Elevated Living: A is for Amber Budd Atelier

I met Amber Budd in the craziest of ways here in Boston, that in truth- would need to be a post of on it’s own! We were both new to Boston, and starting new jobs, not having the slightest of clues where life would take us. That being said, my namesake has not only moved on from Boston, but moved on with her career by opening: Amber Budd Atelier in Burnsville, Minnesota.

I’ll never forget the first time she taught me how to do “Smokey Eyes.” The best part is, it was with neutral toned colors, to highlight and accentuate for ‘Elevating The Everyday.’ I wasn’t one for much makeup, or the time I thought it took to look all fashionable and put together; but Amber Budd made it simple. She spoke my language and translated make up into ways that even I could understand.

She showed me what brushes to use and why, and the importance of blending. Even more, the importance of the best tools you have- your hands and yourself! To only do what feels natural, and use as little or as much as you wanted. Depending, of course, on how dramatic your inner Diva was feeling that day.

I think of her now that I’ve “mastered” liquid eyeliner. (I use “mastered” lightly, as I’ve finally figured out how to match the straight even line on BOTH eyelids- Hallelujah!) And I enjoy sharing the fact that I’ve found “my red lipstick,” which as she proclaims is the “Holy Grail.” And she’s right.

Amber Budd is truly an artist. Her joy is contagious as she shares what is not only a passion, but a gift as well. It’s a privilege and an honor to see her grow and learn as she hones her craft. Her light shining brighter as she shares it with the world; but never overpowering her signature make up brush strokes, a solid defined eye, and lips that pop. Just one of the many ways, to Elevate Your Everyday!

Keep up with Amber and All Things Made Up by Amber here: http://www.amberbudd.com/   @AmbersAllMadeUp on #Twitter @AmberBudd on #Instagram  https://www.facebook.com/amberbuddatelier on #Facebook

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

 

Elevated Living: Joos Day 6 (11.23.13)

Day 6: Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Today was uneventful. I’ve never been so thankful for that. I’ve entered into a wonderfully developed routine, of ease and simplicity, grounded and sustained in my very own “Om” and relaxation. I will live in this place forever!

Woke up to blog, drink my warm lemon water and get ready for the day. I started off with “Vitality” chia for breakfast. My stomach had been upset the last day or two, so I upped my intake of water to maintain my hydration, and continue it’s, ‘self-clean,’ if you will. I think I’m fighting whatever is going around, and Joos is The General in this war. Thankfully, we’re winning. Or, it could be my body getting rid of more than just the day to day, but hardcore muck I’ve accumulated over the days, months, and years prior to this cleanse.

I’ve never felt this light?! Fresh, and clean, on the inside! Yes, I have lost a few pounds, and it’s exciting. It wasn’t a goal, but an unexpected side effect. Not just for vanity’s sake, but on a health tip that my body is letting go of what it doesn’t need. A lesson that I am sure my body is telling me to carry on into other ways of my life 🙂

Furthermore, I’ve developed long term habits and knowledge to maintain this style. Do I plan to be vegan for life? Probably not. But who knows. I know foods and such that I craved just days ago, I have no desire for. Things I thought I needed, are now questions of, ‘where does this come from?’ and ‘how will this actually benefit me?’

My snacking has stopped. Yes, you read that right! A grazer for life, I give my body a break between meals now. Aware and alert, and in becoming so, I’m more conscious of things that I say and do. Less reactive, and more intentional. I’ve shifted priorities, and perspectives, taking time and giving time to myself in quiet ways.

Lunch was another delicious meal of spinach, pinto beans, mushrooms, carrots, avocado and all kinds of goodness. Smaller now, which isn’t too surprising. I was always the one that would have an appetizer for a meal, or only finish half of my entree and take the rest home. They sure are healthier meals now though!

I brought my “Antioxidant” Joos for dinner to the Faneuil Hall tree lighting. Part of me wishes I had taken a cup of my new “Le Digestif” tea from at David’s Tea to keep me warm, as it was colder than I anticipated. However, having dinner on the go, while taking in the twinkling lights was quite festive and wonderful. I loved being outdoors, drinking in the excitement of the holidays around me, while drinking in the goodness of Joos on the inside.

Leaving before the actual tree lighting, as it was just too cold and crowded for my taste, I went back home feeling festive, and alive, and thankful; and it was more than any holiday gift could aspire to be.

