Design Your Life | Miseducated | Page 2

Category Archives: Design Your Life

The most important thing you’ll choose is how to live your life.

“Oh, Lady Gaga’s job is to do outlandish things, and this certainly qualifies as outlandish because meat is something you want to avoid putting on or in your body.” ~ PETA president to NYDN

While I am an animal lover and animal rights advocate, and my reasons for being vegan are largely spiritual, I think it’s also important to recognize the environmental impact that this lifestyle has. In June 2010, The Guardian discussed a a United Nations Environment Programme report that underlines the negative impact that consumption of animal products has on our ecosystem. The article quotes the original UN report:

“Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”

It goes on to suggest a gradual change: try giving up meat for one day each week. I agree with this approach. If you’re a red-blooded, meat-and-potatoes eatin’ American and you’re ready to make a change, good for you! Just know that you’re probably going to feel unsatisfied if you suddenly remove meat, dairy, and processed foods from your diet. You’ve gotten your system used to taking in that sort of fuel; it will take time for it to recalibrate. Set a realistic goal and start slowly, knowing that every step you take towards an animal-free lifestyle is making a difference.

Read the original article here.

“From the meat industry’s rampant abuse of animals and environmental devastation to the tremendous health benefits of a vegan diet to helping end world hunger and deplorable working conditions in slaughterhouses, there are countless reasons why more and more people are leaving meat off their plates for good and embracing a healthy and humane vegan diet.” ~ PETA

More Meat Free Resources

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I’ve recently had the pleasure of chatting with the media-proclaimed “Poker Barbie” Lacey Jones about playing poker on and offline and actually making a living doing it. It seems rather strange to me to rely on a chance game to supply your income but I suppose many people feel the same about freelance design work and professional blogging (sometimes you have tons of jobs and advertising opportunities, sometimes just a few) and so, having had several friends that seem to successfully live this way, I had to learn more about how they are able to make the most of the unconventional (Miseducated) lifestyle and career they chose.

One topic we kept coming back to in our discussion is how to stay healthy while spending the majority of our time sitting down doing mostly brain work and very little body work. In being a blogger and artist I can definitely relate to my body getting the short end of the deal and began to realize that our work actually holds many more similarities than I had previously thought.

So what exactly is needed to run both a healthy brain and a healthy body while sitting for long periods of time? I thought you’d never ask! Let’s take a look at some brain foods, unhealthy foods and health tips used by professional poker players around the globe and use this information to our own benefit whether we be playing poker for money or blogging for fun.

“Add these ‘superfoods’ to your daily diet, and you will increase your odds of maintaining a healthy brain for the rest of your life.” ~ WebMD

Brain Foods

Blueberries
Wild Salmon
Nuts and Seeds
Avacados
Whole Grains
Beans
Pomegranates
Tea
Dark Chocolate // Cacao

“Whether you play live or online, poker guarantees one thing; you spend plenty of time sitting in a chair. In order to be profitable in the long run it’s crucial to revitalize the body and mind with exercise and healthy food.” ~ 9 Essential Health Tips for the Online Poker Grinder

Health Tips

Ergonomic and Comfortable Chair – Make sure your chair is supportive to your back, your monitor is at a comfortable height and your wrists are relaxed.
Take Breaks – Take 2-5 minute breaks every 30-60 minutes to maintain high brain performance and productivity and don’t forget to take a 30 minute lunch in the middle of your work day.
Rest Your Eyes – Remember to look away from the monitor throughout your workday and focus on something farther away for a short time.
Use Routine Exercises and Good Posture – Don’t simply melt into your chair and write away, be sure to keep moving throughout your work day even in the smallest of ways. Roll and stretch your wrists, contract and hold your abdominal and gluteus muscles, exercise your calves by pushing up onto the balls of your feet. Utilize a routine which allows you to be habitual in your seated exercise regimen.

