Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween Everyone!


I just wanted to take a moment to wish all my friends, fans, readers, their families, and anyone else who happens upon this post today a happy, scary, and safe Halloween!















Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Interview with Yogi & 365 Handstand Visionary, Lauren Rudick


Please welcome to The Eclectic Element the beautiful Lauren Rudick-Yogi and yoga teacher, handstand extraordinaire, and hater of olives!

I discovered Lauren through her truly awesome and inspirational project, 365 Handstands in 365 days. As I started following her handstand journey through pictures she posted on her Facebook fanpage, her spirit, inspirational outlook, and zest for life just immediately captured my attention, so naturally I had to see if she would do an interview on my website.

Lucky for me and all my readers, she agreed!


Lauren Rudick


Q. When did you start practicing yoga and what specifically brought you to want to start practicing and become a teacher?

I started practicing yoga in college when I was 18. I joined a gym and as a student couldn't afford a full membership. The membership I did have allowed me unlimited access to classes, but not the weight room or exercise machines. I tried yoga because it happened to fit in to my schedule. Before long I was hooked. I became a teacher shortly after I graduated from university. I had no intention of actually teaching yoga, I simply went to teacher training on the suggestion of my own yoga instructor from that gym who one day said, "What are you doing now that you've finished school?" When I said I felt a bit lost, she suggested I become a yoga teacher. I only went to teacher training because I thought it would be like a month-long vacation, a way to postpone real world decision making. My life changed the day I started that first YTT. It would only get better from there...


Handstand365: Day 171
Q. I "discovered" you when I came upon your 365 Handstands a Day Challenge via Facebook. What inspired and drove you to create and take on the handstand a day challenge?

I created the handstand challenge as a way of building community, uniting inversion addicted yogis everywhere. In addition, I wanted to inspire others to bring more play and silliness into life each day. I was also looking for a fun way to track my progress and to see if I could actually commit to doing something every single day. It has been a great experience so far! There are participants from all over the world handstanding in some gnarly places!


Q. Being healthy is obviously an integral part of your life. What kinds of things do you do to promote being healthy in your day-to-day life?

I don't really think about it too much anymore- being healthy has become part of who I am. But it is easy to make healthy choices when I don't keep junk in my house. My fridge and pantry are stocked only with healthy foods containing ingredients I can easily read. My theory on food is that if it doesn't go bad within 3-months, I probably don't want to ingest it. I also try to get outdoors at least once per day (having a dog makes this pretty easy) and most importantly to me, I am choosy about whom I spend time with. I try to surround myself with people who inspire, support, elevate and encourage me to be the best I can be.


Q. Share something random about yourself!

I hate olives. Love olive oil. I don't know why.


5 Element Necklace: Deep Sea
Q. I see you're also a fellow jewelry designer! What brought you to designing jewelry? 

I have always loved to craft. I bought pearls while I was living in China several years ago. During a snowstorm one evening I made a mala out of them. I got so many compliments that I made a few more. Eventually, after people kept asking where they could buy them my sister convinced me to open an online store and voila!


Q. Everyone goes through challenges on their journey. What are some of your biggest challenges you've had to face to date?

I have had many injuries! My biggest challenge was a hip injury that took four years to fully heal. It was a blessing though as I learned so much about the body and about myself. I learned that I am more resilient than I ever knew and that I can get through anything with enough patience and determination.


Q. Aside from being a yoga devotee and instructor, what other forms of exercise do you enjoy participating in? 

I love to snowboard and hike. I really just love to be outside. I also enjoy biking but only on flat surfaces! I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie and I love heights! Climbing, bungee jumping, scuba diving, hang gliding are all sports I've tried and enjoyed!


Q. What are some of your current projects in the works?

Currently, I am an ambassador for Freewaters Footwear. We are working together on creating a yoga service trip in the near future to promote sustainable tourism and clean water initiatives around the world. I'm also collaborating with a clothing company on some designs for yoga apparel. In addition to that, I've got two upcoming retreats in Nicaragua and Morocco that I am super excited for!


Q. If there was one piece of advice you can give to people, anything at all, what would it be?

I don't know anything more than anyone else. I'm just willing to go deep inside myself and lay it all out on the table. One piece of advice? Be honest, always. Tell the truth above all else. Share your own personal truth.



Connect:












Monday, October 28, 2013

Music Moves Me Monday(10/28)


Welcome to Music Moves Me Monday 164th week!

This meme is hosted by a group of seriously fantastic people-Dolly of XmasDolly, Stacie of Stacie Uncorked, Callie of JAmericanSpice, and of course we can't forget Cathy of Cathy Kennedy's Blog!

