Listen, I don't know about y'all but if there is one thing that the past several months has taught me, it's to embrace the space that is all mine that I have total control of—my house. While I have always been pretty domesticated in the sense of wanting my place to feel as warm and inviting as possible, lately, I've been intentionally investing in the rooms of my home so that they evoke intense feelings of peace, tranquility and calm. Basically, every time I walk into my front door, I want to be able to exhale whether I go into my living room, kitchen, bedroom or even my bathroom.
A part of the reason why this is so important to me is because I have worked from home for years now. Yet whether or not that is your personal testimony, I want to take out some time to encourage you to do all that you can to make your weekend hours at your own house feel as much as an oasis as possible. After all, an oasis is the perfect word for what most of us need right through here, don't you think?
Oasis: something serving as a refuge, relief, or pleasant change from what is usual, annoying, difficult, etc.
If this is exactly what you want, but you need a little help finding some inspiration, I've got 15 tips to help to get your started. Ready?
1. Invest in Some Greenery
There are a few awesome reasons to have plants in various rooms of your home. They're proven to be able to help to improve your mood, make you more creative and decrease your stress levels. Growing up, there were quite a few plants in my house, but I must admit that I like my place being on the darker side, so I don't have any around at present. What I do have is a huge faux tree in one of my rooms and I adore it to no end. So, whether it's the real deal (which can also decrease indoor humidity and noise levels) or something that's just for show (click here for some of the best fake greenery around), add some plants to your place. It will definitely—and immediately—create an oasis effect.
2. Make Your Own Scented Candles
Personally, I don't know anyone who isn't close to being totally in love with candles; especially if they're scented. If you happen to be one of them but you've never contemplated the benefits that come from lighting a few of 'em up, candles provide a calming effect. Based on the scent that you choose, they can also appeal your sense of smell and put you into a better mood. Plus, candles are a wonderful complement if you're someone who likes to meditate, pray or journal. And, if your oasis is going to consist of a partner being in your space, candles are mad romantic too.
Thing is, candles aren't always or necessarily the cheapest things on the planet. So, if your budget is super tight, something that you might want to do is make some of your own. It might sound like quite the feat at first, but they're actually easier to make than you might think. You can get a thorough walk-through by checking out this article right here.
3. Get Some Big Throw Pillows
Other than the pillows that you've got on your bed, how many other ones do you own? Something that I dig about big throw pillows is they immediately make a room look warmer and more appealing. Plus, there's nothing more comfortable than putting a couple of them on the floor and laying on them while listening to some music or watching a movie. As a bonus, many throw pillows are pretty inexpensive. You can find them everywhere, from Target and Walmart to Big Lots and Bed Bath & Beyond (Apartment Therapy did a feature on where to get some higher end ones; you can check it out here).
4. Switch Up Your Wall Art
I'm not sure what makes us think that just because we've hung up a particular picture that we can't ever switch it out with something else. By rotating your wall art—based on your particular mood or even season of the year—not only is it a simple way to avoid getting bored with your décor but it can totally shift the energy of any given room in your house. If you want some one-of-a-kind pieces, I've found some really unique and affordable prints on Etsy. Just go to the site and put whatever your favorite kind of art is in the search field.
5. Use Natural Light As Much As Possible
There are a few reasons to make the most of natural light. On the financial tip, it's cheaper than relying on your overhead lights and lamps. Also, natural lighting keeps seasonal depression at bay, helps you to get more Vitamin D into your system and can improve your quality of sleep as well.
If you're someone who is hesitant to open your window treatments up because you're worried that someone can peep in to see what you're up to, there is something called mirror window film that you can apply to your windows. It's cool because it makes it possible for you to look out of your windows while preventing others from being able to look inside of 'em. Just know that this is designed to work during the day not at night (as far as looking outside from indoors). Anyway, you can find rolls of the film at a pretty reasonable price at your local home improvement stores.