“By reducing or eliminating the foods that should be avoided you will optimize your brain power today and reduce your risk of developing brain related diseases in the future.” ~ LIVESTRONG

Foods to Avoid

Processed Carbohydrates
Trans Fat and Fried Foods
Meat
Fatty Dairy
Sugary Sweets

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So I’ve recently become even more addicted to my iPhone (if that’s even physically possible) and it’s array of apps that just happen to make my life so much easier and more organized! Which is just what this article is going to focus on, getting organized and raising your productivity by using the little gadget that most of us love so much. So so much. I know you’ve been wanting me to publish this one for awhile because of the many times you ask me how I appear to stay on task in the midst of chaos and since I gave you my daily staples for happiness I figured next up should be my staples for productivity and organization. Together we’re going to excel in 2013 like never before! Do you feel me?

Some of the most important applications I need to include in my work days (and weekends as well) are simple and easily locatable in the App Store BUT being an Apple fan I’m going to assume that you, much like myself, prefer the finer things in life. The well designed, well written and most useful of the group no matter the cost. So my basic must haves for any day are: brain wave hacks or meditation music, a journal or scrapbook, a gratitude journal, a mood journal, a calendar, a task list, a notebook, a sketchbook, a daily schedule planner and obviously a camera which comes standard in all iPhones. Enjoy my list of top dogs I’ve carefully selected after using many other sub-par creations.

Audio: BrainHack 2.0 and Spotify
Audio and music are probably not important to everyone but they are must-haves for me. Whether I’m stressed and need to calm myself or get inspired a bit with a brainhack or if I just need some relaxing tunes to meditate to audio is a staple to my every day. Plus if you’re all about increasing productivity even in down time you can learn some new things as you commute by subscribing to some awesome Podcasts and radio programs.

A Journal: Evernote and Evernote Food
Everyone needs their go-to journal that’s easily accessible anytime they need to write what they’re feeling or any number of other things. The good thing about Evernote, the journal application I prefer, is that you can access, create and edit all of your notes on your computer, your iPad, your iPhone and even your Kindle or other android device. Evernote has also created a few other useful apps such as Evernote Food that is useful for organizing recipes, favorite dishes and restaurants you enjoy most and we all know how important food is to productivity and to having an enjoyable day! With Evernote, which happens to also be very clean and nice to look at, you can create as many notebooks as you like, attach photos, visually format your notes and attach locations as well. It’s very simple to use and you’ll only continue to think of new ways to use it. I adore it.

Gratitude Journal: Gratitude Journal by Happy Tapper
Very important to those of us who want to become happier and more aware of the good things we have in our life. In practicing gratitude daily you learn to be more thankful for the gifts you have been given and to overlook the problems you may be going through. With this app you also get a daily inspiring quote, you can rate your days, format your entries and attach a picture. This was one of my first favorite apps and I’ve been enjoying it for a long time!

Mood Journal: iMoodJournal
I originally decided to find a mood journal when my boyfriend asked if I had one. We figured, as any therapist will tell you, by recording your moods you’ll become more aware of bad mood triggers and will be able to track how your moods change throughout the day, week, month and year. This app allows you to rate your day, add as many notes and tags as you like and to attach a picture of your face. It even inspires me cheer up when I’m down and look through my positive mood days and photos of what a happy me looks like.

Calendar
I think it’s best to use Apple’s own calendar for this app as it is also the calendar that is on Apple computers. Plus many apps you’ll download for productivity will be designed to sync with your Calendar for optimal organization.

Notebook: Notes
I also use the default notebook for quick notes as it syncs with my computer and is an official Apple product.

Task List: Any.DO
I decided to look for a more friendly task list manager after I only continued to add tasks to the default Apple task list app, Reminders, and felt very overwhelmed that the tasks were not really organized in any way at a glance which was very overwhelming to me. I often have many tasks per day that I need to do and I really enjoy getting to cross them out on Any.Do which has predictive task writing and can target friends online or by phone per task as well as share tasks with another. It has tons of simple yet useful functions that make it my favorite list manager.

Sketchbook: Skitch
Every artist and designer needs a sketchbook on hand just in case words wont do it and you need a quick visual. Since I got tired of carrying around my lot of tiny notebooks and sketchbooks and even my purse most days I decided to add Evernote’s sketchbook to my list of go-to applications. Very useful for annotating photographs and graphics as well when you’re working on the go!

Daily Schedule Planner: Daily Routine
I most recently found this application and I am already in love. It’s beautiful, extensive and although it’s been said (look at the reviews) to be too tough to figure out I prefer it over every other planner. The visuals, features and options it has top all other daily schedule planners and when you spend a few minutes to figure out how to arrange your daily schedules you’ll love it. It can remind you of each new scheduled event during the day and can set the same schedule for every work day and a separate for weekdays or absolutely any other way you can imagine. Try it! It’s worth the cost.

Fun
I’m often asked what my favorite apps are just for entertainment. A few fun apps I enjoy using when taking a break or the work day is over are usually horoscope and spirituality apps, design apps, social media apps and more. I’ll add another article with my favorite apps for the beginning of 2013 soon! Our past app list is probably a bit outdated so keep your eyes peeled for a new one coming soon!

Phone Cases
Looking for a new, cute and productive phone case to go with your new array of amazing applications? We have them coming to our store very soon so stay tuned. Our custom cases have gotten so much praise that we’re in the midst of developing some really special ones for you. Stay tuned!

What helps you stay organized and more productive on and off work days?

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It’s that time again for all of the glitziest, most sparkling parties to dust our city with their crystalline love for the passing of time and in celebration of the New Year! This coming year happens to look very exciting for me for several reasons. One because 13 is my lucky number, somehow I always get dealt 13 whether it’s my locker or another random number. Another because 2012 was one of the absolute worst years of my life, actually it WAS the worst year of my life hands down for reasons those close to me know and that I will discuss further in the future. And lastly because the end of 2012 has been surprising me with the absolute best gifts I could ever imagine receiving. Not only is the future glistening brightly in my eyes but I’m really excited to start the New Year with the new love of my life.

So what better way to start this New Year than with 10 grand resolutions to bring even more health and happiness into my life? Why don’t you join me and craft a few of your own to share? Together we might even inspire even others to start their own resolutions and to actually hold themselves accountable for them! I know I will because I’ve gotten much more disciplined this year. There’s nothing like losing everything to bring what’s really important (health, love and happiness) to the surface!

As you probably know New Years resolutions are quick to become a subject of the past. They fade away as the days of the New Year linger on and new opportunities occur. The most common reason we forget about our resolutions or leave them behind is due to the unrealistic goals we have set for ourselves in anticipation of quick changes.

Tips for Succeeding

  • 1. Keep your resolutions realistic and achievable.
  • 2. Share them with a friend not for accountability but for encouragement.
  • 3. Focus on changes you’ve been planning to make for awhile.

“John Norcross of the University of Scranton concluded that 75% of resolution-makers will be successful in mid-January, 50% will still be sticking to it by the end of the month and 40%-46% can claim success six months out.” – USA TODAY

My Resolutions for 2013

  • 1. To have my *gulp* divorce finalized and custody agreed upon.
  • 2. To publish one or more of my books I’ve been endlessly putting off.
  • 3. To blog at least twice a week, publish articles/interviews that have been waiting and put much more effort into Miseducated now that my life is whole.
  • 4. To continue to grow more serious in my beautiful relationship.
  • 5. To organize and spring clean our entire home.
  • 6. To produce more work for myself, collaborations and for clients.
  • 7. To lose 5-10 pounds, eat healthier and exercise more.
  • 8. To grow even more spiritual and study religion further.
  • 9. To list the new items I’ve been dutifully creating for the shop.
  • 10. To obtain a larger vehicle (kid count grew from 1 to 4 this past year!).

What are yours?