Joos Day 6: Tree Lighting

 

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Joos Day 5 (Friday 11.22.13)

Day 5: Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Today was the perfect day with my Joos cleanse. I woke up feeling rested, even though I had interrupted sleep as I was on-call. I didn’t feel hungry, and my morning “pre-breakfast warm-lemon-water” was the perfect temperature. Then I read the email for Joos Day 5 focusing on the “What” and “How” of the cleanse.

“2. The HOW to eat: That requires waiting approximately 4 hours in between meals so that, simply put, your metabolism works more efficiently. We do not emphasize this on the shorter Reboot programs, but if you feel like you’re getting the hang of this, you may want to give it a try. Typically, though, the HOW is more challenging than the WHAT.”
Whoops! I have been grazing all throughout the past 4 days, so thought I’d give it a try today, Friday, Day 5, to curb my snacking. I started off with “Antioxidant” with chia for breakfast. I drank it in a reasonable time around 9:30am-10am. I think my focus and determination was on my side today, as I didn’t even feel hungry until around 11:45am. At this point I had more than 1/3 of my daily water requirement and was sipping on “Joos Elixir Pinapple.”
With no snacking at all, I made myself a vegetable and protein rich lunch, around 1:30pm/2pm. I tried my new black bean soup by Dr. McDougall’s. Unreal!!! Another ‘where-has-this-been-all-my-life’ moment?! Oh- I know, probably hidden somewhere under the vegan and/or gluten free stereotype.
 Dr. M Soup Front Dr. M Soup Back

Thank God for the freedom to go beyond ideas and images of what being vegan is and means; to just simply enjoy good healthy food. I’m not trying to downplay any doctrine here. I’m just stating that I know there’s much, that even a daring and open person like myself, has avoided in context of labeling. Alas, here I was, slightly unaware this world of goodness, richness and bounty! I say slightly, because I’ve explored areas of vegetarianism, but never Vegan until this cleanse in June and now.

Keeping up with my water intake, I had a side of spinach, onions and mushrooms sauteed in seasoned oil, and kiwi for dessert. Without even feigning snacks this afternoon, by my “Citrus” Joos dinner I had consumed more than my suggested daily amount of H2O. Being the weekend, and in relaxation mode, I consumed even more in my spa like evening, having the apartment to myself.

Candles lit, “Cafe Del Mar” playing on my Pandora “Yoga Station” I am just so there. That wonderful place we all strive to reach that seems outside of ourselves and our grasp. The positive vibrations we are all too distracted to hear. So please, do yourselves a favor over this weekend. Make the time, to take the time, to find this place. Invest in yourself. Be aware of not only what you put inside of your body, but what –and whom– you surround yourself with. Ask yourself; in what ways can you enhance, and ‘Elevate,’ your environment? It could be as simple as buying a scented candle, drinking more water, or taking 10 mins out of your day for quiet, private, YOU time. That, my friends, is Elevated Living.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Joos Day 3 (11.20.13)

Day 3: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Today was going to be my turn around day, I knew it. It had to be; I’d found my rhythm! Plus, Joos says that usually by day three any headaches or sluggish feelings dissipate. I was definitely on a roll starting off bright and early today too. (Note: It usually takes your body about three days to adjust to changes with any cleanse or habit.)

I drank my warm lemon water and waited my allotted 30 minutes before having my “Citrus” chia for breakfast. Amazing, I loved it more than the “lemonade.” It was a great Joos progression (::pats self on the back::) and I loved the addition of grapefruit for breakfast. All the families I’m currently working with are coming down with ‘something’ so I’m glad to recharge on all these fresh fruits, vegetables, and extra C too!

I think that’s part of the transition with the cleanse this time around. I knew it would be different, having done 3 days in the mid-June, versus doing 7 days mid-November. It was easier to quench my thirst in the summer, while now, I yearn for heartier and warmer, items. Today though, I had my focus, and realized a huge misstep that probably contributed to being sluggish: PROTEIN!!!

In the summer I could get away with a salad no problem, but where was my protein intake the last two days?! With all that was going on, I decided a bit of exercise would help too. Most people think that when you’re tired you need rest, but sometimes you just need to jumpstart your body! I did some jumping jacks, crunches, and push-ups to get my heart rate up and my blood moving before lunch.