6. Add More Neutral Hues
If you speak with interior decorators, many of them will say that nothing welcomes the feeling of calm and tranquility quite like neutral colors do. For the record, the four basic hues of neutral are white (which represents purity and cleanliness), black (which represents sophistication and affluence), grey (which represents maturity and reliability) and brown (which represents authenticity and warmth); however, "near neutrals" (which are lighter or darker versions of the four) are great too. Speaking of colors that are wonderful for creating an oasis-like feeling, pale pastels can also provide a feeling of serenity.
7. Cop Some Seasonal Blankets
I think one of the best things that I ever did to pamper myself was purchase several throw blankets. At this point, I believe I've got around 10 of 'em. I just like stringing some along my loveseat and ottomans, so that I can curl up in one at any given moment while I'm chillin' in pretty much any room of my house. Just make sure to get the ones that match the season you're in. Cotton and fleece are most ideal for spring and summer while wool, cable knit and cashmere are more ideal for the fall and wintertime.
8. Take a Milk Bath
The reason why I wrote the article, "Did You Know There's A Right & A Wrong Way To Take A Bath?" around this time last year is because, the reality is, not all baths are created equal. The reason why I also wrote, "Make 'National Bathtub Party Day' Your Favorite Day Of The Year" (which rolls around at the top of every December, by the way) is because, soaking in your tub is one of the most cost-effective yet also luxuriant ways to pamper yourself. If you opt for taking a milk bath from time to time, depending on the kind of milk that you choose, it can perform mini miracles for your overall health and well-being.
Coconut milk and buttermilk contain lauric acid which supports the skin and the production of collagen. Oat milk soothes dry skin and eczema-related symptoms. Goat milk helps to gently remove dead skin cells. Plus, all of these milks will moisturize your skin in a way that is simply incomparable. Just pour two cups of your preferred milk under warm running water. Then add 1/3 cup of your favorite carrier oil (like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil or avocado oil) and a few drops of your preferred essential oil to provide an aromatherapy effect. I promise that you will struggle with getting out of your bathtub once you set the stage with all of this holistic healing stuff.
9. Create Your Own Massage Oil
In a perfect world, we'd all have a man who lived to give us massages on demand. But if that's not your personal testimony (mine either, chile), that doesn't mean that you have to deprive yourself. Self-given scalp massages are divine. So is rubbing your feet while you're watching your favorite show on Netflix, Hulu, UMC or a free streaming site Tubi. Just make sure you pamper your scalp or skin with an oil. Warming up something like olive, avocado or Jamaican black castor oil is good for your scalp. As far as your skin is concerned, why not make a divinely scented one? I actually happened upon a site that lists a whopping 22 different DIY massage oil recipes. You can check it out here.
10. Play Some ASMR or Soothing Music
The reason why there are articles on this platform like, "Before You Pull Out Your Playlist, This Is How Music Affects Your Sex Life" is because, there's no way around the fact that music is powerful—and powerfully influential.
From a scientific standpoint, music is proven to do everything from slow down your breathing and heart rate and reduce stress and anxiety to relieve muscle tension and trigger the production of serotonin so that you're calmer and are able to sleep more soundly.
As far as ASMR goes, while it's only been close to a couple of years now, it has gotten to the point where I never turn in for the night without some rain or ocean waves playing in the background. There is an article I once read that said that ASMR actually has the ability to produce "brain orgasms" from a physiological standpoint. So, if you wish you could be at a beach house, trapped indoors on a rainy day or could hike through a tropical rainforest, hopping on over to YouTube and putting in your favorite nature sounds can be almost just like being there.