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While relaxing after I did a speed clean of the beautiful and character-filled 4-story home I share with my partner (and our kiddies) and being brilliantly blinded by the fairy lights adorning our tree I’m impatiently waiting for my love to arrive home after a long day of work. I’ve been asked many times recently by friends and visitors alike how I manage all of my work, hobbies and activities while still remaining happy and seemingly on-top of everything. I’m not entirely sure I’m managing my time in the best way having just been through hell on earth not so long ago but I know I must be doing something right because the important things get done and I still have plenty of time to spend bonding with my love, myself and, most importantly, my daughter.

I was thinking recently… what what better way to stay motivated and inspired than to blog about what staples help me stay focused and chill throughout my day? What objects, products and regimens do I rely on to make my days a little more delightful? What can’t I seem to live without? What’s funny is I’ve recently realized I can literally live without ANYTHING (besides food, air and water) and there’s nothing like being stripped of everything you love to wake this inner strength in yourself. It’s extremely tough but the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than you could ever imagine and the positive life that follows is the icing on the cake. What are the sprinkles, carousel candles and strawberries on that same delicious cake? Well some of my daily must-haves are…

1. Lavender

One of my favorite colors of all time is lavender and it just so happens to be one of my favorite herbs as well. Although lavender is not to be ingested it can bring peace and relaxation through aromatherapy and nothing is better than the scent of lavender with a bit of warm sugar. One of my daily staples is a relaxing sitz bath sprinkled with lavender extract while my lavender macaron candle burns a soft glow throughout the bathroom. Lavender incense works well too and be sure to hide some lavender sachets in your lingerie drawer so you can carry a faint relaxing aroma with you throughout your day without overdoing it (which is very easy to do with such a strong scent).

2. Coffee and Tea

Where would I be without coffee and tea? Although my love despises my intake of caffeine I feel without it I would move quite a bit more sluggishly throughout my daily tasks. Not only do the flavors entice me to take another drink but the ritual of brewing coffee and steeping teas are rituals I look forward to. Nothing is better to me than waking up early to black iced coffee and winding down in the evening with a nice, hot cup of tea. We keep a box of assorted teas and numerous tea tins in our kitchen so it’s a real treat picking out which tea to try next.

3. Crystals

The energy and earthen decadence of a crystal is matched by few objects to me. Something about crystals has always attracted me like no other. Since being a young child and carefully selecting my own crystals from traveling new age shops and then proceeding to cleanse and charge them with positive energy I have been a self-proclaimed crystal queen. Crystals hold a natural beauty that is unlike any other stone, they are much more precious than diamonds in my opinion and they create rainbows of light when sunlight hits their prisms just right. If you’re looking for your own special crystal but still haven’t found one that calls to you be sure to check out our shop next year (January 2013) for a limited selection of cleansed and charged kitschy, natural crystal necklaces and spiritually enhancing house wares. Not feeling crystals quite yet? We have lots of other earthen goodness made whimsically colorful coming your way for more positive life-enhancing decadence! Stay tuned and keep the positive energy flowing.

4. Candles & Incense

To explain the benefit in lighting candles and incense is to explain the importance to me of the daily life aesthetic. Setting the scene or mise-en-scene to me is pertinent in living a life as art. The visual aesthetic of everyday life is nearly as important to me as it is in a scene I’ve styled for a specific photograph or shoot. This value of mine that I’ve always held so dear doesn’t always seem to translate well to those I share this world with. Why does everything have to be perfect? Why are you constantly shooting photos of nothing? With the introduction of cell phones having digital cameras this is much more understood but still I receive blank stares when I take photos of what some consider to be mundane settings. The artistic beauty of life is wonderfully misunderstood. The importance to me of living a life as a genius, yet mad, artistic creation is unmatched. Your life is a drama in which you are the actor and your higher power is the director. Enjoy the extensive beauty that can be found throughout it. Adding a soft glow to the room and a relaxing, refreshing or comforting scent is key to utilizing the whole scene of the moment. The smoke of incense brings back memories while calming me. The psychedelic swirls of smoke that flirt with the air are as relaxing as the soft flickr of candlelight softly setting the room aglow. The scent adds volumes to this experience and if you’re interested in learning about aromatherapy you can even utilize some techniques to inspire your mood or productivity. Below I’ve listed a few scents that can be used for aromatherapy. Remember you can also mix scents!

