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Turn your Summer Vacation Digs into a Home Away From Home

Summer vacation is your chance to get away and reset your stress levels, but it’s also nice to have some fo the comforts of home when you’re away.

Intrinsic Vicissitude is proud to partner with Chilewich to bring you these easy tips for adding some special touches that turn your summer vacation digs into a home away from home.

Turn Your Vacation Digs into a Home Away From Home
Turn Your Vacation Digs into a Home Away From Home image courtesy of Pixabay

Turn your Summer House into a Home Away From Home

This summer when you are vacationing at your beach house, timeshare or lake cabin, consider a few decor upgrades to enhance the beauty of your surroundings and add a warm touch.

Here are a few of our favorite picks for turning your summer house into a home the whole family will feel comfortable and relaxed in.

Bamboo Placemats

If you need a set of placemats that are simultaneously stylish and spill-proof, look no further. These indoor/outdoor placemats are constructed from a durable blend of bamboo and vinyl that give them a natural yet sturdy feel. These placemats are must-have for young kids. Use code BCJUNEGIFT to get a free set of six 100% linen ivory napkins with any purchase in June.

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Stripe Anchor-Print VelvetLoft Throw

For nights when hanging out on the beach gets a bit chilly, this nautical-inspired throw keeps everyone warm. Its 50”x60” dimensions make it a good size to take with you on your adventures or to keep at home on the couch. Grab one in red and navy to keep the whole family comfy all summer.

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Seas the Day Shadow Box

After a long day at the beach, your little seashell collectors will want to show off their finds. Instead of keeping them in a bucket all summer, this shadow box puts them on display for everyone to enjoy. This is sure to be a special piece that the whole family will remember for summers to come.

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Reasons You Should Be Enjoying a Hobby

I’ve been really thinking about why I started blogging and working on my own websites – because I enjoy it – and it’s become my hobby – or at least one of my hobbies – so I wanted to share a post that’s all about why hobbies are so important.

The Value of Having a Hobby
The Value of Having a Hobby image courtesy of Pixabay

Reasons to Have a Hobby You Enjoy

Did you know hobbies have a lot of positive benefits that can play a significant role in improving your quality of life? Read on for the details…

A Hobby Helps You Feel Enthusiastic

“Today is life – the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” – Dale Carnegie

Everyday life can get you down – working – chores – all of it. Having a hobby gives you something that’s uniquely your own to look forward to and to enjoy.

Your Hobby Can Also Be Your Work

“I remember times of anxiety, ups and downs, and times of unexpected windfalls. But my parents loved what they did. And because their work was also their hobby, it taught me that work could be fulfilling.” – Rosamund Pike

You can make a career from your hobby. It has advantages and drawbacks. The main advantage is, even cruddy days doing something you love are better than the best day doing something you hate. The biggest disadvantage, in my opinion, is when you need a break, it’s a lot harder to step away because your livelihood is tied to your hobby.

A New Hobby Opens the Door to the Unknown

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” – Albert Einstein

When you approach a new hobby, you normally do it with your mind open to learning about something that interests you, but you don’t know a lot about.  That makes taking up a hobby a great way to experience the air of mystery and the blossoming experience that’s the root of all beauty.

A Hobby Increases Brain Efficiency

According to Prevention Magazine, hobbies that involve learning can change the brain’s structure and help keep your brain functioning properly, even if other age-related factors called neuropathies are negatively impacting you otherwise.

Thanks for reading, and tell me, if you want to, what are your favorite hobbies?

By: Laure Justice

3 Great Backyard BBQ Styles for Men

Since I just shared a post on cute fitness apparel for women, I thought I should share some fun, summery clothes for guys, too.

Intrinsic Vicissitude is proud to partner with Old Navy to bring you this short list of great guy’s backyard BBQ styles for men.

3 Great Backyard BBQ Styles for Men

For the man who wants to show some patriotism in his outfit this 4th of July, but still stay stylish, we’ve found a few simple fashion upgrades.

Here are a few of our favorite styles for him to show his American pride at this year’s festivities.

The Commando Sunglasses

Whether he’s manning the grill or tossing horseshoes with buddies, these Commando sunglasses are up for anything this 4th of July. The polarized lenses are made with triacetate cellulose to provide clarity and 100% UV protection, so no matter how sunny the day is, these shades keep him looking cool.

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Dip-Dye Pocket Tank for Men

Stripes on the 4th are a given, so why not mix things up with this dip-dye tank? This tank features a soft cotton jersey blend for a relaxed fit that keep him looking and feeling chill and laidback. Pair with medium wash denim for classic American style.

