seasonal update. We just added many new products before the holidays and add more based on customer demand and areas we’re starting to run low.

 

Q- More often than not, ethical fashion can understandably be quite expensive when compared to fast-fashion prices. I think this why so many people hesitate to purchase ethically made items. How do you manage to offer such fair prices on your site?

A- I typically buy items at a discount from companies, which then allows me to sell them at a discount. Due to this structure, I have a more limited selection to choose from, but it helps introduce more people to ethical fashion, where price may have been a barrier before.

 

Q- How do you ensure the manufacturing standards of those companies whose items are sold on Love Justly?

A- I do research on each of the companies based on what is available on their site and through conversations with them and then go from there in determining whether they would make a good partner for Love Justly.

 

Q- We have all heard horror stories of companies who destroy their remaining merchandise and send it to the rubbish heap. What do you do with any un-sold merchandise? Or do you order low quantities and keep them for sale until they are sold?

A- We order low quantities at Love Justly, so things are more likely to sell out quicker than they would with other companies.

 

Q- If a beloved item is sold out, do you offer any way that a person could be placed on a waiting list for that item? Or is it gone forever once it is sold out?

A- Some items we can reorder and if an item is sold out there is a spot where people can enter their email. If that item can be re-ordered we typically will, but sometimes we’ve taken the last items and the company we bought it from may be sold out as well.

 

Q- I have noticed that you offer international shipping (Yay!). Does Love Justly offer the possibility of basic shipping in order to keep the postal price low?

A- International shipping isn’t realistic for most people, so this is very limited. Since Love Justly is a discount site the high shipping costs of international shipping often don’t make sense. We’re happy to ship internationally, but the shipping costs often make it prohibitive.

Some of my fave products:

holiday giving plate love justly

This incredible Holiday Plate that’s perfect for sharing leftovers and holiday goodies with those you love!

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Gold Cashmere Scarf by Komodo.

LJ home-candy-cane-soap-1_600x

For the person that loves all things peppermint-y (uh-hum, me.) this handcrafted candy cane soap is the perfect stocking stuffer!

LJ-dresses-kimono-sleeve-v-neck-dress-2_600x

Kimono Sleeve V-Neck Dress by Liz Alig.  This cool and comfy looking dress is made from 100% recycled T-shirts!

LJ-bags-mini-clutch-2_600x

Mini clutch from woven buriti palm fibre.

LJ-dresses-peacock-party-dress-1_600x

Peacock Party Dress by Symbology. Beautiful and 100% cotton!

See? I told you they have pretty items! And yes, to answer your question – I would never promote a company that I wouldn’t use myself. I purchased the following gorgeous Liz Alig cotton maxi dress from Love Justly that I love:

IMG_E8849

If you are interested, each item tells in the description which company it is from and what good things that company is doing with your purchase. Love that!

Get 15% off any order now!

-Mliae
Trendy Ethical Styles

*Photos sourced with full permissions via Love Justly

 

 

 

‘It Ain’t Christmas’ by Tombstone Betty

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I had to share this emotional new Christmas tune by Tombstone Betty.  I’ve been following them for awhile now and this song was just recently posted. Speaking as someone who misses quite a few very special people over the holidays, it left me with a few tears. So I thought I would share this for those of you who don’t mind an emotional charge over the holiday season.

Enjoy!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Tombstone Betty Official site

Guest Post by Alicia Sanchez: Managing Stress at Bedtime

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Nearly everyone struggles with stress. As humans, we tend to put that stress off until we’re so embroiled in it that we can’t function. Most often, our stress tends to manifest in sleeplessness, Which makes that stress harder to deal with during the day.

You might find yourself thinking about your stressful day instead of counting sheep when you are struggling to get to sleep at night

Build A Routine

Whenever possible, create a routine for yourself that involves relaxing activities. This can mean anything from reading a book to relaxing in the bathtub –  it’s going to be personal for you. What works for you might not work for me.

Make sure that it includes brushing your teeth and hair as well, to make sure that you wake up as clean as you can be.

Routines are helpful because it helps to train our brain to focus on that routine instead of our stress and help us to sleep at night.

Keep Stressors Out of The Bedroom

One of the best things you can do for yourself if you are having trouble sleeping is to keep your work and cell phone out of your bedroom, Especially if you work from home. The human body Is Keen on distractions, so the fewer distractions that you give your body, the better off you will be when it comes to your bedtime.

By taking your work and phone out of the bedroom, you will be less tempted to get up and start working when you can’t sleep. Instead, try putting an old-fashioned alarm clock on your bedside table to wake you up in the morning. That way, you won’t be able to work from bed in the middle of the night on your cell phone. This could help limit the stress that you feel while you are trying to sleep.

If you must keep your work in the room, put it somewhere out of sight so that you won’t is staring at them from bed.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

If you find yourself struggling to sleep  on a regular basis, try cutting out your use of caffeine and alcohol during the day. Caffeine is a stimulant that stays in your system for 6 to 8 hours after ingestion and can exacerbate anxiety and stress.

Alcohol is a depressant, which means that it causes you to be slightly more depressed. It can make you feel sleepy, but you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night if you drink before bed. Since sleeping poorly means that you will react worse to stressors during the day, this is not ideal,

If you want something to drink to help you fall asleep, try chamomile tea or other teas that are brewed specifically for making you sleepy.

If you find that you are  constantly stressed out at bedtime, talk to your doctor or therapist.  there might be something that is causing the sudden onset of stressed feelings at that particular time that you need to work through or get treated.

Sleep well,

Alicia

Alicia Sanchez is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com with a specialty in health and wellness. A Nashville native, Alicia finds the sound of summer storms so soothing that she still sleeps with recorded rain on her white noise machine.

*Photo Source: CC

A Small Thank You

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I really felt the need to thank you, my amazing readers, today. Thank you for taking the valuable time out of your lives to read what I write. Thank you for joining me on this journey and being sooooo supportive throughout! Thank you for fostering such great friendships here and in the comment section too! Thank you for making me know that I’m not alone when I feel like I’m not living up to the ‘best me’. Thank you for making use of my affiliate links sometimes (and helping me out whilst doing so)! Thank you for creating such a good environment here that I often refer to this as my ‘blog family’. Thank you for the Happy Birthday emails, the random ‘Hellos’ and ‘Best Wishes’! Most of all, thank you dear readers, for being you!

So much of what we do in the world goes un-noticed and unrecognized. There is no reason behind this. I’ve just been thinking about how far we’ve come in the past several years and it would not have been at all possible without you.  I just really wanted to let you know that I appreciate all that you do and I look forward to having such a great home on the blogosphere for many years to come!

You are Awesome!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Holiday Gift Ideas Part ll.

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Hi there 🙂

I wanted to write a follow-up gift ideas post, this time separated into categories by receiver. Many people have completed their holiday shopping already in June (ugh) but I know that I am not the only person who takes their time and then freaks out when I look at the calendar and realize I barely have time for shipping. *All items I am listing will make it wherever its going by Christmas 😉

For the man in your life:


“Burgundy Melange Merino Jumper”


Made from up cycled leather and firehose, this Elvis & Kresse Wallet with Coin Pocket is definitely a hit!

Green gifts for the eco-friendly:

holiday giving plate love justly

This newly marked down Holiday Giving Plate from Love Justly

olive boat

Ceramic Olive Boat from Globein. Love this!

Arc-Cuff_1000x

This hand forged in USA Arc Cuff from Bead & Reel

For the Luxury – lover:

ANINE BING SILK CAMISOLE - RED LEO

ANINE BING SILK CAMISOLE – RED LEO

Scarf - Abstract Plaid Silk - Darby Scott

Scarf – Abstract Plaid Silk – Darby Scott


15% off everything using code TREAT15 – live now!

Sophisticated Suede Shopper
Sophisticated Suede Shopper

For the new home owner:

One World Trading Company

Marimekko Home – Kitchen and Dining

BED_Makki_Indigo.jpg

This gorgeous hand made Makki Indigo Duvet

GlobeIn_Comfort_-118_1024x1024

This too fun eyeglass holder from Globein

So that’s it for today. I really hope you found something that will fit your gifting needs! If you didn’t, but you are still looking, take the time to quickly check out these sites. Many of them offer a ton of options and I just picked one fave of mine to post here. Because, well…I love it, so hopefully you will too!

Happy Hunting!

