I have been really bad at keeping up with this, so even though it's a week late, here's the "Things I Love" feature for May!
This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. None of the products are paid advertisements, they are just really things I love!
Sunrise Alarm Clock: I am someone who wakes up naturally early. Granted this took years of training. I am a recovering night owl. However I hate sleeping in because I have always felt strongly that you only get so many days on this earth, why spend them sleeping? Morbid, I know. I just love getting up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, making my coffee and living the fullest day possible. I burn the proverbial candle at both ends. What I don't love is getting up for work. My body naturally wakes up at 7am, earlier if its with the sun. However I live in New England where the Sun hides for most mornings during the year. Unfortunately during the week I need to be up by 5:30 AM. I used to wake up five minutes before my alarm went off, but over the past year I have been waking up with it, jarring awake mid REM cycle. Consequently I have also been feeling really groggy almost every morning.
Compounding that was the fact that as I was going to bed at night I couldn't shut my brain off, and would often take a really long time to fall asleep. Often I would dose off at about 5am, only to have to wake up a half an hour later. In college I had insomnia once for about six months and it was a horrible experience that I didn't wish to relive, but somehow it felt like I was getting to that point. The point is, it was a bad cycle. I didn't want to take a sleep aid, so I started to research to see if I could find something natural.
I had read about sunrise alarm clocks and I took a chance on one. I went on Amazon, read all the reviews and finally picked what seemed like the best option for me. I didn't want to spend too much in case it didn't work. I finally settled on the Wake Up Sunrise Alarm Clock by AwesomeWare. You guys..you guysssss... I LOVE it! I've been using it since March and its honestly a game changer.
You set the time you want to wake up and instead of a loud beeping noise, it slowly brightens your room simulating the sunrise, so you wake up naturally. I was worried about not waking up so I set a back up alarm on my phone, and I haven't needed it once. They also have a back up alarm feature built into the clock with some natural sounds (I picked waves).
The feature that I LOVE though, and why its on the list, is the sleep feature. You can set it for 15, 30, or 60 minutes. The clock will start fully bright, enough to light your whole room, and then over the selected time it will gradually get darker simulating sunset. The idea is that your body will fall asleep with it. Not only did I not believe it would work, but I played a game with myself to see if I could "beat it." It seriously works for me. I fall asleep every time. While I don't always stay asleep (I still wake up around 2 am, but I am finding it easier to fall back asleep), I'm definitely getting more sleep than I was.
I'm not sure if its the falling asleep or natural wake up, but I'm definitely less groggy in the morning. I really am waking up happy most days (what with the simulated sunlight) which has been great because its been gloomy here lately for sure. It may not work for you, but if your sleep inept like me, you may want to give it a try. I can honestly say that I LOVE it!
2. L'appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making Paris My Home by David Lebovitz: I have been a lebovitz fan for a long time. I follow his blog and have read his previous books. I loved his book Paris: The Sweet Life. I read it before I went to France and it was really more helpful than most guidebooks that I had read, even though he didn't mean for it to be that. This book is more of a novel than a cookbook and follows Lebovitz through the process of buying and renovating an apartment in Paris. As always he includes recipes at the end of each chapter. I find his writing honest, funny, and refreshing. It's definitely not for all tastes (no pun intended) but if you enjoy food writing, Paris, or just memoirs about quirky situations, I think you will enjoy this. It's a quick read, I wouldn't call it a beach read, although I read it at the beach. It's more of a cozy up in the sun with a glass of wine read. I plan on trying some of the recipes soon.
3. Ina Garten's Lemon Fusilli with Arugula: I posted about this a few weeks ago. I love it. I've been making it a lot lately and swapping around the veggies that I use. It's honestly perfect for Spring/Summer veggies and I LOVE the brightness of the lemon. You can check out how to make it here if you're interested. It's seriously yummy.
4. La Croix Coconut Seltzer: Okay so this is a love it or hate it thing. It's in the Olives and Cilantro category that way. Some people think it tastes like sunscreen, so it may not be for you. However I LOVE it, I think it tastes like a tropical paradise. I can't get enough of it. I drink case after case, I can't keep it in the house long enough. If you don't like coconut, you definitely won't like this as it does have a strong coconut flavor. If you do? This may be your jam. I love it by itself (sometimes I drink it at lunch at work and pretend I'm on vacation). I've also mixed it with pineapple juice for a little tropical refresher. Finally, you can add coconut rum to it for a low-cal summer drink. You won't miss your Pina Colada. I'm working on a post with some recipes for it. Seriously, I LOVE it, but... you may hate it! I guess you just have to give it a try.
5. Yankee Candle Beach Wood: We all know that scents evoke memory. I'm not sure what it was about this candle but when I picked it up in the store it brought me alllll the beach feels. True story I decided to redo my entire bathroom in one day and at the very end of it, I wanted to get a candle to represent the new bathroom. I wanted one that had some kind of beach scent, something calming, and fit the neutral colors I had too. I have had this burning in there consistently ever since. The first time I lit it I felt at peace. It is woodsy, salty, and a little masculine without being overly so. It really is the perfect beach scent. They don't usually have it in stores but its worth the hassle of ordering. I just ordered it for the Tiny Beach House and will definitely be burning it there all summer!
So that's it...things I love the May edition...okay June edition...but you understand. What are some things your loving lately? I'd also love to hear if you try any of these products and your experiences with them!