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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

More Random Photos

Sometimes I like to take pictures of my feet, just so I’ll have a moment of the journeys that my feet have taken.  This is on the bridge to the Hoover Dam.  (These are some follow up pictures to my last post about my vacation)
This is on our hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.  I just think that the red rocks are so beautiful.  

These are my kids shoes, on a dock in New Orleans.  

My 3 Week Vacation!!!

I went on a 3 week vacation!!! Okay, so this was last summer, but it was incredibly amazing!! 
This journey began last year when a good friend of mine died unexpectedly.  One major regret with him was that we had been trying to get together for months but our schedules kept getting in the way.  (keep in mind, he only lived about 25 mins away)  We finally had a date set for a Monday and on Friday night he died.  Shortly after that, another close friend of mine who lives in Utah called to tell me that his wife was not doing very well and that he didn’t know how long it would be before she passed away.
Not wanting to regret not seeing her, my hubby and I decided to put off our planned vacation to Costa Rica and go see her.  This was a huge decision for me because I REALLY REALLY want to travel internationally and this was going to be my first step.  I had my passport and everything!

The Emotions A Picture Can Evoke

What is it about a picture of a random inanimate and just plain boring thing that can evoke feelings of such happiness and joy?
 When I look at the picture of this 7eleven, I think of sitting in the car on top of a large hill: a mountain behind me and the beautiful valley below of small matchbox houses and toy cars.  I have a slurpie in my hand, and a person beside me who I was just barely getting to know and still determining if I liked.
This picture evokes an emotion: happiness.  The memory is a good one.
Interesting enough, this picture is taken in a completely different location than the dominant memory.
This inanimate object takes me back to cooking ham and stuffing-casserole in the oven, sweater weather and cheery holidays.  My son wanted to cook a recipe from one of his favorite tv shows at the time and so we made an apple pie for Thanksgiving.
Although this picture isn’t the best quality, it probably makes me smile the most.  I saw this on the floor in our playroom.  My family had recently returned from camping and one of my kids was remembering the time spent together around the fire.  It makes me so happy to know that I’m giving happy memories to my kids.
Our brains are so amazing, all these neurons and electrical impulses that can translate the things that we see with our eyes into emotions and feelings…  It simply amazes me.
My name is Fleur.  And this is my blog.

I Did Two Small Things And It Changed My Sleep Forever (This is not trick Marketing)

 About 6 months ago, I discovered 2 things that changed my sleep forever. I think that there are a lot of people that having trouble either falling asleep or they wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep.
When I was younger, I slept incredibly well.  When I was pregnant, I started having problems because I was uncomfortable.  Then my first child was born and… yeah.  Goodbye good sleeping.  My youngest is 5 years old now and I was still having problems.  It would take me forever to fall asleep, hours some nights.  And if I woke up in the middle of the night, it would take hours for me to fall back asleep!  I hated it.  I started taking melatonin to help me sleep.
One day, I was reading a blog that completely changed all that.  
I was reading this post about sleep.  Steve, the author of the post, explains that we have a daily biological clock that changes throughout the day.  He explains it like this:
“Our body uses outside stimuli and our own activity to produce certain hormones at certain times to make our body more prepared for the required functions at that time (alertness vs restfulness).”  
Meaning, our bodies use the light from the sun to produce hormones that help us stay awake during the day and help us become sleepy at night.  Different colors of light influence these hormones!  Aren’t our bodies amazing??
However, recently there has been a huge shift in night time activity: we use tv, computers, tablets & phones right before we go to bed.  As a writer, I am constantly  on my computer.  Electronics use a blue light to light up the electronics because they are energy efficient.  This type of light makes our brain think that it’s time to be awake.  
In fact, Harvard has published an article about it, this exact situation could be linked to things like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity.  Isn’t that crazy? 
So… one thing that Steve recommended is using a program like flux on your computers, phones and tablets.  For an android system on tablets and phones, there is Twilight.  What this program does is change the lighting on your screen to reflect the sun in your area.  During the day, it looks normal.  During the evening / night, it has a bit of an orangy / peach glow - to simulate the sun setting.  I decided to try this out.
The first day I tried it, I immediately went to sleep when I wanted to.  The Very. First. Day.
I was Amazed!!!!!  And ever since, unless I’m particularly worried about something (still don’t have an app to take all my worries away unfortunately! :D), I fall asleep right away.  I tell you, I am sold on this.  And, it’s free!!  I’m not sure why it’s free - there are no ads, no sign ups, no put your email in…   so there’s nothing to loose!  
It took me about 2 days to get used to the color and now I don’t even notice it.  I’m telling you, if you have trouble falling asleep, try this now.  Don’t wait.  (Do I sound like an ad??  I could easily sell this program, I believe in it so much.  Too bad it’s already free. :D)
Try it and tell me what you think!  You won’t fall asleep like a baby (they are hard work!)
So… on to the second thing I did to help me stay asleep.  I bought ear plugs.  My husband and I both snore!

My name is Fleur.  And this is my blog.
And this is a picture of me sleeping.