-Mliae

 

Monday Laugh: Holiday Fails!

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Ok, yeah…I kind of HAD to do this. Monday’s suck. And holiday stress is well, stressful. And you know me…a good laugh is always preferable to a good cry. So, I hit google and downloaded the weirdest, strangest, most inappropriate images I could find to give a giggle today.

Enjoy!

epic_fails_34

When you know you can’t compete: Not a bad idea…at least they put in some effort.

*Photo via Acid cow

Pinterest-Fails-02

*Photo via vitamin-ha

fail1

Whoa! Maybe more terrifying than funny, but hey, when does one every get to see a sight like this?!

*Photo via The Christmas Blog 2013

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*Photo via Mom . me

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Right….think I’ll pass on those pancakes, thank you!

*Photo via She Knows

christmas-decorations-you-had-one-job

*Photo via Team Jimmy Joe

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Someone would have to come get my car out of the ditch, if I saw this.

*Photo via Pinterest

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*Photo via Buzzfeed

Humor3

*Photo via Rural Revolution

holiday-tip

*Photo via Lame book

christmas-fail

*Photo via Sammy 5198

touched-asian

*Photo via Damn you autorrect

 

Enjoy your Monday!

-Mliae

Lifexperiment Blog Just Got Listed on Blog Fusion!

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YYYYAAAAYYYY!!!! 😀 😀 I am absurdly excited about this! It kind of feels like one step more in the proper direction. You know?

I try not to ask favours here, buuuttttt…. If anyone has the inclination, I would love it if you would maybe stop by and leave me a rating or review by clicking here!

At any rate, I am very excited and could not wait to share the news with you!

Thank you for being awesome!

-Mliae

When the Holidays Sneak Up on You.

This year has been a bit strange. I am usually that insanely excited person who decorates early for the holidays. This year, I’m late for almost everything. It’s like time is just flying by and I still haven’t worked up the nerve to go sort through storage and drag out our Christmas decorations. I mean really. It’s not like we have so much that it’s overwhelming.

Everyone’s happy that ‘oh, I got my decorations up last week’ and ‘I’ve just finished my gift shopping’!

christmas pixabay

…and I’m over here like

metaphor-pixabay

Any ideas on how to banish my inner Grinch and get back into holiday beast mode are appreciated!

-Mliae

*Text photos sourced via Pixabay. Feature photo is my own.

 

 

Product Review: Ozeri Serafino Hand Blown Glasses

 

Hello there 🙂

I purchased these glasses last month and I love them so much that I really wanted to write a review for them. Why? Well because I hate clutter and I know that you do too!  I always try to make good purchasing decisions and deciding to buy these was a very good decision. Whenever I buy a product, I try to find the best options that will serve as a multi-functional item. Multi-functional items drastically reduce the need for multiple items, and therefore, drastically reduce the clutter. Kind of like buying a dress that can be worn for work, drinks with friends and to a birthday party…instead of buying that party dress that sits in your wardrobe for all other occasions.

So this is what happened. Many of you know me well enough to know that I have minimalistic tendencies. Well, once I got married and we combined all of our belongings, it became overwhelming. It was hard enough dealing with my ‘stuff’. Now our stuff was too much for my taste. Dishes were broken in the move (& chipped during daily use) and we didn’t have a complete set of anything. Just random plates, salad bowls, glasses and coffee cups.  So, I went online and started searching for cohesive sets for our kitchen items so that we could begin the process of turning ‘mine’ and ‘his’ into ‘ours’.

It took quite awhile to find what I was looking for. I am selective to the point that I annoy my friends. My husband is also, but he left me to find what I liked. So here were my must-have’s:

  • Must be multi-functional
  • Must be unique
  • Must be a good material (glass, stone, clay or copper)
  • Must be high-quality (hand crafted and/or from a highly reputable company)
  • Must be an item that I’m proud to display (We have an open cabinet plan in the kitchen)
  • Must be cohesive
  • Must be able to withstand temperature variance
  • Hopefully dishwasher safe.

As you might well imagine, the search did take awhile. And these beautiful glasses came along at just the right moment. The words hand blown and all glass are what really got my attention. After much deliberation, I purchased a pack of 2 – 12 oz glasses. They came straight to our door and we started testing them out immediately.