Aromatherapy Guide

  • Aphrodisiac: jasmine, patchouli
  • Energy, Refreshing: peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, tangerine, basil
  • Relax: lavender, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense, myrrh, cardamom

5. Music & Podcasts

Nothing sets your mood quite like the perfect song. When I’m working, whether I’m writing or designing a print or website, music and podcasts are very important to my productivity. I’m even known to listen to ‘brain hacks’ or ‘brain waves’ when working so that I gain more inspiration or stress relief as needed. The podcasts I tend to listen to while working are those of the spiritual or inspirational nature. Any way that I can take in inspiring information while working, relaxing or enjoying a hobby is pleasurable to me. Music sets the scene almost instantly and I enjoy a large selection of music when creating artwork and it’s definitely something I don’t tend to work without.

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Greetings & Salutations, Miseducated!

As your new virtual healthy life stylist, I am thrilled to be your guide through the wonderland of wellness. In the coming months, I look forward to answering your most burning health & wellness questions, but first, allow me clear up a few common questions about what I do:

What is a Healthy Life Stylist?

A healthy life stylist is like a fashion stylist for the health world. Much like a fashion stylist would help you makeover your wardrobe [getting rid of the items that don’t flatter you & giving you new items that allow your inner goddess to sparkle], I help you makeover your life. From what to eat to feel your best to what steps to take to achieve your dreams, my job is about creating health for your whole being. Health and wellness aren’t just about eating vegetables; they’re about loving yourself, loving your job, developing healthy relationships, and cultivating a spiritual practice that makes you feel enlightened & at peace. I’m here to help with all these things and more.

What kind of questions do you answer?

Because I like to think of myself as a nutritionist, a life coach, and a therapist, all rolled into one, I can answer questions about any area you’re feeling less than fabulous about. I’m here to help you feel your best.

How can I learn more about your services?

If you’re in need of more than just a few questions answered or you want to receive an individualized lifestyle plan, consider signing up for my Health & Happiness in Half a Year program. You can check out the details & pricing for individual or group sessions on my website.

That’s it for now, darlings. <3
I look forward to answering your deepest health ponderings.

xoxo,
Michelle Shea Walker, H.C.

Just make sure you are clear about if you mind your question/answer being published on Miseducated and if you’d prefer to be anonymous. All questions will be answered by Michelle regardless so ask away!

Photo of Michelle by Aaron Ehinger Photography.

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I was just taking a stroll through my drafts folder and would you believe there is still a LA Sanrio Nerd party article I haven’t published as well as at least 35 others? Hello! Time? Motivation? You out there? Can you come hang out for awhile? I miss you.

Anyway things have been absolutely insane around here but that doesn’t meen I haven’t been thinking of you, I’ve actually been thinking of you a lot. Thinking about what I’m going to tell you about going through hell on earth and making it through while staying strong and focused. It’s not impossible and pain is always a struggle but you’re not alone. If you think you are alone, turn around and look through all of the cracks. Do you see yourself? Your friends? Your family? Do you see me? Your cat? A new pet? There’s someone out there waiting to make the pain easier to handle but you might have to open your mind and do a little searching to find them. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Also I wanted to let you guys know that the little love letters you have been sending me have been absolutely the sweetest. I’m glad I made it easier for you to contact me. If you ever need someone to listen, I’m here for you.

Now let’s go on a hypersensitive adventure through insanity because I’m so curious about what pieces of me I have lost while on this trip… Have you left pieces of yourself behind, too? Don’t ever allow anyone to control you until they break you. This is your life and you should experience it the way you prefer. Be yourself because you’re the only person in this whole world who is anything like you and, I’m just saying, you’re pretty amazing.