Also, a BIG thank you to this month's co-conductor....Naila Moon!

 
Here are the rules if you wanted to participate::

First step: Run over to You Tube, (or wherever), and lock and load! Get your pick for the theme of the week.

Second Step: Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button::


Photobucket


Third step: SIGN THE LINKY - Dance (follow) your host/hostesses, and grab their buttons.

Final step: Start lookin' for a partner and boogie on down to her blog, and say hello, and tag (follow) her/him, and leave a nice comment. If you've been tagged (followed) be hip, and get on over there, and tag (follow) her back and leave a comment.

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While it's another freebie week, Halloween is this Thursday so it's almost an unspoken rule that this 4M's MUST be Halloween themed!

Who does horror and Halloween better then Rob Zombie?! 

Enjoy ^.^




Rob Zombie--Living Dead Girl


If you're viewing this post through email, you can view the video Here.




Don't forget to link up your musical 
choices for this week!








Have a musical week everyone! 











Mailbox Monday(10/28)





Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...

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One of my best friends is overseas fighting for our freedoms, but he's never too busy to make his friends in the states smile.

He told me he was going to do this but I completely forgot about it until the complete 3rd season of Being Human literally showed up on my doorstep!

 Gotta love that kid :)











 This has been a longtime coming, let me tell you!

I've been in desperate need of a new bedspread and thanks to Jennifer and Shelley of Sweep Tight, I won myself one.

Well, a duvet from DENY Designs actually!








This particular win of mine is probably one of those more strange things I've won to date thanks to Shelley of Still Blonde After All These Years.

$68 hair ties from Bloom that are gold plated and sterling silver. That breaks down to $17 a tie.

Those are some pretty darn expensive hair ties!












I recently got a really neat Influenster.com VoxBox!

There are quite a few things to be experienced and reviewed in that little box, that's for sure.












I'm pretty excited to be able to do this particular delicious review!

Almondina contacted me in regards to a review AND a giveaway for my readers ;)

You better make sure to keep an eye out for this upcoming review!










What did YOU receive in the mail this week? 















Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Health Update Thursday(10/24)


As much as I would have loved to blog throughout this week (believe me, I have some really neat posts in store for the upcoming weeks) and keep up with everything I need to get done, at the beginning of the week my body suddenly said, 'Oh no, let's not.'

Hence why I've been MIA this past week. Although while you guys see no activity from your end, from my end it's pure chaos!

Combine all the posts that need to be written (reviews and giveaways included), nearly 500+ emails to sort through yet again, social media to update, jewelry to list, homework to do...Add on top of that my body boycotting me and it has gotten to be quite stressful as of late.

While I'm thankful the leg weakness is currently at a minimum, this crippling fatigue can take a hike! Take right now for instance; I have all this stuff that I can be doing and it's taking everything I have just to get through this post and not cry from the fatigue.

The weather has changed here in Illinois to very overcast and cold (we did see our first snowflakes of the season yesterday. Ick!), so with that comes more joint pain and headaches.

Something has been up with my eyes as well; the past week they've been 'tired' and things like the computer and books are getting too fuzzy to read. I'm not quite sure what that means, but it can't be good. An eye doctor appointment is going to be needed within the next month or so if this doesn't let up.

I went and saw a new doctor yesterday and I'm quite excited to say this one holds a lot of promise! The first thing she did after getting my history and the things I'm doing is lean towards to natural route with lots of herbs, supplements, and she even recommended I go back to acupuncture again.

I'm still cautious when it comes to new doctors, however I'm cautiously optimistic that I may have found myself a new primary.

That is my current status in a nutshell and now I'm going to go to bed before I start to cry. Or pass out. Or both.





Thursday, October 17, 2013

At Long Last: Official Deliver Man Poster Released! #DeliveryManFilm




DreamWorks Pictures’ “Delivery Man” stars Vince Vaughn as affable underachiever David Wozniak, whose anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years earlier resulted in 533 children. David must now embark on a journey that leads him to discover not only his true self but also the father that he could become. 

 At long last, the official poster for DreamWorks Pictures' Delivery Man is released! Having been lucky enough to be invited to an advanced screening of Vince Vaughn's newest movie, I quite enjoy the look of the poster.




Delivery Man comes to theaters November 22nd, 2013!



Fans who Retweet this poster with the hashtag #DeliveryManSweeps have a chance to win gift cards for gas, flowers, music and more.

Follow @DeliveryManFilm for more info!