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Built-in Flex Drawstring Jogger Shorts for Men

These nautical jogger shorts are sure to be on heavy rotation this summer. They feature an elasticized waistband for ultimate comfort between devouring hot dogs and hamburgers and playing a round of croquet. Soft, lightweight double-weave twill keeps him cool on even the hottest of summer days.

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3 Easy-to-Pack Pieces of Fitness Apparel for Women

Since it’s summer and it’s vacation time for so many people, and packing can be a challenge, I wanted to share this short list of easily-packed fitness apparel for women.

When you want to maintain the level of fitness you’ve been working for, you need to keep your fitness gear handy, and these are items that don’t take much space in your overnight bag so you can enjoy your regular fitness routine wherever you go.

So, I wanted to share these fun (and cute) ideas for easy-to-pack fitness apparel for women.

The information and pictures below are brought to you as part of an ad campaign from Puma that Intrinsic Vicissitude is participating in today.

Easy-to-pack Fitness Apparel for Women

Even though you’re on vacation, you still want to keep on track with your health and fitness goals. But, with limited packing space, it can be difficult deciding what to bring. That’s why we’ve compiled a few of our favorite travel-friendly apparel items that you can have on hand wherever the summer takes you.

PUMA Classics Logo Women’s Tank Top

Get sporty this summer in this performance tank. Its large peekaboo armholes add both style and comfort, perfect for extra sweaty workout sessions. This tank is perfect for storage; simply roll up and pop in your bag. Grab all three colors to keep in rotation this summer.

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Nike Women’s Free Run Flyknit Running Sneaker

These knit sneakers are a welcome change from traditionally clunkier options. Specifically designed to be lightweight, they feature a breathable, foot-hugging Flyknit upper that keep you cool on even the hottest runs. Even though they’re lightweight, their performance is anything but.

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Lululemon Speed Up Short Long 4”

From the moment you put on these running shorts, you won’t want to take them off. Made from lightweight, sweat-wicking Swift fabric, these shorts are ideal for runs on the coast. You’ll appreciate the gel pockets to store keys and the Lycra Fibre for shape retention (no wrinkled shorts here!).

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Thanks for reading and checking out these cute, easy-packing fitness apparel garments and footwear for women.

Frosty Heat Blasting Treats for Kids of All Ages

Beat the heat of summer with a build-your-own ice cream sundae party or whip up a batch of Pinterest-worthy popsicles that look as incredible as they taste. Ice cream creations and playful popsicles provide a fun way to cool off while enjoying special moments with the kids.

Heat Blasting Treats
Heat Blasting Treats image courtesy of Pixabay

These treats aren’t just for kids, though. Adults enjoy the unique popsicle flavors and building sundaes with their favorite ice cream toppings as much as kids do.

Make Everyday a Sundae

Set up a sundae bar that lets everyone at your next gathering choose favorite toppings for a chilly themed party that pleases both kids and adults.

Pick serving bowls and utensils that match your party’s theme colors, or consider offering guests edible waffle bowls to reduce waste and cut cleanup time after the party.

  • Stick with one or two basic ice cream flavors to keep things simple for a younger crowd, like vanilla, chocolate, or Neapolitan.
  • Or, break out some exotic ice cream flavors to mix things up.
  • Then, get fancy with the sundae toppings.
  • Encourage guests to put a layer of toppings, like chocolate sauce, under the ice cream for a stunning visual effect.
  • Then, suggest topping it off with flavored toppings like strawberry, pineapple, and Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
  • Add some decorative sprinkles, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries to the toppings lineup.

Homemade Ice Pops Recipes and Tips

Ice pops provide another fun way to cool off on hot days, and you can make them as simple or fancy as you like.

  • Start by choosing an ice pop maker. These come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate your needs.
  • Stick with a smaller mold if you’re making popsicles for younger children or dieters, or use a larger one for people with bigger appetites.

Plain juice ice-sicles: This works with any juice your family enjoys. Fill the ice pop maker with clear or brightly colored juice. Then put the popsicles in the freezer overnight or until frozen.
Juice and fruit popsicles: Drop a few small berries or slices of strawberry and pineapple cubes in the empty popsicle maker. Fill the slots with white grape or another clear juice and freeze.
Sweet almond milk and fruit: Put some small berries or colorful fruit slices in the slots in the mold, then fill the slots with sweet almond milk, insert the toppers, and freeze for a fruity, creamy and very pretty ice pop.
Candy and juice popsicles: Drop a few small pieces of candy, like gummy bears or Swedish fish in your ice pop mold. Fill it with clear juice or lemonade and freeze it overnight.

