There is a bit of a craze these days among podcasters, bloggers, and others to share things that they like (and sometimes things they don't like) with their audiences. I've decided to jump on the bandwagon for a little change of pace because who doesn't want a (hopefully) helpful recommendation? I, for one, love a good suggestion that points me to a new product or resource that makes my life better, easier, or more interesting. Plus, I'm hoping that in reading my recommendations you will feel inspired to share your own with me!
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I have been a Brain.fm user for a couple of years now, and I absolutely love this amazing tool! What is Brain.fm, you wonder? It is a website (and an app) that offers specially designed music to help listeners focus, relax, or meditate. There are different playlists depending on your purpose. I use the focus option the most, but I have recently become hooked on the relaxation tracks as well.
Their patented "functional music" is based in research, some of which has been funded by the National Science Foundation. Their audio products, which feature an underlying musical score accompanied by a specific range of modulations, is designed to induce something known as neural phase-locking. Essentially, it helps you achieve a desired cognitive state - such as focus or relaxation. I don't know how it works, I just know that it does!
Admittedly, the "music" is a little funky at first. There's a real techno vibe to the tracks. Depending on your listening preferences, it may take a little getting used to, but I embraced it pretty quickly (as soon as I felt the results). I love to listen when I am writing or working on any sort of project that requires concentration. Just a few minutes is all it takes to get into a sort of flow state in which my thinking becomes clearer and I'm able to work fluidly without distraction.
I believe there may be some sort of free trial for new users. I pay $15 every three months, and it is so totally worth every penny!
It is recommended to use headphones when listening to Brain.fm because they help to block out other sounds. This MPOW Wireless Bluetooth Headset is my personal favorite. It's affordable and effective with good sound quality and a long battery life.
If you follow the blog at all, then you know we recently moved. Our new home has a lovely, big yard framed by spacious flower beds filled with all sorts of plants I did not recognize. I am not an experienced gardener, but I do have modest aspirations. The Picture This app is helping me become acquainted with, and learn to care for, my new yard.
This awesome app is super easy to use. There is a paid version, but I honestly can't think why you would need it because the free version is excellent, at least for my purposes. You simply click the little camera icon and snap a photo of any shrub, tree, or plant, and the app tells you what it is! In addition to identifying your plant, the app tells you all about it: how to plant it, how to care for it, how much to water it, and more. It will even help you diagnose pest and disease issues. The database has something like 17,000 plants, and this includes everything from house plants to weeds to vegetables to towering trees.
He has a gift for examining the science behind human behaviors and translating it into simple, digestible language. His book Atomic Habits not only breaks down the cognitive science behind habits, it also helps the reader master tiny (atomic) behaviors that lead to exceptional results over time.
Have you ever noticed that ideas tend to come at you in waves. They do for me, anyway. I hear or read something, and the next thing I know a similar concept pops up in another place, and another. Perhaps that is only true of things that really resonate with me; I notice them because they have struck a chord. At any rate, I love this quote that I stumbled across on Instagram recently, and I thought the Charlie Brown comic (seen of Facebook) related nicely.
I tried to find the original source for the Charlie Brown quote below. It appears to have been altered from it's initial wording. As far as I can discover, the original version went like this:
Either way, I kind of like Snoopy's take on things.
Speaking of living life to the fullest...who doesn't love a little comfort food now and then? I'm completely enamored with this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie Soup. Nothing beats it on a damp, chilly evening. Seriously, it is so good! It's rich and creamy and decadent, like a bowl full of heaven.
We like ours served in a homemade bread bowl for an extra special treat, in theory, that is. I confess that my attempt at bread bowls fell a little flat - literally. The dough (which rose wonderfully) sank and spread, making them way to flat to serve as bowls. Instead, we cut them into thin-ish slices and dunked them in our soup. They were still amazing!
It's been fun putting together this post of some of my current favorite things. I hope you've discovered something new and wonderful here that you, too, can enjoy. I hope, as well, that you will feel inspired to share some of your favorite things with me in the comment section below. I look forward to expanding my horizons through your suggestions.