Connect:

Instagram: DeliveryManMovie








Wednesday, October 16, 2013

BIC Mark-It Permanent Marker Review & Creative Project #BICMarkIt


Disclaimer: I was provided a full-sized 36-pack of BIC Mark-It Permanent Markers and a project-supply kit from Smiley360.com in order to facilitate the below review. I will also be entered in to the BIC Mark-It Permanent Marker Pin It To Win It Sweepstakes with my project entry. All opinions expressed in the post are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Please do your own research  before committing to buy a product or service because your opinions may vary.




Being in college is definitely part of a person's life that can be undeniably exciting, opening a new chapter as well as sad because you're simultaneously closing another. It can be freeing if you're moving far away from home and scary because you're venturing off on your own for the first time ever in your life.

Add stressful, chaotic, and life-altering to that list of adjectives someone can, and inevitably does, feel and that about sums up the college experience!

BIC Mark-It wants to make the college experience a little better one colorful marker at a time with their permanent markers.

"Permanent Markers offer long-lasting color and durable nibs that are great for marking on surfaces such as plastic, metal, glass, cardboard, wood, photos, oily and damp surfaces. All markers contain acid-free ink, no added acid; no measurable pH. And with 36 colors, the creative possibilities are endless!"

With 36 colors in their BIC Mark-It Permanent Marker set, you only have to pick up a single marker and the creative ideas start flowing which can be a perfect inspiration for those tough college projects students inevitably come across throughout many of their classes.


The Project





Thanks to BIC Mark-It and Smiley360.com, I was sent a whole set of their 36 exceptionally vivid colors in a convenient fold-over case to play with along with several other goodies to aid in the creative processes: two small canvases, three different colored ribbon rolls, and three different colored glitter pens.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to utilize the ribbons or glitter in this specific project, but the rest was fair game along with a few of my own additions!


The Process



Let the creative juices flow!


Working with the markers was a lot of things-enjoyable, easy to use, fun, and oh-so colorful are just a few that pop immediately to mind. I used paper (newspaper and computer paper) and the mini canvases I was sent for this particular project and the markers worked beautifully for each of those two mediums. I honestly can't wait to see how they'll work for many others!

Considering permanent markers have somewhat of a bleed when working with paper, I ran into that problem throughout my project which got to be a little frustrating, but it all ended up working out in the end.

While I wasn't able to incorporate the ribbon or glitter in this project, I contributed several things from my own creative stash including various buttons that matched the colorful markers, colorful seed beads, newspaper, and some gorgeous silver chain from my jewelry making stash.

I wanted the colors of the markers to be the main focus along with my creative vision and I think those two focuses were perfectly met (if I do say so myself that is)!


The Results


"Be"


I really love the look of multimedia so I opted to try my hand at a multimedia project and I really love the way it turned out! When in college, sometimes the stress, frustration, and chaotic go-go-go lifestyle can get to you. During those tough times, this project is supposed to be a reminder to just BE...

Be inspiring.
Be strong.
Be ferocious.
Be beautiful.
Be gleeful.
Be colorful.

Just BE.


What's YOUR just be?
Just Be ________.




Connect:








Win It Wednesday(10/16)





Win It Wednesday is a day for showcasing, browsing, entering, and linking up contests-Have a contest that needs a little extra exposure? Feel free to link it up!

NOTE:: Linking up your contests on my Win It Wednesday linky below automatically puts them on my Ongoing Contest Linky.

DOUBLE NOTE:: You only have to submit your contest link ONCE because I manage the ongoing list myself, deleting contests as they expire.



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 Win a Shiloh Farms Prize Package!!


Ends October 16, 2013


Enter Here

 







Win a 11×14 Custom Wood Print from Woodsnap.com!!


Ends October 22, 2013


Enter Here











Image Credit



Enter to Win a Pair of Mahala Boots from Lugz.com!! 


Ends October 27, 2013


Enter Here





















Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Lunch Date at NIU Student Run Bahama Breeze Restaurant


My lovely friend is studying to be a dietician at NIU and part of one of the classes she's taking in her final year required her and her whole class to run and operate a real restaurant for a day, which ended up being set for October 8th.

She put out an invitation out on Facebook to her friends and family to join her to enjoy a Caribbean meal at Bahama Breeze, her and the other students' restaurant that specialized in authentic Caribbean food.

Being a huge supporter of my friend, I immediately made reservations (yes, you even had to make reservations!) for two and had myself a good ol' fashion lunch date with another girlfriend of mine!