The keys to knowing how to make ice pops are so simple – they’re knowing what your family likes and making sure there’s a flat spot in your freezer to place the ice pop maker.

Then, just unleash your creativity and have fun putting together a variety of ice pop flavors.


Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe

I’ve been looking for easy ways to increase fiber and protein in my diet, and I LOVE having a granola bar for breakfast every day, but I’m not wild about the cost of buying pre-baked ones – so I started experimenting with making my own recipe.

Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe
Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe image courtesy of Pixabay

Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

These crunchy Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars are a little labor-intensive to make, but my family really loved them! They have the sweetness of a cookie and the healthful goodness of a high-quality protein and fiber bar without the high cost of store-bought protein and fiber bars.

One great thing about this recipe is – it’s so easy to change and adapt to meet your family’s preferences. So, if you’re feeling like munching on some sweet and nutritious treats, gather up your ingredients and kitchen products for baking, and let’s get started!

Ingredients for Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

  • 7 cups rolled oats (This is basically an entire 18-ounce container of oats)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Cooking oil spray

Steps for Making Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread the mix on a large 18×13-inch baking sheet. (If you don’t have  a large baking sheet, divide the ingredients in half and spread them out on a smaller baking sheet, but consider reducing the oven temperature by 25-degrees because it will be spread out thinner.)
  4. Stir the ingredients on the baking sheet every ten minutes for a total of 20-25 minutes.
  5. Pull the baking sheet (or sheets) out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 300-degrees.
  6. Pour the baked oats, nuts and chia seed mix back into the large mixing bowl. (This step was, for me, kind of awkward because it was hard to hold the big baking sheet steady enough to pour the food into the baking dish.)
  7. Put a saucepan on the stovetop and pour the honey and brown sugar in it.
  8. Set the burner to the medium heat setting and start stirring.
  9. Keep stirring for 5 minutes to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the honey.
  10. Quickly pour the vanilla and cinnamon into the sweet mix and stir thoroughly.
  11. Pour the sweet mix over the oat mix and stir until the oats, nuts, and chia seeds are coated with the sweet honey mix.
  12. Lightly coat the baking sheet with cooking oil spray.
  13. Press the granola mix into the baking sheet as tightly as you can.
  14. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (When this gets to about 25 minutes it’s a good idea to check it every few minutes because once the honey and brown sugar mix start baking, they scorch easily and your granola bars can end up with a burnt flavor.
  15. Let this cool for 10-minutes, then cut into the desired portions.
  16. Be sure to cut them before they’ve been out of the oven for 15-minutes, though, because they’re super tough to cut if they cool longer than 15 minutes.
  17. Portions: I cut them into 18 bars because this is what I have for breakfast and I want it to be comfortably filling – but you could go much smaller or bigger depending on your needs. If I were making them for snacking purposes, I would cut them much smaller than I do when making them for a meal replacement.

These high-protein, high-fiber Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars can be stored covered for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. (I put them in snack bags for convenience.)

How to Learn About Influencer Marketing

Before I get started on this review, I’d like to share that I received compensation and a free copy of this book, The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing by Joe Sinkwitz with a foreword by Dave Snyder, in exchange for posting an honest review here on Intrinsic Vicissitude.

The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing
The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing: Kindle Edition

I chose the Kindle version of the book because I love being able to start reading as soon as I get inspired by a topic.

One specific thing I liked about this book is that it includes information for both digital publishers and influencers.

I’m so happy to say I didn’t find anything I specifically disliked about the book; though I will note that it’s written for advanced readers.

My “day job” is copywriting for other businesses, and one thing that’s frequently stressed is to keep writing at around a fifth-grade to eighth-grade reading level to make it comfortable and enjoyable for readers, and I would guess this to be written at a level geared toward an advanced-level reader.

Influencer Marketing for Digital Publishers

One thing I deal with every day, as a small digital publisher, is figuring everything out on my own. So, I look for books that include information on how to do things to make my sites successful. That’s one reason I wanted to review this book, and really, I would have read it whether I had received a free copy or not. (That part was just a bonus on top of the info I got from the book.)

While I don’t want to give away the specific tips I found in the book that cover my situation and apply to my sites, I would like to mention that I found a lot of actionable information. When I read this type of instructional book, I read looking for things I can do that apply to whatever aspect of digital publishing I’m working on right then.