Speaking the truth, my husband was not as excited about them as I was. He liked the design, but he wasn’t sure about the actual multi-functionality of them. Until, that is, he had his first cup of hot coffee.

IMG_0068

It was at this moment that he decided these might be his new best friend. The glass doesn’t even get warm to the touch! But the coffee inside was boiling. He was sold. If it keeps colds, cold and hots, hot – without affecting the outer glass, it was good! We immediately ordered 4 additional 12 oz glasses. We also began cleaning out our mismatched glasses and mugs from the move. Which felt soooo good! We had our first set.  And now our ‘cup shelf’ looks like it should. No clutter, no random items, just a tidy display of glasses which we can use for everything. 🙂

We are collecting these now. We would like to get a set of the smaller size in the future, so that we have some for entertaining. And that will maintain the cohesive look in the shelf.  Not to mention, these are a great conversation piece – especially when we mention that it’s all handblown glass.

So that’s how that happened.

This is a relatively small company, which sells on amazon. I know that small hand craft companies do have a struggle in today’s Walmart society, so I really wanted to share about this with you. There is a direct follow link at the bottom of the post if you would like to check them out.

 

ozeri glasses

They have 12 oz and 8 oz glasses, as well as different designs, which can be found by clicking here to visit the store.

What do you look for when you buy new drinking glasses?

-Mliae

Budget Travel Ideas to Help Your Money Take You Further! #travel

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It’s the holiday season. While many stay home and celebrate with their families, this is also one of the busiest tourism seasons of the year. Traveling during this time of year will also gobble up your budget much quicker than traveling during other times of the year. I’m here to share a few tips and tricks to help you stretch your money a little bit further.

I am no expert. However, I have travelled quite a bit, even though I am by no means a wealthy woman. So I wanted to share with you my version of budget friendly travel. I promise, you won’t regret it!

  • Take a road/rail trip instead. Air travel is expensive, and it limits you (schedule, location). Take or rent an auto or take a train pass (Euro rail for non-Eu citizens is a great incentive!). You have the freedom to go wherever the wind carries you and you can always find your way back home! Not to mention, the scenery is magnificent!

sleeping in the car

*Ok, so sometimes you get to spend the night like this…but totally worth it if you get to see this ->!

Bavaria

*Am I right, or am I right?!

  • Make sure you have a good quality bag that you can easily carry with you. Please, take it from someone who has been there: When you find yourself in a situation where you are walking to your sleeping place, there is nothing worse than rolling a overstuffed cumbersome suitcase along a cobblestone road. Be practical! You don’t need much. Put it in a small overnighter that’s easy to carry. You’ll thank me later!
  • Always have water and some snacks with you. Even if its just a small water bottle and a couple protein bars – having these on hand will keep the hangry at bay so you can enjoy your day!
  • Consider Hostels. Oh, I know – the mere thought makes your skin crawl. But believe it or not, hostels can actually be really amazing! (Yes, some of them are…blech.) Many luxury hotels will lease out 1 floor of suites as hostels (Amsterdam), just to ensure that the hotel stays booked. Some places that don’t normally lease out at all will make their rooms available as hostels off-season (see the marble encased University dorm in Poland which leased out their rooms during the summer months.!) Also, Andorra has an incredible log-cabin luxury hotel which rents out some of their unbelievable suites as hostel rooms -at a hostel price!
  • Go with the flow! Allowing yourself to get stressed-out or overly adhered to your perceived schedule. Firstly, things will NEVER go according to plan. Secondly, you will happen upon the most memorable experiences when you least expect it. So, be open to change…welcome it!
    *Suffering a royal hangover, we walked around and discovered the Wielicki salt mines, a Unesco World Heritage site and thought ‘why not?’. It was a great day spent there and I will never forget what an incredible place it was!
  • Ask around where the locals go, and go there. You will find some of the most amazing food places, and even better – great prices! Also, leave your diet at home. It’s no fun traveling with someone who’s on some kooky weight loss regime where they can eat only raw meat, kale and walnuts – or whatever the latest fad is. Let loose and enjoy!

fish&chips.JPG

*Fish & Chips at Beshoff Bros

donuts

*The donuts in Dublin were the size of my face! I think you know we had to sample some of these beauties! 😉 (Nom nom nom!)