My friend picked me up and we drove the 45 minutes down to Dekalb for our lunch date. I've only been to the NIU campus a few times so I was pretty lost but thankfully my friend had experience with the campus so she knew where we were going.

We got there in the nick of time and were seated right away at a beautifully set table! 




Then, the food began!


Plantain chips with Cilantro Sauce

First up was the appetizer: homemade plantain chips with a cilantro dipping sauce. I honestly came into this not knowing what the heck a plantain was, let alone what it tasted like! After doing a little research, I found out a plantain is part of the banana family and is starchy, low in sugar, and cooked before serving because it's not consumable raw.

The cilantro sauce was a mixture of cilantro, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, and mayonnaise.

Put together, all I can say is Holy. Yumminess! My friend and I seriously could NOT get enough of this. We even took to spreading the cilantro sauce on a few other things throughout the meal (yeah, it was that good).


Shrimp Cocktail with Mango Dipping Sauce

For our starter we were given the choice between a shrimp cocktail with mango dipping sauce or Caribbean black bean soup. I, of course, had to opt for the shrimp cocktail because I'm a shrimp kinda girl and I love mango anything, which ended up being a good decision on my part!

Coming with 3 gorgeous and plump shrimp, this starter was completed with a zesty mango sauce that I literally fell head over heels in love with. While it was so hard to choose a favorite out of the meal, I think I've got to say this was mine.


Turkey Jerk with Pineapple Cucumber Salsa & a side of Caribbean Rice


Again, for our entree we were given the choice of pork jerk with pineapple cucumber salsa and a side of Caribbean rice or a vegetarian black-eyed pea stew with spicy pumpkin. While I'd love to have sampled both, my friend and I both went for the pork jerk, which actually ended up being a turkey jerk because they ran out of the pork!

Regardless I don't think we missed much; the turkey was tender and flavorful, especially with that cucumber salsa on top. The salsa added quite a lovely sweet and spicy kick with each bite.

The rice was pretty good too with little bits of butternut squash mixed in.
 

Margarita Angel Cake


Between the mango coconut rice pudding and the margarita angel cake, I had to opt for the cake because 1.) my friend made the gorgeous tropical lime drizzle and 2.) it has margarita in the name. Duh!

I'm not usually a fan of angel food cake but this was definitely a pleasant surprise with the tropical lime drizzle topping. It was definitely extremely flavorful with a mixture of sweet and a little sour, which complimented the cake very nicely.



I, of course, had to flag our gracious hostess down as she was making her rounds around the tables full of guests to gush over compliment her and her fellow restaurant staff of classmates on a job well done and to snap a picture because I was going to blog about this.

Don't worry though, I already warned her a blog post was inevitable!


My date and I!


My date and I were extremely impressed with everything that was put into this experience; from the atmosphere of the dining room to the downright deliciousness of everything that hit our plates to the presentation of everything from the food down to the carefully decorated tables, you can tell that the students really put their all into this project and it showed.

Our thanks to the dietetic and hospitality students for such a fantastic date afternoon!






Food Should Taste Good Going Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness!


Disclaimer: I was provided products from Food Should Taste Good in order to facilitate this post. All opinions below are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Please do your own research before committing to purchase a product or service as your opinions may vary. 



Image Credit



For the 3rd year in a row, the natural and Non-GMO snack food company, Food Should Taste Good, is transforming their Multigrain, Sweet Potato, Blue Corn, and Olive chips packaging pink for October's Breast Cancer Awareness month!

Food Should Do Good is their initiative to help support, raise awareness, and raise funds for various important causes and a cure for breast cancer is on their agenda this month. With a donation of $100,000 to Play for P.I.N.K (regardless of sales of their products) and going pink for the month of October, they're really doing what they can to help the cause.

All funds collected by Play for P.I.N.K goes directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation for life-saving research. Having raised $29.7 million to date, Play for P.I.N.K is one of the leading foundations helping keep researchers at the forefront of discovery and progress!






Do YOU know of anyone who has been affected by breast cancer?








Monday, October 14, 2013

Not Your Normal Sock Monkey: Planet Sock Monkey Review!


Disclaimer: I was provided Long Sock Silver and Magenta Beetsch from Patch Products to facilitate this review. All opinions in the post below are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. Please do your own research before committing to purchase a product or service as your opinions may vary.





While I'm nearly 24 years old (next month is my birthday), I'm still a big kid at heart. Ask anyone! I love to build blanket forts, own a crayon tower and at least three different coloring books, have a bag of tinker toys, and I still watch cartoons.