11. Sign Up for a Wine Subscription
If there is one thing that gets y'all super hype on this platform, it's wine! I ain't mad about it either because wine is an alcoholic drink that has a significant amount of health benefits; especially if it's red wine. Red wine is scientifically proven to contain antioxidants known as polyphenols that will help to keep your heart healthy, the plant compound resveratrol that helps to lower your blood pressure and improve your cognitive functions, and other properties that assist in lowering depression-related symptoms. Wine also has nutrients that support you having stronger immunity and glowing skin. You can always run up to your closest liquor or even grocery store to get your favorite bottle. Or, if you're like me and you prefer to be indoors as much as possible on the weekends, another option is to join a wine club or subscription box service. You can find over 20 of the best ones by going here.
12. Order Some Takeout
Eating out isn't always the cheapest thing; especially if you're ordering food to be delivered. I'll give you that. But if you want to support local eateries in your area and enjoy a good meal without having to prepare it, that is always an option that you can take advantage of. If you're a bit leery because of the pandemic, check out, "10 Safety Practices For Ordering Takeout (During A Pandemic)". If you'd prefer to help out a Black-owned restaurant specifically, Eat Okra is a new app that features those in your local area.
13. Or, Eat Some Calm and Comforting Foods
Really. What's the point in cultivating the perfect ambiance if you're gonna be a nervous wreck either way? Sometimes, in the effort to find a little peace and tranquility, we mess up by chowing down on foods that ultimately cause us to climb the walls (umm, like sugar). Certain foods that promote a sense of harmony are featured in the article on our site, "8 Foods That Will Keep You Cool, Calm & Totally Relaxed". Some other foods that didn't make the list, that are both calming and comforting, include homemade soup, sautéed spinach, avocado toast, grilled salmon and turkey melts.
14. Put Your Phone on Vibrate
Tell me something. If you were on vacation right now, at your favorite spot, would you have your phone with you, 24/7? Unless you're a parent and your kids aren't with you, if your answer is "yes", please check out "8 Solid Reasons To Put. Your Phone. Down.". We've got voicemails on our phone for a reason; one of them is so that we can have moments when we're not constantly checking social media notifications or even chatting back and forth with other people. If you want to create a sense of calm and serenity on your weekends, put your phone on a charger in another room. Whatever is awaiting you on it…it can wait. It really can.
15. Sleep In
While recently checking out a pretty extensive sleep survey, I noticed that two-thirds of Americans claim to not sleep well during the week. That's a lot of people. If you're one of them, why not use the weekend to get some extra rest in? For the record, there really is no such thing as "catching up on your sleep", but being able to have a couple of days when you don't have to be a slave to your alarm clock—that can be super refreshing and a perfect way to recharge for Monday. So, definitely make it a point to either go to bed earlier or to stay in bed a little longer on the weekends. Get some new bedding. Sprinkle some lavender essential oil on your sheets (lavender oil is a natural de-stressor). Drink a little tart cherry juice (the melatonin in it will have you out like a light!). Sleep is a very simple way to get the peace that you've been looking for while you're in the oasis atmosphere that you created for yourself. Make sure that you get some this weekend, aight?
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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Everything Kerry Washington Has Said About Her Husband Nnamdi Asomugha
Actress Kerry Washington and her relationship with her husband, actor Nnamdi Asomugha, is the perfect example of a winning team.
The pair became an item following a chance encounter in 2009, and many years later, on June 24, 2013, Washington and Asomugha would secretly tie the knot. Since then, the high-profile couple has expanded their blended family by welcoming two children, a daughter Isabelle Asomugha, 8, and a 6-year-old son Caleb Asomugha. Asomugha also has a daughter from a previous relationship.
Despite Washington and Asomugha choosing to live a relatively private life for the most part by not sharing images of their family on social media and occasionally attending events together. The rare glimpses they provide to the public showcase that Washington and Asomugha have much in common regarding essential topics.
For example, Washington is highly involved in politics and encourages others to participate by spreading information about various issues and how everyone would be affected.
As for Asomugha, the 41-year-old officially founded the Asomugha Foundation in 2010, years after doing other charity work in Nigeria. According to its site, the organization was created to help "disadvantaged youth and women by providing educational opportunities and mentorship."
