Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,000 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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6 Weeks Later and the Jar of Positivity

I’ve been away from my blog for about 6 weeks.  I’ve never taken a break quite that long before, not even when I gave birth to my son just over a year ago.

Even while I was away, my little blog generated lots of hits and I’m so thankful to all my readers for continuing to check out my blog!  Thank you!

Two Big Changes

Since I’ve been away, a few things have changed in my daily routine.  First, we added a new member to our family in the form of a live-in nanny for my son.  She’s great and my son fell in love with her almost immediately.  I couldn’t be more thankful for that.

Second, I returned to work in the office on a full-time basis.  I had dreaded this particular change for months, only to find out that it wasn’t half bad.  I’m enjoying having something else to do during the day and I still get to spend a few hours with my little boy each night when I get home.  I definitely feel lucky that the transition has been so smooth for all of us.

At first, I had no idea how I would make time for my skin care experiments.  Yet, in the past few weeks, I’ve managed to whip up batches of vapo rub, belly butter, and homemade deodorant.  Phew!  I’ve even been experimenting with new waxes.  It’s all about balance and now, I’m sure I’ll continue to find time for my skin care products.

The Jar of Positivity

To help my family kick-start this year, we decided to try something new.  We have introduced the Jar of Positivity.  I got this idea from a post I saw on Facebook and I loved it. Basically, we can write down anything that makes us smile or happy  on a little piece of paper and then stuff it into the jar.  We’ll save all the notes until the end of the year and then read them around Christmas time.  To be honest, I’m not sure that “Positivity” is actually a word.  Nonetheless, for 2014, it is in our household!

"Jar of Positivity"

“Jar of Positivity”


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2013 in review

Thank you 2013!

I’ve come to look forward to the WordPress Annual Report each year.  I’m thankful that my little blog has grown each year and this report shows that!  2013 was a wonderful year for my blog.  I met lots of like-minded bloggers and enjoyed sharing tips and tricks with you all.  Thank you!

The much awaited WordPress.com 2013 annual report

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


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A First Father’s Day Gift

This Father’s Day is a very special one in my household.  It’s my husband’s first father’s day as a dad!

I wanted to get him something that would remind him of our little guy, no matter where he was.  It took me a while to figure out the perfect gift, but eventually I decided to get him a pocket watch.

My First Etsy Purchase

First, I ventured into the world of Etsy for the first time.  I was looking for a pocket watch and found a few on Etsy.  I emailed each of the sellers and asked them about their watches and they all provided great information.  In the end, I bought a black pocket watch from Kristin at My Personal Memories .

The watch arrived a few days ago in a wooden box and perfectly intact.

Personalizing the Gift

I did two things to personalize this for my husband.  First, I had the front of the watch engraved with my son’s initials and birthday.  Kristin did that before sending me the watch in the mail.

Engraved Black Pocket Watch

Second, I affixed a lock of hair from my son’s first hair cut on the inside of cover of the pocket watch.  My hubby always makes sure that my son’s hair is styled nicely as well as trimmed properly, so I thought this would be meaningful for him.

Black Pocket Watch

The Finished Product

Now, my husband has a little reminder of our son that he can have with him at all times, no matter where he is.

Black Pocket Watch Black Pocket Watch


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Happify Your Life

How Happy Are You?

A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to be part of the Happify group.  I had never heard of Happify before and I had no idea how they found me.  Nevertheless, I kept an open mind and decided to check it out.  I’m so glad that I took the time explore it.  Here’s what I found out.

Happify Pioneer Badge

Happify

Happify is based on recent scientific breakthroughs that say that happiness is a skill.  It lays out five different skill areas that help people master the happiness skills.  They are Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, and Empathize.  The theory is that, by mastering these skills, you will be happier more often and enjoy life more!

Happify.com is just getting started and they have invited people to try out their happiness activities to help them refine their offering. I’ve been working on these skills for the past few weeks now.  It takes minimal time out of my day and I’m definitely enjoying life even more than before!

Happify Pioneers

As an early user of Happify, I am a Happify Pioneer.  Through this website, I’ve made connections with other Pioneers who are all working toward the same goal.  It’s great to hear all the wonderful ways they are taking time to enjoy life and take note of the small things that make our lives so rich.

Each of the activities that I’ve done through Happify are very simple.  You are challenged to savor the moment you’re in, share a Savoring the Momenthappy moment with a friend and invite them to do the same, or take time to spend with your friends and family.  These are all simple activities and ones that I often let slip by because I was too focused on the next thing on my To Do list.

I especially like the reminders to savor the moment.  With a new baby at home, I don’t want to miss out on anything.  This is an early photo of my son checking out his hands.  He’s already pretty good at being in the moment!

Want to be Happier?

Do you want to give this a whirl?  If you have five extra minutes to spare in your day, I highly recommend it!  You can check out the site here and if you’re interested, you can sign up in the same place.


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Giveaway Collaboration, The Skin Shop & GiG! You’re All Invited!

GiG: Blogging Is What We Do

We are so thrilled to announce to all our supportive GiG Members and followers across all our networks that we have been approached by one of the popular skincare and cosmetic brands in Korea, The Skin Shop, to collaborate with us for this amazing giveaway just for you! Three lucky GiG Winners will have the chance to grab all premium goodies from this brand’s range by simply entering this giveaway! (see below for more info)

The Skin Shop Giveaway

So, just a little backstory on the brand – The Skin Shop (TSS), with the tagline ‘Nature of the natural beauty cosmetic’ has been supplying nature-friendly cosmetics to their customers and has expanded since in the overseas market (Singapore, Taiwan, Cambodia, and soon in North America). This brand is currently endorsed by one of Korea’s popular ballad boy band called 2AM! (fangirling commence! :P)

The Skin Shop aims to present to you the magic…

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 7,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.