I made myself a wonderful serving of pinto beans, with the addition of avocado to my usual lunch and by now had already consumed about 3/4’s my daily water requirement.

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BOOM BABY! It was like a light went on.
The feeling of sluggish-ness was gone within the hour.
I felt centered and whole again.

That being said, even while I was feeling sluggish, I felt sustained, calm, and relaxed. There’s no caffeine crash or sugar low, it’s more like a plateau. The daily email also said, “Today is usually a transition day.  If you been feeling tired, sluggish or have a bit of a headache today is usually the last day. People start to feel great and more energetic by Day 4!” That, makes me feel very good, thankful, and happy. Three days to see changes right? Three days of goodness so far!

As my awesome day continued as I had the chance to speak with Ms. Lauri Meizler, the CJO aka Chief Joos Officer. (Read more about the amazing and phenomenal Ms. Meizler here!) This is part of what I love about Joos. Every member of the Joos team is available every step of the way. You receive daily emails, recipes, suggestions an overall guide throughout the entire process.

This isn’t just ‘drink our juice’ it’s more ‘grow with us, as you grow yourself.’

Openness, dialogue, support, and customer service are huge characteristics of brand loyalty and my passion towards a product. Furthermore, chatting with Lauri was an excellent highlight to a turn-around day. She reassured the steps I was taking, and provided more insight to the cleanse. I am really looking forward to some amazing opportunities stemming from this wonderful experience and will be sharing them with you soon!

Thank you all for keeping up with my journey,
for ‘growing with me’ as I continue to Elevate My Everyday!

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: We’re all going Back-To-School!

The transition from Summer to Fall must be my favorite time of year. I love the long summer days, ending in cool summer nights. I love that the beaches are still empty while everyone works their 9-5’s; but the water is still warm enough for a dip. I love gearing up for the taste of pumpkin beer, coffee and everything associated with that wonderful gourd. Most of all, I love this wonderful opportunity for a semi-annual “Summer-Fall-Clean.”

Most of us are used to the term, “Spring Cleaning,” where you air everything out, mind, body, soul and house from the hardened days of winter. However, as a professional organizational and lifestyle consultant, I find it necessary that we do this more than once a year. The transition from Summer to Fall provides another perfect opportunity.

Fall is often associated with “Back-To-School” for kids. However, even as an adult, this is a wonderful time to update your organizational zones, office areas and overall house necessities.

Home Decor: Although marketed mostly to college students and dorms, do not underestimate the sales and general buzz around department stores for home decor. Everything from bedding, posters, frames, candles, closet organization catering to every room in the house is on sale right now. Stores are trying to make room for new inventory and most of what you see will be considered, “out of season.”

So if what you want isn’t on sale- Make An Offer! Never be afraid to make offers- yes- even in department stores! You never know where discounts are if you don’t ask! Also keep in mind that a lot of coupons don’t expire- even if they say they do! Many stores, like Bed Bath and Beyond, will still honor them. I have coupons from January 2011 that are still valid!!!

 

Office Areas: It’s best to just sign up for the points card: as long as there’s no credit, APR, etc. and it’s strictly a point system, associated with these (and other) stores. I have a specific email that I use when I sign up for things, (whether it’s stores or trying to win something), my very own ‘spam’ email address. This way all promotions and contact information for me operates through this account only.

That being said, Staples, Office Max, etc. will offer a LOT of online sales and promotions via email!  Pair that with what’s being offered for “Back To School Days” and you are able to stock up on basics* with the most bang for your buck. *How everyone loses pens is beyond me, but we all do 🙂 Staples, tape, file folders, paperclips, post-its and sharpies are some other handy dandy organizational staples among others.

 

Donations: As you go through your home, apartment, office area or otherwise stocking up and storing for fall, keep an eye out for what no longer serves a purpose for you. Marking the transitional change in the seasons, maybe you have clothes that you no longer wear. Or perhaps you have extra office/school supplies that can be donated.

Consider it your own personal Fall Harvest, bounty that can be shared with others. What a great way to enter into the upcoming *holiday* season of thanks to realize how fortunate you are and give to others.