  • Make sure you are insured. Travel insurance isn’t tremendously expensive. But you will thank me for it if you fall ill!
  • Take the time to enjoy a local Brew. In some places, you will find yourself in an unbelievable setting. In others, you will realize that a local beer costs less than a canned soda! (Poland, I’m talking to you!)

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  • Be reasonable with your tourism. 5 star restaurant? I wouldn’t. Oldest Pub in the country? Yes, definitely!

Brazen-Head_ Irelands_Oldest_pub

  • Refrain from the souvenir hunt. I’ve watched people jump from store to store looking for junk and it just isn’t worth it. My policy is to purchase myself 1 item only, so I try to make it really special. A small something for family is ok too. But its a huge waste of money searching for cheap crap. I mean really, it’s most likely not even made in the country you’re visiting anyway!
  • Spend the day at museums! Many museums, including Natural history, are free in the EU. When we were in Ireland, we spent an entire day visiting museums and it cost us: ZERO! A great way to be a tourist on the cheap!

natural history.JPG

  • Check out the free attractions in the area you are visiting. Most places have a tourism office/website. They will usually list any public events/festivals/showings that are happening for free. Why not go out and do something fun? Public art/book/food festivals are great fun and you can’t beat the price!

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  • If you are really saving hard for a trip – especially a road trip – and every cent counts, try this tactic: Take 1 small envelope for every day that you plan to be away from home (including leaving and returning days). So, 14 days = 14 envelopes. Divide your funds evenly across each envelope and it will help you to see whether or not you actually have enough for the trip. The most affordable hostel I’ve ever stayed in was 20€ per night. Do some internet research, but make sure to leave some wiggle room, because sometimes they are full and you just have to manage other sleeping arrangements. Factor in food (market bought, or eating out), gasoline/train tickets, entrance fees to attractions (easily found online) and emergency coffee stops. You won’t need as much as you may think you do, if you just budget well. Good luck!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post as much as I’ve enjoyed making it!

-Mliae

RBRC: The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters

My book for the November Recycled Book Reading Challenge is The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters.

I found this to be a great novel. Well written and the attention to detail as far as reports, articles, letters, and such added a necessary level to the mystery.  The plot is outstanding and the topic tackled mental illness and racism very well.

There are many novels and movies which try to draw an adequate picture of racism, but they somehow manage to be quite redundant at times. Predictable, if you will. The Shape of Snakes is not such a story. You will be drawn into this story. This is one of those reads that I found it difficult to put down.

This book was actually given to me last Christmas. I can only assume that it was found in perfect condition in a flea market, because english language books are quite expensive in the bookstores. Not to mention, there are not so many available. So, I thought it fitting that I could use it as a good book for this months RBRC.

If you are interested in this book, you can find it by clicking here.

If you would like to join the Recycled Book Reading Challenge, you can find the general guidelines by clicking the aforementioned link.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

Great Holiday Gift Ideas!

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It’s the last day of November and I can’t believe all the Christmas everywhere that’s been happening for the last month already! Christmas seems to start earlier and earlier each year, so I thought it might be acceptable to post a Holiday gift guide post on the last day of November. Just for those of us that live places on the globe that have to wait weeks for shipping sometimes.

So here we are; Some truly lust-worthy holiday gifts from reliable suppliers to fit every need on your list!:

Ajjava Stocking

from: John Robshaw

green-elf-outfit.jpg

Who doesn’t need an elf outfit?!

Loungewear_Blue_Long_Silk_Robe_Kimono_cba43bcb-347b-4968-b5c2-c2e3807c25c0_2000x

Gorgeous 100% silk kimono

amazon gift card

Simple packaging Amazon Gift Card. Perfect for the December Birthday!

koolaburra

I actually had a request to find these, so I am listing these Koolaburra by Ugg boots here now.

04_ANINE-BING-ROSEMARY-SILK-SLIP-BLACK-AB20-095-08_109.jpg


ANINE BING ROSEMARY SILK SLIP – BLACK

Essex Tote - Darby Scott
Essex Tote – Darby Scott

ozeri glasses

These great glasses from Ozeri are the perfect gift for the minimalist in your life. (I am actually collecting these!) They are double-insulated glass, so perfect for both hot and cold drinks, thus eliminating the need for lots of glass and mug clutter. I love multi-functional items!

BH_seashellknife_large

This Shell Chevron Steel Cheese Knife – a welcome addition to any holiday party!

Yellow Tie Print Cotton Percale Single Pillowcase
Yellow Tie Print Cotton Percale Single Pillowcase


Sams�e & Sams�e Liam Nx - Clear Cream


Sams�e & Sams�e Liam Nx – Clear Cream


Large Wonder Woman Cuff

from: Bead Reel


Gold Cashmere Scarf

from: Love Justly

Pure Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater for Men
Pure Cashmere Crew Neck Sweater for Men

Find anything you like? I know I’m salivating over this list right now.

Thanks for reading and Happy start to the Holiday season!

-Mliae

*Post contains affiliate links

Schezwan Sauce

Good day, all 🙂
I wanted to share via reblog this great and simple recipe from https://www.sheedskitchen.wordpress.com for Schezwan sauce!
If you are anything like me in the kitchen, gorgeous food just seems out of reach. So I look for seemingly complex recipes that have been shared in such a way that it almost seems possible for us commoners to make and beg their writers to allow me to share them. I can’t wait to try this recipe!
Thank you, Sheed for allowing me to share this!

Crispy Chilli Kale with Roasted garlic, Sweet Soy & White Pepper

Good evening, all!

I love kale, and simply put recipes (those who know me, know that I both have trouble in the kitchen and that I fall in stilettos) and I am so excited to follow the blog https:/www.articuleate.com
Sebby Holmes ( I reeeeaaalllly hope I spelled that correctly) is a top chef in a Thai restaurant in the UK and he has decided to share some of his top secret recipes! I was super excited to find a simply-put (meaning; it looks simple, until I try to make it) recipe for kale! He was happy to share it with you, and so am I!
Please check out articulate.com and I only hope that Sebby will let us know which restaurant (and which shifts) he works in, so that we can come visit next time we are in UK!
Thanks for reading and enjoy!
-Mliae

Dressember: Ladies and Gentleman, Please Give This a Glance!

Has anyone here heard of Dressember? I had not. Not until I went on a Ted talk binge watch and heard from the founder of Dressember. It is a fantastic idea and this year, I will be participating!

The central idea behind Dressember is to raise awareness, as well as donations to combat modern day slavery. Yes, slavery still exists and in many forms throughout the world. The point is to wear a dress for women, or a tie for men, every day for the 31 days of December. Why? Because people take notice and its a conversation starter. This gives one the opportunity to tell about Dressember and all the good things you are hoping to do!

The Dressember website has published their research, as well as a thorough accounting for each step of the process. Because of this, I have selected to raise $7,000. This is a huge amount, and I’m not sure that I can do it. However, this amount will cover the entire process for 1 person. That process includes paying for the actual rescue and recovery, plus housing, aftercare funds, and what is necessary to get this rescued person back into life. Their life. A life of freedom. And all the help, psychological and otherwise, that this person may need. So, after knowing all that, it seems worth it to really work hard to raise this money.

My plea to you is this: Please consider joining this movement for the month December. I have set up a team page (I have linked to it below). I would love to have you join my team, or at the very least, check out the Dressember website and make your own mind about it. I feel as if we make a team effort of this, we may actually reach this goal!

Please, I would love for you to join me in this! I have a team page set up here and would love for you to join my team!

So, I will be promoting Dressember and participating in by wearing my dress every day in December (yes, I will take pics)! I have also donated, of course.

I am tagging some good friends in the blogosphere here, in hopes that we can conquer this together! Please forgive me if I am overstepping here. This is the 1st post I have ever done of this kind in 3+ years of blogging and I would never go so far as to plead unless it was a cause that I truly believe in. And in this, I do!

I hope that these friends will join me in this endeavor and I hope that you do too!

Jess at Grubbing with Jess

Leggy Peggy

Antonio at The Struggle

Jennie at a Teacher’s Reflections

S R Bottch at S’amusing

MSW blog

Bobbi Blogger

Brigid at Watching the Daisies

Spiritual Journey Blog

Derrick Knight from Ramblings

I will be posting regular updates throughout the month of December which will include photographic evidence of my daily dress as well as possibly spotlighting some ethical, sustainable and slow fashion items from companies around the world.