Influencer Marketing for Influencers

This is where this book, The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing, which is available on Amazon, really becomes a “win” for me. I get to enjoy life from both sides of the influencer marketing world because, in addition to being a digital publisher, I’m also dabbling in the influencer side of this equation through Intellifluence.

There’s SO much to learn about influencer marketing, though, like the part about being upfront when doing a paid review. The key seems to be in being honest, both in reviews to keep your credibility with your readers and social media followers – and with disclosures, which the book explains much better than I could.

This review is a perfect example of an influencer marketing campaign because I received something in exchange for reading and preparing an honest review of this book. (Really, though, if I hadn’t found the book “worthy”, I would have either returned what I received and declined to proceed with the opportunity or simply wrote what I thought and felt bad about it.) 

 

 

Maintaining Positivity When Moving to a New Part of the Country

Moving is a huge life change, and it can cause a lot of stress, whether you’re moving across town or to an entirely new part of the country. Browse through these easy tips for staying upbeat through the entire moving process, and share your tips for making a smooth move to new digs in the comments or on the Intrinsic Vicissitude Facebook page.

Atlanta Georgia Nightime Cityscape
Atlanta Georgia Night Cityscape image courtesy of Pixabay

Tips to Stay Positive When Moving

Avoid the Rush: Plan extra time to pack up your belongings in peace. If you have kids, schedule packing time while they’re at school or a babysitter’s so you can focus.

Use a Label-Maker: Mark each box you pack with both the room it goes to and a general list of its contents. This help keep the move organized and reduces confusion when you reach your new home.

Separate Things You Need to Have Handy: Pack the things you don’t expect to need immediately, and pack an overnight bag with the things you need sooner, like spare clothes and grooming supplies.

Know Where Your Treasures Are: Few things are more stressful and mood-wrecking than losing the things you value. If you expect to return for visits, consider putting your valuable things in a safe-deposit box. If you don’t expect to be back, consider keeping them on your person during the move.

Take Advantage of The Opportunity to Declutter: Clutter creates stress, so when you combine clutter with moving, it can really increase the amount of pressure you feel. Sell things you don’t really need on auction sites, or give away to charity for receipts you can use to get deductions when filing your taxes.

Advantages of Moving to a Big City Like Atlanta

Whether you prefer the lifestyle of the suburbs or the inner city, there are advantages to moving to a big city like Atlanta – and those advantages can add to how positive you feel.

Selection of Housing Types: When you’re browsing through the selection of  Atlanta homes for sale, it’s a breeze to find something that fits your taste and your lifestyle. You’ll notice styles that range from charming cabins to ranch-style homes, double-story family homes with porches to sit and relax, and mansions that practically ooze elegance.

Proximity to Amenities That Enhance Quality of Life: Living close to or in the city delivers advantages like being close to cultural venues, fitness activities, clubs, and people who share your interests. All these things ease the transition when you’re moving to a new location.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you find these moving tips helpful and positivity-boosting! 

Relieving Lower Back Pain With Yoga

I was in a car wreck in my early twenties, and over the years, the back pain has come and gone, and when it starts, it’s enough to take my breath away – but – I’ve found that regular stretching, like yoga, helps keep it from recurring.

Yoga for Lower Back Pain
Yoga for Lower Back Pain image courtesy of Pixabay

Why Yoga Stretches Help Relieve Lower Back Pain

Yoga and stretching can take some of the aches out of chronic backaches, as noted by WebMD.

A 12-week study found that yoga class participants found increased mobility, and after six months of yoga practice, the need for pain medication to relieve back pain dropped.

Intensive stretching classes were found to have similar results among participants, so if you feel like yoga isn’t ‘your thing’, you can still use the practice of stretching to ease the lower back pain you experience.

3 Specific Yoga Stretches for Easing Back Pain

You should talk to your medical practitioner before beginning any type of exercise because the last thing you want is to do something that damages your spine more when you’re trying to ease back pain.

Having noted that, these are some yoga stretches with a reputation for relieving backaches, as detailed by Everyday Health.