 

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: A Roseway By Any Other Name

I hope everyone is ending their week on a high note!
Enjoy a fun story that has
Elevated Living coming full circle
and learn what our “icon” is all about 🙂

A year ago I kicked off Elevated Living with a small but fun “$1 Oyster Crawl.” I wanted to remind people, there are ways to enjoy yourself in any economy.  That just because you need to dine out on a budget, doesn’t mean you can’t dine out. That although you can’t afford a vacation, you can still enjoy the unexplored all around you.

People need to come together and enjoy the gathering of friends;
to simply connect and support each other at the same time.

One fine “Elevated Day” August 2012 I snapped this shot of a boat on my way to Boston Harbor Islands.

Elevated Living

The Roseway

On the walk home last night, while ‘Elevating My Day’ at Free Thursday Nights at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), we came upon the photographed boat docking and closing for the evening. While speaking with a representative, I learned that this National Historic Landmark schooner is the called, “‘The Roseway,’ a nonprofit organization providing educational programs and public sails to adults and students worldwide with the World Ocean School.”

Here I’ve chosen this photograph, as an icon, to represent what I felt that day; relaxed, stress free, sailing through life in a cool summer breeze, pure elation. Whether it’s professional organizational tips, health advice, or frugal foodie finds; Elevated Living was created to give sources of information and creative ways to “Elevate Your Everyday.” To help others feel that sense of elation I felt.  Now it means even more that this is what they do at World Ocean School, primarily focusing on educating and informing underserved youth, empowering them with education and elation, those who wouldn’t often have this opportunity to set sail.

To make the circle complete (as would only be appropriate) The Roseway holds, “Sunset Sails and Beer Tastings.” I mean come on- was this meant to be or WHAT!?! “Do Good and Have Fun Doing It,” tickets for the Sunset Sails are $50 for about 2 hours with beer tastings, passed appetizers and sunset on the water. Better yet, half of your ticket is tax-deductible, helping to support the inspirational programs of World Ocean School.  I’ll be heading out on Thursday August 1st, 2013 for the Harpoon Brewery tasting, with friends, food and fun on the horizon.

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Tuesday, August 13th is the Elevated Living Annual Tour.
I’ll be showing you my version of Happy Hour in Boston, aka Frugal Foodie Finds
with good food, great prices, amazing company and awesome times.
Let me know you’re coming by buying tickets here: http://elevatedliving.eventbrite.com/

If you can’t attend any of these events, please continue to find ways to Elevate Your Day, whatever and however that may be. Let those you care about know they are loved. Hold the door open for someone. Drink a nice cold beer, or share wine with friends (non-alcoholic beverages count too :). Donate clothes, or other items, and realize how fortunate you are.

Just remember, only accept the madness only as a welter of opportunities to Elevate Your Everyday. Continue to treat yourself well and make life easy on yourself. It’s ripple effect on others will be both gratifying and magnifying.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Attitude of Gratitude

Approaching a friends door recently, I was amazed that they have yet to take down their #Christmas wreath. I must admit; it is in excellent condition and still brings a smile to my face, as the holiday season is a great time of year. The holidays bring out the best (in most!) and are a wonderful time of gathering around the dinner table with family and friends. Ah yes, the dinner table. The root of it all.

To be #thankful to fill not only our plates, but our bellies. To perhaps raise a glass to all that we’ve been given. Unfortunately around the holidays, I find that stress gets in the way through the day to day activities. A time where many forget to relax, savor, and enjoy.

Add in the financial pressure and stress, and the sudden treats with friends and family become, annoyances to endure and debts to repay.  Alas, I’m here to remind you that treating yourself, and one another, in the holiday spirit does not have to break the bank! It should also extend well past through the holidays- to be honest- year round!

Restaurant Week is one of those ways to, “Elevate the Everyday,” twice a year. Going through photos of my four (4) dinners dined during Restaurant Week Summer 2012, I’m reminding myself- and YOU- to give ‘holiday style’- throughout 2013 and beyond. #Boston #Restaurant week is fast approaching beginning March 17th-22nd & March 24th-29th.*

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Feel free to revisit my #RestaurantWeek #Boston tips #blog for some great information. Speaking of #tips please see the attached photos for Restaurant Week tipping etiquette!

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Also enjoy this website Boston Restaurant Week as an excellent resource on who, what, where and when. (*Some restaurants are extending their RW menus on the Saturday March 23rd.) imgres

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate The Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber