Friday Faves: Bedtime Rituals to Promote Restful Sleep

Lately I’ve been struggling to fall and stay asleep. It started when I was sick—I had a hard time breathing and would wake up coughing several times in the night. After my cold cleared up, we discovered black mold in our apartment, went through the process of appealing our lease, and then the equally stressful process of finding a place to live in a college town in the middle of the semester—none of which is conducive to quality sleep.

Of course I try to follow sleep hygiene best practices like limiting caffeine after noon and exercising earlier in the day, but here are a few more strategies I find helpful when I’m having a hard time falling asleep.

sleep tight

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Uprooted, Again

It’s been a little quiet around here for the past couple weeks, but I promise I have a good reason. Though our lease didn’t actually end until August, I am writing this from sun-filled living room (four windows, that’s double what our entire apartment had) of our new house.1

(image via)

First, a little back story: last May, out of what can only be described as post-wedding burnout, we decided to go with the “safe” choice of student housing rather than drive the eight hours from Tennessee to Illinois to look for an apartment. Although the move to Illinois was the most recent in a series of five or six over the previous few years, and we were really ready to be done with moving for a while, we were so, so tired, and we figured that a year in student housing would give us plenty of time to get to know the area and find a more long-term solution—and honestly, how bad could student housing really be? We’d recently stayed in our friend Hannah’s student apartment, and it was cozy and charming.2

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Is Conscious Consumption an Oxymoron?

Because all of my work happens on the computer, it’s so easy to mindlessly switch from “work mode” to “free time” mode without ever getting off the sofa or closing my laptop. I simply navigating from Google Docs to Pinterest or Facebook, and before I know it a few hours of my actual life are gone. Forever. I hate this. It’s both troubling in the abstract and also detrimental in more concrete, mental and  physical ways. Because of all this, one intention I set for myself this year was to read more.1 But anyway, the reading, in and of itself, is not what this post is about.

(image via)

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Homemade Magnesium Oil (Recipe)

As I learned in The Migraine Miracle, one of the most important elements of migraine prevention—aside from eating well—is ensuring adequate magnesium levels. And as it turns out, magnesium is important for not only migraine prevention, but also important stuff like sleep quality and mood stability, among other things.


Dietary sources of magnesium include dark leafy greens grown nutrient-dense soil, homemade bone broth, sea salt, and raw milk. For the most part, I try to get my vitamins and minerals in food rather than pill form. Magnesium, however, is not exactly easy to get in adequate amounts through diet alone. In Eat the YolksLiz Wolfe writes:

Thanks to widespread deficiencies of magnesium in American soil, magnesium may be one of the most critically deficient minerals in our diet. Magnesium plays a vital role in everything from cellular energy production to enzymatic reactions to metabolic function.

Furthermore, those of us with impaired digestive function (i.e. leaky gut) will have an even harder time incorporating dietary magnesium thanks to impaired nutrient absorption in general. Continue reading

Homemade Deodorant (Recipe)

I’ve already shared my recipes for homemade plantain toner and homemade oil cleansing serum. Aside from those two, I don’t use a ton of creams and potions on a daily basis, but I consider deodorant pretty essential. I’ve been using homemade deodorant for several years now, and though I’ve tried several recipes with various ingredients—including bentonite clay, shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, and probiotics—the simplest version seems to work the best for me, so it’s the one I always come back to.

deodorant ingredients

Why Homemade Deodorant?

In 2005 or 2006 I started wearing Lush’s Aromacreme, and I was really happy with both the smell and the performance. The price, however, was a little steeper than I’d like, but thankfully the deodorant worked really well and lasted forever, so it was totally worth it to me. When aromacreme was discontinued I was heartbroken, and I set out to find another deodorant. I tried everything, including a weird, wet gel type deodorant; a spray deodorants that I’m pretty sure was just witch hazel, and the weird deodorant crystal that you rub onto your armpits. Frustratingly, after using a new brand for a couple weeks, it would inevitably stop working and then somehow make me smell worse, if that’s possible. Continue reading

Friday Faves: “Oh Shit, I’m Sick” Edition

After reading “Get your, ‘Oh shit, I’m sick’ kit ready before it’s too late” last fall at Offbeat Home, I started pulling together resources for this post. I decided to finally complete it because, oh shit, I’m actually sick now. Thankfully it’s not the flu, just a run-of-the-mill, migraine-inducing cold, so there’s really nothing to do but hunker down and complain.

Oh Shit

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