I do hope you will all give this challenge some thought. I wish you a magical December and a great day!

Let’s go Lifexperiment team for Dressember! Hope to see you there!

-Mliae

*My feature photo dress from Love Justly sustainable fashion

Two Types of Affiliate Marketing: An Avenue to Earn Money Blogging Around the World

Hi there 🙂

Today, I want to talk about something I know most of us are wondering about. That something is an avenue for income in the blogging world.

Now, if you are in the U.S.A., your options are basically unlimited. There are too many platforms to mention that cater specifically to the American market. For the rest of us lone bloggers looking for the odd sponsor or affiliate, things get much more complicated. In my 3 years of blogging, I have discovered that it is very difficult to find companies that want to work with someone in a random part of the world. Most want to corner the American market. For those platforms which occasionally have a desire for the European market, it seems to be either France or the UK which they are focused on. I understand entirely, the marketing aspect of this. However it can be quite stress-inducing for a blogger not located in the USA, UK or France to find platforms which would fit their demographic. Anyway. I have found several platforms with which affiliate marketing is possible for all of us everywhere, and I have found a couple platforms which are looking for bloggers all over the world for specific posts. This is what I wanted to share. I know that I have spent many hours of frustration that could have easily been avoided if I had found a post like mine.

So here goes:

For example shareasale.com  is a great site if you are looking to connect with a variety of companies that are looking for affiliates worldwide. This is strictly affiliate marketing. Share A Sale offers competitive commissions and unlimited access to apply with their companies.

Another great platform, which is relatively new is Get Blogged. This platform allows you to apply for multiple individual paid placement opportunities. It seems that Get Blogged mainly has opportunities in the UK, however there are placement opportunities globally, you just have to keep an eye out for them.

Hope this helps!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Bacteria, Virus, Influenza …Oh My!

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It’s that time of year again….the time when the floating crud hits hardest. And yes, I’ve got it. Oh boy, do I have it. This year its a virus. I’ve been fighting this off for at least the past 1 and ½ weeks. I went to the doctor and he told me not to worry, it only lasts about 2 weeks. I live in the land of 24 hour sicknesses. Two weeks seems like two years!

The physician gave me large bottle of cough medicine and sent me home to sleep-it-off, so that’s what I’ve been doing these past few days. I didn’t actually write this to whine about feeling blahhhh, but to check in with you and let you know that in reality, absolutely nothing has been going on in my world recently. I have, however, developed a new respect for the happy power of being snuggled in on the sofa for a prolonged netflix binge watch 😉

Stay healthy out there!

-Mliae

RBRC: Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs

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*NO SPOILERS!*

‘Cross Bones’  by Kathy Reichs was my October read for the Recycled Book Reading Challenge. I am actually late with this post because I got caught up in Halloween and Saints Day celebrations and wasn’t quite able to complete the book in good time.

I really enjoy reading Kathy Reichs because, well, Bones. Lets be honest here – the show is fun and reading the books it is based on is intriguing.

I’m not so certain which book # of the series this is. The plot takes one back several thousand years. When you find yourself following around with the around about tale, the killer is a bit of a surprise. It is a bit reminiscent of ‘The DaVinci Code’, but as I found this book at a market stall, I can’t actually say which of them might have been written first.

I enjoy Kathy Reichs way of writing. Its like being inside someones brain who is kind of going through checklists, but sometimes don’t need to complete the thought to get the point. That may seem somewhat neurotic to some, but I like it. It’s different yet still comprehendible.

Do you like the Bones series?

-Mliae

Reblog: Spider Cookies — 4 Freckled Faces

I had to share this great post by 4 Freckled Faces 🙂

When you’ve got your Halloween decor out, your costumes on it’s time to get your  creative baking vibe going!

These fun and easy spider cookies look just the right level of challenging for me, so I had to share! Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

-Mliae

These are so easy to make and guaranteed to taste yummy! I have a friend who refuses to bake for people (including her family) because she is scared of making people ill and doesn’t want to risk the embarrassment of what she has made, tasting disgusting. So with her in mind, we made these! What […]

via Spider Cookies — 4 Freckled Faces