{Bits+Bytes for the Weekend}

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!

It’s a short week for us in the US since Friday is the 4th of July.  This weekend my other half and I decided to take it easy this weekend for some time to catch our breath after lots of recent travel, work and general chaos.  Some of that ‘take it easy’ time will include some reading (I’m about 3/4 done with Philip K. Dick’s The Man In the High Castle), as well as catching up on some TV/movie watching!

.And hopefully we squeeze in a few healthy activities too – which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to share my Breakfast Boost smoothie recipes! Here’s the first of a few recipes I’ve been tweaking:

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My So-Called-Luddite Life

Bonjour, bons amis, Joyeu Lundi!

I have recently discovered in my mid-30s that I’m facing a new challenge that I would have NEVER guessed would be on my “in your 30s” list: I regularly have trouble sometimes falling asleep at night, or staying asleep through the night.

I used to be able to sleep 8-10 hours undisturbed, no problem. Growing up, my family used to make fun of me because I would sleep so soundly, I wouldn’t even move or change positions in bed. But alas, time has brought about this new struggle, and I’m determined to fix this problem.

dog sleeping, dog snoring, sleeping problem, light sleeper, heavy sleeper, unwinding, unplugging, relaxing

I used to sleep as soundly as this guy…

My 9-5 9-6 9-7 gig requires being connected to a laptop, blackberry, cell phone, Twitter and lots and lots of email correspondence every day. So by the time I get home in the evenings, usually while I’m winding down and cooking/eating dinner, my brain is still racing, overwhelmed with data, emails, things to do, follow-up emails to send, etc.

The other half of this growing problem is self-induced. I am and have always been quite curious about lots of ‘things’ and ‘stuff,’ and I love to learn, even if the majority of this ‘stuff’ is only fit for the first round of Jeopardy at best. However, compound this curiosity with the work communications, and it takes far longer to turn my brain off for sleep at night. I have self-diagnosed this as a condition I call ‘Communication Fatigue.’

Symptoms include:

  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night for more than five hour increments, and to ‘quiet’ my mind
  • Forgetfulness of basic things: what I wore yesterday, what I ate for lunch yesterday, my coworker’s name (even though we’ve worked together for years…), the reason for walking into a room, etc.
  • Inability to finish any one task because of being distracted by an email, phone call, text message, cell phone notification, etc.
  • General disdain for making/receiving phone calls after 7pm from family and/or friends (sorry!!)
  • Inability to stop thinking about the day’s communications, world problems, career path, need to better one’s diet, need to exercise more, need to do everything more and better…

This recent issue may seem insurmountable, but I have found some very helpful methods of coping with this first-world problem, the most important being:

UNPLUG.

Remember the days when you were a kid and evening dinner time was sacred? My dad used to take the phone off the hook to keep anyone from disturbing our dinner. Looking back, I realize that I need to bring some of that slowed pace, sanctity and regard to my personal time, in order to be 100% ready for the very next day’s challenges.

This doesn’t mean that from 7pm until 7am the next morning, I refuse to check or answer an email, call to check on a family member or friend, or not look up silly YouTube videos or surf the net. Rather, it means that I adjust my priorities and set some limits.

I’ve found a number of tips on how to ‘unplug’ and hopefully overcome this new sleep challenge:

  1. Set a hard-stop in the evenings for email, both work and personal, cell phone and general online surfing. After that time, don’t look at your phone or check your email until the next morning. You can even set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” on the iPhone and “Silencify” on Android devices so that you aren’t disturbed throughout the evening with bells, beeps, and other annoying sounds.
  2. Use your commute to unwind. If you’re driving, listen to an audiobook, or create a playlist on your phone/iPod/etc with your favorite relaxing music. You’re in your car alone, so don’t be afraid to play your favorite Neil Diamond, Simon & Garfunkel or Michael Bublé songs. If you take public transportation, keep a book, magazine or newspaper on you to do some light reading on your way home.
  3. If you have a TV in the bedroom, and it was made in the late 90s or later, you have this little thing called a “Sleep Timer” – use it!
  4. If you have a bathtub, buy some scented bath oils/salts/bubble bath (here are my faves), a bath caddy (this is a handy and sturdy one that fits a wine glass!) and bath pillow (like this no-slip pillow) – all essential for enjoying one night a week with a great book (even if it gets wet, it isn’t ruined forever, unlike a cell phone or tablet…), your favorite wine or cocktail (even the guys can enjoy a bath if gin & tonic are involved!) and soothing personal time.

    The Big Lebowski, Big Lebowski, The Dude, manly bubble bath, bathtub, bath, relaxing, unplugging, unwinding

    even The Dude himself would agree with tip #4… photo: Universal Pictures

  5. Turn off most lights in your home after a certain hour and burn a few pleasant candles. The dark ambience and mood will help your body naturally relax for sleep.

Of course, all of the above tips are subject to change, circumstances, exceptions, emergencies, children/family members cooperating, etc. But you get the idea. By incorporating a few into my daily routine, I hope to find that deep sound sleep I once knew so well.

Here are a few other resources I’ve found to help unwind, unplug and overcome my sleep challenge!!

Do you have any tips for unwinding in the evening and regaining some sanity from the everyday technology chaos?

Well, I’ll be home soon to start my official Luddite-evening. Until tomorrow, mes amis!!

♥ – LBH

For Every Door That Closes…

Bonjour, bon ami!!!

head heels standards high quotes words of wisdom girl power
{my personal mantra}

We all know the ol’ adage, “For every door that closes, a new one opens.”  I can’t say how true these words are as of recent in my own personal life.  The universe works in mysterious ways, and after watching a door close, immediately a floodgate opened.

music concert rock & roll festival balloons crowd live band act
{weheartit.com}

I work in marketing and advertising in my 9-5 life, and I now have the pleasure of working for an amazing agency handling the funnest account I’ve ever had the opportunity to work on: MUSIC.

 

madonna throwback like a virgin early years jacket icon music 80s prayer
{yes, Madge…}
madonna super bowl 2012 halftime show icon jean paul gaultier queen of pop give me all your lovin{THE Madonna}

During my first day in the office, I sat in a meeting with Madonna’s staff.  Not too shabby so far…

crystal cruises ship travel sailing luxury vacation international penthouse premium best line{crystal cruises}
crystal cruises ship travel sailing luxury vacation international penthouse premium best line{crystal cruises}

And just to appease my love for all things glamorous, I also have the the great pleasure of adding to my roster of clientele the best cruise line in the world, as deemed by Travel + Leisure for the last 16 years: Crystal Cruises!!

It has been only one week, and I am just so very excited for the incredible experiences and stories to come.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

victory oscar de la renta new york fashion week 2012 glamorous glamour fashion couture runway show black gown success
{fromme-toyou}

 

Je gagne!!!

I do hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Unfortunately all this recent running around and change has brought me a cold that I’m trying to shake off this weekend, but I know by Monday I’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed once again.

Until then, here’s to la belle vie, bon ami!!

LBH