  • Downward-Facing Dog: This pose takes a fair bit of arm strength because your weight shifts forward onto your arms as your hamstrings stretch. The stretching in the back of your legs and building your back muscles are the reasons downward dog helps relieve lower back pain.
    • This is a pose I struggle with and find a bit uncomfortable, so I don’t really give it the time it may deserve. If you try it, let me know what you think of it.
  • Upward-Facing Dog: This pose stretches your abdominal muscles and lets you relax your back muscles. It also takes arms strength, but not as much as the downward dog pose does. I find I can feel my back muscles relaxing in increments as I settle into this position, so in my opinion, it’s worth holding the pose a bit longer.
  • Pigeon Pose: This is similar to the exercise called ‘hurdles’ from gym class. It’s like a cross between lotus position, with one leg curled close to the front of your body, and upward dog with the other leg extended back.
    • It works for easing back pain because it stretches your hip rotators, and if you’re able to raise the foot of the extended leg off the ground, which is admittedly an advanced move, then it also stretches the hamstring of that leg.

If you prefer to simply stretch instead of trying yoga, look for stretching exercises that engage your core muscles, stretch the lower back, hips, and hamstrings.

Alternative Strategies to Try for Relieving Back Pain

Not all types of back injury respond to stretching, that’s why it’s so important to talk to a  professional before taking on exercises that engage the spine and back muscles.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is an important strategy for lower back pain treatment. There are a lot of advantages to choosing physical therapy to relieve this type of pain because it combines the advice of a medical professional with effective techniques for healing.

Heat or Ice Therapy: Alternating between heat and ice therapy is known to be helpful in relieving back pain in some cases.

Therapeutic Massage: Therapeutic massage is an option that increases blood flow to stiff, achy back muscles to ease the pain.

Pain Medication: While some pain medications are available over-the-counter, it’s best to discuss the use of pain meds with a medical professional because some have side effects, and each has some limitations.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Let Go of the Hurt When Someone Lets You Down

Sometimes, life is just brutal, and you need to get away from your troubles to relax and regroup. It’s just a fact of life that things go wrong, people you trust let you down, and awful things happen that can’t be fixed – and that’s when you NEED to do something good for yourself.

When Someone Lets You Down
When Someone Lets You Down image courtesy of Pixabay

It Only Hurts You to Stay Mad When Someone Lets You Down

When someone lets you down, and you’re upset, the one who benefits from you letting it go – is you.

I hope you’ll excuse me using my own experience for this, but I recently had an experience where someone I trusted (a close relative) let me down – completely.

I wanted to just forgive it and not talk about it anymore, but the other person wouldn’t let it go – kept saying she had to make it right – but followed that seemingly noble sentiment with the information that there is no way to make it right.

She suggested a way to make it right – would it have? NO! But, I said, okay, let’s do that – just to have it over with. She decided she couldn’t DO that. Okay. So, quit talking about it. I’m busy and have no more time for this.

She created endless drama and stress over the course of the past three days, to the point I can’t sleep and am getting behind on my work.

I went, over the course of three days, from wanting to never talk about what she had done again and wanting to just let it go, to being utterly and completely, furious and wanting her to make it right.

This person went from apologizing over and over to trying to blame me, remember, I was the one who was betrayed, for something she did. (Typical narcissistic behavior.)

So, basically, I was starting to feel sick from internalizing the rage she was pushing on me, and I decided the conversation was over. I wrote my feelings on a sheet of paper and burned it in effigy.

It may sound silly, but I felt like the weight was lifted off my shoulders by simply letting go, and there’s actual science behind the risk of holding it in when something upsets you.

Some Things You Can Do to Get Over Feeling Hurt

Everyone deals with things differently, so browse through these ideas of ways to do something for yourself to see if you can find something that would help you let go of that ‘let down’ feeling so you can feel better.

After all, if someone lets you down, it isn’t your fault, it’s theirs. You shouldn’t suffer. They deserve to own it.

  • Write it out: If, like me, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper lets you release them, consider writing a letter to the offending person. You don’t have to send it. In fact, if someone hurt you, they don’t deserve to know how you really feel. That’s why I choose to burn my ‘release letters’ – I can literally watch the smoke carry my pain and anger away. I mean, I’m still kind of peeved right now, but I’m not angry like I was, and that’s better for my health.
  • Consider a getaway: Go somewhere like a health retreat Gold Coast for a vacation or go somewhere close for a soothing spa day.
  • Exercise: Choose your favorite kind of workout, from an intense boxing session to a gentle walk around the neighborhood.
  • Go inside yourself: Meditate or pray in a quiet spot.
  • Read something inspiring: Pick up a book on a topic that inspires you, or visit websites that cover topics that make you feel better about life.

When someone lets you down and they won’t ‘let it go’ – know that it’s about them and their baggage, and not about you. If you’re the victim in a situation, don’t let the other person push their guilt off onto you.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is walk away, to the extent you can, and do something positive for yourself.

Rewrite your life story

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