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I’ve actually (finally) started writing more self-help based posts and books again. If I’ve been through it first hand, discussed it with friends over tea and researched the hell out of the current material out there I feel I have a lot of advice to offer you that actually works. I just wish someone would have written this article for me a few months ago so that I didn’t have to learn things the hard way however I am thankful I can provide you with some insight. The value in this for you is that I know exactly what you need to do to be successful in your endeavor and I know just as well how to ruin your chances. This was once a long article posted here but I have since published it into an ebook for the Kindle to make it easier to read and take along with you during hard times when you’re expected to play it cool, calm and creative. So feel free to purchase the inexpensive ebook and come along aboard the love train with me, keep your hands inside and your rings on tight. This is going to be bumpy ride.

This article is geared towards those of us in a serious relationship with, or married to, a man. If you’re interested in getting a woman back you’ll obviously need to go about things quite a bit differently but this advice could loosely be used to get a girl back as well since it’s mostly about helping yourself progress to attract your mate so feel free to replace all the ‘he and hims’ to ‘shes and hers.’ If you’re interested in revisiting a friendship just remove all of the romantic parts. This majority of the advice is great for getting over any break-up in a positive and successful way so feel free to make use of it as you please.

Want more advice?

If you’re looking for more ideas to save your relationship or marriage check out more of the Kindle books Miseducated will be releasing in the next few months. There will also be an actual relationship course that you can take alone but it would be best to take with your significant other. I promise to first subject my friends and eventually my significant other to the course so I can include helpful hints and extra valuable information along the way. You might say we’re still collecting inspiration so if you have a story about parting ways with or reconciling with your ex be sure to let us know all about it! Don’t worry, you can always remain anonymous.

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If I told you what has been going on the past few months (April – present) you probably wouldn’t even believe me. Life-shattering events, depression over both my health (and my shoddy management of it) and many things I may never be able to admit. Let’s just say I have a lot of new and interesting material for that novel I’ve been writing off and on for years. Emotional pain is a horrible inspirational tool but it does tend to give artists new ideas and possibly even better work.

It seems whenever a terrible situation happens I revert back to journaling. I like to journal devastating events and situations because I know one day I’ll look back at those entries and see I made it through them. One day I’ll be in a much better place and it will make me feel so accomplished what I actually made it through — something that at one time seemed impossible for me to do or to handle. I also feel it’s important for one to keep a journal just simply so they can get a glimpse at a past self. We’re always changing and learning — sometimes seeing that change by looking back can help you decide where you’re headed next. Or just show you where you’re never headed ever again. Not only that but when you journal you release your emotions in a healthy way. Remember that no one (therapists excluded), no matter how much they love you, will be willing to deal with your constant venting and/or crying. Everyone faces problems in their life and everyone tends to assume their problems are more serious. Your journal, however, is always ready to hear more.

If there is something going on in your life causing unbearable pain and uncertainty do not give up on yourself or on obtaining your goals in life. Instead use it as a time to grow inside and to eventually become stronger and more prepared. Sometimes we need a shove to become the person we knew we could always be. Grieve, cry, get it all out, but do not give up. The more positive thinking you do (it’s ok to fake it — you’ll retrain your brain to think positive things and to leave the negative ones behind) and the more healthy changes you make will get you that much closer to manifesting your desires.

Soon we’re going to have more journal activities in which you will actually learn interesting facts about yourself and find more manageable ways to change and become the person you want to be inside. I look forward to journaling with you again. Keep your head up!

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Ever look at a photo of yourself from a week ago (or even days ago) and feel so happy and proud that you are no longer the same person? That you hardly recognize yourself? Sometimes events force you to become the person you were meant to be, sometimes you need tough love or a hard push in the right direction just so you can prove to yourself you CAN do anything. Most times though all you need to make the right change is YOU.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
~ Andy Warhol

Turning to Smoking for Stress Relief?

Most continual smokers assume that smoking a cigarette eases their stress and anxiety when actually they are relieving their desire for nicotine. Smoking is obviously an unhealthy way to relieve stress and anxiety but it actually increases stress on the body and tends to create more anxiety as smokers rely on or desire nicotine to relieve their stress. Want the cycle to end? Stop smoking.

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