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Inside the September Box: Reset

Posted by Janelle Martel on

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Because September is synonymous with back-to-school and often feels like a fresh start, I wanted to capitalize on this feeling and offer a box filled with products to help uplift, energize, and motivate.

 

The 100-Day Happiness Planner ($29.99)

A good planner is essential, and this Happiness Planner takes things up a notch.  Rather than just focusing on productivity, the Happiness Planner focuses on happiness, gratitude, mindfulness, positive thinking, and overall self-development.

FloraHue Uplift Aromatherapy Roll-On ($12.50)

If you experience any sort of brain fog or chronic fatigue, you know how hard it can be to break through that drowsy feeling.  I chose this roll-on from Ontario maker FloraHue because it's perfect for increasing energy and confidence.  It's made with lemongrass, clary sage, patchouli, and lavender, and has a wonderfully uplifting citrus and floral scent.

Inner Echo Wish Bracelet ($7)

Another item to keep you inspired and uplifted during the day! Made with gemstones with different meanings, this bracelet is designed to be worn everyday.  When the string begins to fray, then you know your wish is on its way.

Chocolate Tofino High Seas Organic 70% Dark Chocolate Bar ($3.95)

I knew I needed some good quality dark chocolate in this box - the cacoa is a great brain booster!  The bar that I chose is made in Tofino, British Columbia, and has a sprinkle of Pacific sea salt along the bottom.  It's utterly delicious and satisfying, plus a dollar from each bar goes towards conserving our oceans. 

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Inside the August Box: Better Sleep

Posted by Janelle Martel on

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Sleep is such a tricky topic!  Whether you're dealing with chronic pain, restlessness, or your mind just won't stop running, getting your Zzz's on isn't always the easiest thing.  For this reason, our box send out at the end of August was filled with products to help you relax and drift off into restorative sleep.

 

Aren't You Fancy Lavender and Flax Eye Pillow ($22)

With a sleep box in mind, we knew that we had to include a soothing aromatherapy product.  This lavender and flax eye pillow from Toronto designer Andrea fit perfectly.  Filled with a blend of flax seed and dried lavender from a pesticide-free farm in Ontario, this lightly scented eye pillow provides a nice, relaxing pressure across your eyes combined with the smell of lavender.  Hand sewn with (super cute!) cotton fabric, this eye pillow can also be used hot or cold and is especially helpful for headaches.

 

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Good Common Sense Shower Steam Tab  ($3.55)

There's nothing like a warm bath or shower before bed.  Since we've included bath products in past months, I wanted to give shower lovers a treat this month!  Place this steam tab on the floor of your shower, and your shower instantly becomes a spa, filled with the essential oils of orange, frankincense, and rosemary.

 

Hazel & Ruby Crafternoon Dreamcatcher Kit ($19.99)

When insomnia strikes, it's often better to get up and do a repetitive activity instead of just laying there.  This Dreamcatcher Kit is perfect for this!  It's easy to make and, when you're done, you have a beautiful boho-inspired dreamcatcher you can hand near your bed.

The Deep Sleep Deck ($13.95)

Because sleep can be so complex, I wanted to include an item that had some helpful sleep suggestions.  The Deep Sleep Deck is awesome because it's not overwhelming like a book might be.  You can just keep the deck on your nightstand and pull out a card to follow when you're having trouble sleeping.  There are 50 natural sleep tips included. 

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Inside the July Box: Virtual Trip to the Beach

Posted by Janelle Martel on

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Anchor Me Bracelet Lost at Sea Cuff ($24.95)

Anchor Me makes jewelry that is centered around helping you feel like you're not alone.  Their Lost at Sea cuff bracelets were perfect for the beach-themed box.  This gorgeous bracelet is simple enough for everyday, and the morse code design is genius: that design on the bracelet actually says "Strength" .  I think this is a perfect reminder to wear on your wrist, but I also really love that it's just a little message for yourself that you can choose to share or not share.

Two Blooms Organic Lip Balm ($6.00)

A good lip balm is definately a beach day essential!  These lip balms are made on Vancouver Island, and are awesome because they're natural and vegan, meaning that they're really help to moisturize your lips long-term.

The Lemon Square ($3.50)

I knew I wanted to include a delicious treat to enjoy in this box, and The Lemon Square worked perfectly.  Handmade in Vancouver, it's made with fresh lemons and BC butter atop a graham cracker crust and all dusted with coconut.  This little square definately packs a punch!

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Buddha Board Mini ($16.00)

Before Caring Crate even launched, I knew I had to include a Buddha Board is one of the boxes!  This unique item lets you paint with water which slowly evaporates and disappears, leaving you with a blank slate.  It's an awesome tool for mindfulness, and is a perfect fit for our Beach box.

SeaLuxe Seaweed Mask ($12.00)

Made locally in White Rock, B.C., this mask is made with wild harvested kelp, spirulina, and sea clay to help nourish skin.  There really couldn't be a better face care product for this box!

 

Reviews

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3 Ways to Pursue Your Creative Goals When You're Stressed Out & Pressed for Time

Posted by Janelle Martel on

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Hobbies and passion projects aren’t just fun, they’re good for us.

Pursuing activities that get us out of our heads, give us more freedom than our day to day work, and revel in some creativity can actually re-fuel us for the other, more taxing parts of our lives.

Even if we know that a little down time pursuing our creative goals will make us happier in the long run, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier to find the time to actually make those goals and hobbies happen.