That's why when given the opportunity to review Patch Product's newest line of kid's toys, I'm proud to say I was pretty darn excited!

Cue Planet Sock Monkey and their not-so-traditional line of sock monkey characters!


"Planet Sock Monkey™ is a limited edition, collectible soft doll line full of bold style and unconventional attitude, daring to go where no monkey has gone before. Each 10" knit sock monkey comes clothed in its signature, detailed fashion and features a unique accessory. These characters are only available for a limited time, so snatch them up before they hightail it outta here! But no worries, more characters will arrive to take their place…"


Planet Sock Monkey has a line of 6 alternative sock monkeys that are available:

-Ima Bananerd
-Eaton Dedd
-Long Sock Silver
-Magenta Beetsch
-Star Harmonkey

Each 10" knit sock monkey comes dressed in a signature style, complete with detailed quirky accessories.

Can you guess which two I was sent to review?!



Long Sock Silver is a dreaded looking pirate complete with eye patch, swashbuckling boots, and long silver sword.

As captain of the Black Banana (the biggest, beautifulest ship in the sea), his crew reveres him as a great adventurer and a hero!

You don't want to get in a tangle with this tough lookin' matey and his crew!

Quote from Long Sock Silver: "Bein' nefarious makes fer a good time!"




Magenta Beetch is one tough chick with her magenta colored hair, punk clothing, lip ring, and skull bag.

If you can be cool, you might want to check out her band, The Sweaty Socks, where you'll find Magenta laying down some rockin' drum beats!

Want something inked or pierced? Magenta is your monkey!

Quote from Magenta Beetsh: "You Only Live Once."



When they say these dolls are detailed, they aren't kidding! I was pretty surprised when they arrived; The unique clothing, the hair, the matching accessories...I mean Magenta Beetch even has a lip ring which I thought was pretty neat.

Each sock monkey definitely has a unique personality which shines through their description, apparel, and little details like the bio Patch Products includes on their packaging and the small accessory that comes with each monkey.

Overall they're very well constructed but I do think the warning label for 8 years and older is a good one; Unfortunately Long Sock Silver's hook was detached when it arrived to me and while that's no issue to fix on my end, it can be hazardous to younger children if that happened to them!


Long Sock Silver and Magenta Beetsch just monkeying around!


If you're interested in collecting all 6 of these sock monkey characters, make sure to to so soon. These characters are only available for a limited time and will be replaced with a whole new set of fun, edgy monkeys before you know it!


Connect:










Music Moves Me Monday(10/14)


Welcome to Music Moves Me Monday 162nd week!

This meme is hosted by a group of seriously fantastic people-Dolly of XmasDolly, Stacie of Stacie Uncorked, Callie of JAmericanSpice, and of course we can't forget Cathy of Cathy Kennedy's Blog!

Also, a BIG thank you to this month's co-conductor....Naila Moon!

 
Here are the rules if you wanted to participate::

First step: Run over to You Tube, (or wherever), and lock and load! Get your pick for the theme of the week.

Second Step: Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button::


Photobucket


Third step: SIGN THE LINKY - Dance (follow) your host/hostesses, and grab their buttons.

Final step: Start lookin' for a partner and boogie on down to her blog, and say hello, and tag (follow) her/him, and leave a nice comment. If you've been tagged (followed) be hip, and get on over there, and tag (follow) her back and leave a comment.

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Another week, another freebie and this one my dad actually introduced to me.

Go figure!

Enjoy ^.^




Lorde--Royals


If you're viewing this post through email, you can view the video Here.




Don't forget to link up your musical 
choices for this week!








Have a musical week everyone! 











Mailbox Monday(10/14)





Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...

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Food Should Taste Good surprised me with two of their products that have gone pink for October's Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I can't wait to share about the initiative and the good this company is doing!
















Planet Sock Monkey has come out with a line of 6 rockin' sock monkeys (seriously, one of them is a rock star) and guess who gets to review two of them?

This girl :)

I'm such a big kid at heart!












Thanks to a giveaway from Scarlet of Family Focus Blog and Sucre Sweet Boutique, I won THE most delicious artisan chocolate and signature macaroons EVER!

I'm surprised there are still some left!












Through their online instant-win promotion, I was able to win one of the Van's Natural Food's snack packs they were giving away plus a $1.00 off coupon!

Food doesn't last too long so this baby was gone within minutes.















My good friend and author Diane Wing has written another book, this one about the nature of energy, and I'm so happy and honored she sent me a book to review!

She even sent a signed copy just for moi ^.^













What did YOU get in the mail this week? 









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