Washington's public remarks regarding her relationship with Asomugha and their family may be rare, but when she does speak about their family, it's all positive.
Kerry On Why She Keeps Her Relationship Private
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bronx Children's Museum
In March 2016, the UnPrisioned actress revealed during a discussion panel at SXSW Festival that one of the reasons why she is adamant about remaining private about her union with Asomugha is because she doesn't want the public to make any narratives regarding her marriage.
At the time, it was reported that Washington and the former NFL player were experiencing marital troubles and were allegedly planning on getting a divorce. Washington would shut down those allegations by saying she hasn't and will not share any information about her private life.
"Social media has actually been great for [other celebrities'] relationships with the weeklies or the gossip sites because people say things and they say, 'That's not true!' So I'm thinking in some ways, it's been great because people are able to maintain their voice," she explained.
"It's a little different for me because I don't talk about my personal life. That means not only did I not tell you when I was getting married, it also means if somebody has rumors about what's going on in my marriage, I don't refute them, because I don't talk about my personal life."
Kerry On How She Met Nnamdi And What A Normal Day Looks Like for Their Family
Fast forward to October 2018, the Scandal star gave insight into how she met Asomugha and their family life. During an interview with Marie Claire, Washington shared that she and Asomugha met in 2009 while she was working on the Broadway play Race.
The mother of two told the publication that her life has "completely transformed" since their encounter. "The last time I did theater, it completely transformed my life. That's where I met my husband. I love being with my family. My days off look like homework, reading, and watching stuff. Just hanging out, doing things we love to do," she stated.
Kerry On Nnamdi's Accomplishment
Photo by Jeffrey Camarati/Getty Images
But as time progressed, Washington began speaking a little more openly about her man. In October 2022, Washington gushed over Asomugha and his Netflix project, The Good Nurse, which came out around the same time her film, The School for Good and Evil, was released. While talking to Entertainment Tonight, the star expressed how "proud" she was of her husband.
"I'm really proud of him, I think he's doing amazing work. I'm really excited for his film, The Good Nurse," she said. "It's really exciting to both have really important films at Netflix right now, we feel really blessed.”
Kerry On Why Nnamdi Is Her Soulmate
Washington shared how her love with Asomugha goes beyond the surface after spending over a decade together.
In a March 2023 interview with Marie Claire, Washington explained that she and Asomugha are perfectly aligned because she's allowed to be her authentic self with him.
"I'm in my immediate truth with [him]," Washington said. "Those mirrors are important because they help me get back to myself."
Kerry On The Couple's Upcoming 10-Year Wedding Anniversary
Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images
That same month, Washington expressed that in addition to the many years the couple has been together, and their personal and professional accomplishments, she still finds Asomugha "incredible."
Washington shared this revelation while promoting her latest project, UnPrisioned, in an Entertainment Tonight interview.
"I do have an incredible husband," the actress told ET host Kevin Frazier as she disclosed little to no details about their upcoming plans for their tenth wedding anniversary. "Do you remember how secret my wedding was? How private and secretive it was? That's how the anniversary is gonna be too!"
Kerry On Why She Thinks Nnamdi And Their Children Are A Gift From God
Washington's love and admiration for Asomugha and their family grow increasingly each day, so much so that she uses it as inspiration to share positive messages with her fans.
The 46-year-old revealed during a panel with Al Sharpton at National Action Network Convention on April 12 that she sees her husband and their children as "proof" that God exists and loves her because of the great joy they bring to her life.
"Well, you've met my husband, my husband's amazing. I got a good one. We have three beautiful children. And I think, you know, when I look at my marriage, and I look at my kids, fundamentally, they are proof of God to me,” she said. "Because I know that God loves me to have put those people in my life. And that sense of like, knowing that God loves me. That, to me, is so much of how I make the decisions about the activism that I do and the content that I make."
Regardless of what the public may think about Washington and Asomugha's private union, they are proving with each moment that love can conquer all.
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