Today I want to share three of my favorites strategies for making creative and purposeful things happen -- especially when you’re dealing with stress, fatigue and burn out, and the idea of making things happen feels particularly daunting.

 

  1. Start with 15 minutes a day.

It would be lovely to spend hours and hours a week painting or writing, but if you’re like most people, it can be a struggle to actually make that happen between work, family and some semblance of a social life.

Instead, start with small, regular increments of your favorite creative hobby. Don’t underestimate how a small shift in how you spend your time can help you create the foundation for more creative time in the future.

Pay particular to how you feel after these mini-creative blasts. I bet these periods will leave you wanting more -- which is great! Try increasing your creative periods by 10 or 15 minutes a week as you shift your other responsibilities.

2) Join a group or a class.

In addition to helping you carve out set time each week or month for your passion project, the social component of a group or class can help provide friendship and creative support for both your work and your larger goal of prioritizing this time in your life.

Joining a writing a group helped provide a structure for my own independent writing projects. Instead of creating on my own, there was a shared pattern of creating, sharing and revision that helped move me closer to my goals and prevented me from wasting time over-thinking my work all on my own.

 

3) Plan your own retreat day.

 

 because it’s how I built my business while working full time.

A retreat day is an opportunity to create a conference or retreat for yourself. My retreat days often include learning (like a webinar), some must do business tasks, and lots of time for writing and planning content for my readers.

A retreat day consolidates your creative time into a single day or afternoon -- whenever you have a block of unscheduled time that you can take advantage of.

I like to create an agenda (and I share it with my husband so he knows that I’ll be unavailable!) and I make sure I have my favorite coffee ready for a day of creative work.

The most important component of a retreat day is how you approach it. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to perform or produce a huge amount of work, but rather to produce work and really enjoy the process.

 

I hope these strategies give you some ideas about how you can make time for your hobbies and passion projects, even when you’re dealing with obstacles. Instead of worrying about your creative output, pay attention to how you feel as you create and shift your energy and time to align with your passion.

 

--

Jenn Walker Wall is a Career Strategist and the founder of Work Wonders Coaching and Consulting. She helps busy and ambitious people make important career + life transitions and is the creator Pursuit: a 21 Day Work-Life Detox, launching in July 2016. For more tips + strategies, join the Work Wonders Community at www.workwonderscoaching.com.

 

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Inside the May Box: Spring Awakening

Posted by Janelle Martel on

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When I first started thinking about Caring Crate, I immediately knew that I wanted the products in the box to be absolutely incredible.  I put a lot of thought into carefully curating each box, choosing awesome products from awesome companies. Each box has a theme, so I really take the time to think about how the products can work together to create an overall experience.

Our first box was sent out in May, and the theme was "Spring Awakening".  I chose this theme because I think that spring is such a special time!  The sun is starting to come out, and there are so many new things blooming.  Here's what was included in the box:

Mindful Mandala Cards  ($18.99)

Colouring is such a huge, huge trend and I really love it for relaxing!  I absolutely love this kit for several reasons: First of all, a huge colouring book or page can be pretty intimidating for someone who is feeling overwhelmed, is new to colouring, or who experiences chronic pain.  Because these cards are so small, they're easy to pick up and colour for however long you'd like!  I also really love the quotes on the other side, and think these would be so beautiful hanging on your fridge, set in your windowsill, or even framed!  I also love that this kit packs everything you need into a small bag, making it super portable.

 

Scratch & Grain Coffee Cake & Muffin Kit ($8.99)

Baking can be such a relaxing practice because it's so methodical, and there's really nothing like a fresh out-of-the-oven treat.  These Scratch & Grain kits include 8 individually wrapped ingredients, and you add your own butter, egg and milk.  Because the ingredients are individually wrapped, you can customize the baking mix, and there are plenty of suggestions on the package to mix things up or to customize it so it's lower in fat or is vegan-friendly.  It's pretty much like baking from scratch, but requires less energy and planning, which is perfect if you're dealing with chronic fatigue. It's also certified organic and free of GMOs and preservatives.

 

Fable Naturals Lavender + Lemon Organic Body Balm  ($12.00)

Fable Naturals is a company based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, that focuses on using natural, skin-loving ingredients.  This Lavender + Lemon scent is incredible, and pretty much says everything I want Caring Crate to be: both calming and uplifting.  This soothing balm is made with cocoa butter, olive oil, beeswax, and a calendula flower infusion, and is great for dry skin, chapped lips, or smoothing flyaway hair.

 

 Potting Shed Creations Garden-in-a-Bag Lavender  ($10.00)

With the theme being 'Spring Awakening', I knew I wanted to include something that you could grow.  This Garden-in-a-Bag is perfect, because it includes everything you need to grow your own lavender, including seeds, growing medium, coconut tusks for drainage, and instructions.  Just smelling the lavender is relaxing and calming, but you can also use the flowers in tea, baking, or added to ice cream.

 

 

Pluck Teas

The May box also included two caffeine-free tea bags from Pluck Teas: Spa Day (a blend of peppermint, hibiscus, chamomile and rose) and After-Dinner Mint (chocolate mint).  These premium teas are blended in Canada in small batches and all the ingredients are sourced from local and ethical small farms. 

 

REVIEWS

 Mint to Inspire

A Year of Boxes

2 Little Rosebuds

The Everyday Warior

A

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