ASMR Artist of the Month

ASMR, it’s a term that doesn’t mean anything to most people.. but to those of us who are familar it means many things; relaxation, calm, & relief, included. If you aren’t familar ASMR means Autonomous sensory meridian response.. still not sure what that means?  Have you ever felt tingles in response to specific sounds?  If so you might have experienced ASMR without even knowing it!  Here is a link to learn more about ASMR..

Until about a year ago I had never heard of ASMR, I hadn’t found the community on Youtube which nutures these interests, or understood the ways that ASMR could help me in my day to day life.  Now that I’ve found ASMR I use it to focus during the day, relax before bed, & on those stubborn days when I can’t fall asleep.. it’s there to help as well!

I don’t think that enough people know about ASMR so I wanted to share my favorite artists & help more people explore ways to help themselves!  The first time you watch an ASMR video you might be confused, you might be weirded out (depending upon what video you watch), but the first time you find a trigger that works you’ll understand why this community exists.

This month’s ASMR artist is one of the people who helped me explore my interest in this area : Massage ASMR Dmitri lives in Austrilia and produces VERY high quality content for the ASMR community, one of the reasons he is my favorite is because of the variety of content he creates for us!  If you are new to ASMR he has videos featuring tons of different triggers so check out a few and figure out what types of triggers you have.

These are a few of my favorite videos from Dmitri:

This video was the first time I experienced an artist using Tibetian singing bowls, which I’ve found now I really enjoy!

The strong brushing sounds in this video are heaven to my ears, this is pretty high on the list of favorites.

If you are anything like me and enjoy the sound of rain this video will be on repeat for you!  The visual effects in this one are also pretty cool!

So there you have it… one of my favorite ASMR artists.

  • If you are new to ASMR let me know what you think. 
  • If you are also an ASMR-er please share some recommendations of other artists for me to checkout! 




Why I’m motiviated to workout & stay fit.

Welcome to the final post in a series about motivation. Two weeks ago we talked about what helps you to stay motivated in the moment, last week we focused on getting motivated for the day/workout, & this week I want to focus on those long term motivations – the things that truly keep you coming back for more.

This can be a combination of things, but for me it comes down an idea (paraphrased) one of my favorite instructors shared once.

We workout for the good times, the beach, the bar, but we also workout for the bad times.

He shared this nugget of wisdom with us right after he got back to work after healing from an injury, which initially seemed like it would take much longer to heal. The doctor (and plenty of research) said that being an athlete helps you bounce back much quicker. If you are someone who pushes yourself to the limit normally you’ll be able to handle the hardwork it takes to recover from illness or injury. Think of your workouts like an insurance policy it’s there incase you need it – I hope that you never do, but if you do you’ll be happier for it.

This also connects to one of the other things that motivates me, which is the idea that I might not always be able to be as active as I am now.  I have seen first hand the effects that limited mobility can have on someone’s health, so I think its important to keep moving for as long as I can.


The past week in Chicago has been filled with sub-30’s temperatures which for me means I’m trapped inside most of the time.  I’ve always been the type of person who just can’t relax on days like these, as soon as it’s too cold to be outside I immediately want to leave my apartment.  I try not to let the cold dictiate my life too much.. but it’ *really* cold right now.. so instead of going outside I’m sitting at my desk filed with wanderlust.

I’ve got my sights set on three particular trips right now:

  • another cruise
  • NYC
  • outdoorsy exploration
The Norwegian Jewel

If you haven’t had a chance to read about the Alaskan cruise I took last year check out these posts – The BoatThe ServiceAlaksa If it isn’t evident from the posts… I loved the experience & have been thinking a lot about what my next cruise should be.

NYC Wanderlust
I think I need to do a helicopter tour of NYC. this view is amazing!

The first time I went to NYC was in the eight grade & I loved every second of it, the love has continued to grow over the years & NYC is one of those places I’d be happy to visit every year.  The city fills me with such inspiration & love for life, it’s so easy to find something new and exciting!  I want to get lost exploring Tribeca, take a spin class in Chelsea, have lunch in Central Park, & finish the day with drinks in Soho.

Wanderlust Nature
The Norwegian Jewel

The final trip I’m currently planning is a basically the polar opposite of the other two… The Wilderness.. I am already thinking about the first hike I want to take this Spring.  In the fall I took advantage of time away from Chicagot explore nature & it really drove me to want to spend even more time disconnected & away in the upcoming year.  I’m currently exploring the option of traveling through Canada via rail this summer so I can soak up as much nature as possible!

  • What types of trips do you dream about?
  • Where does you mind go when it needs an escape?

3 Motivators To Drive Your Workouts

This week I want to talk about something that can make or break your daily, weekly, even long term goals. Motivation. It’s a simple word, but it can make a huge difference in your ability to push for that final 30 seconds or finish the last round in a tabata style workout.  I break motivation down into a few things: in the moment, for the workout, and for your overall goals.  The next few weeks I’ll be featuring each of them in a post.

Last week we talked about staying motivated in the moment – pushing just a little harder, this week I want to focus on being motivated for the workout.  I tend to think of this area as what got me off the couch or out of bed & into the gym.

PR or record setting – This specific workout might be the 45th day in a row of yoga, it might be your 33rd spin class, or it could just be that you feel like today is the day you finally break that mile pace. These are all great reasons to both get & keep you motivated as you are finishing the class out!  If you go to a gym where you can see live stats this might be a big motivator for you, I know that when I’m Sproing Sport I always try harder because I can see the level of work that I’m doing.

Prep Work – Who doesn’t kick it into beast mode the last few days before a vacation? This could be that for you, maybe you have a big work event coming up & know that working out before will make you more energized (or calm).  This was actually what got my on the path I’m on today, a few months before my 30th birthday I set an (unrealistic) goal… but it paid off & now I can’t imagine going a few days without a workout.

Just for the health of it – Listen, we aren’t going to want to workout everyday, some days the motivation just isn’t there… and those days you just gotta suck it up and go. The good side to this is that most of the time within five minutes of class starting you get excited, you start to feel the endorphins, & you forget all about it!   These are the days that those ideas from last week are the most important, they will help push you towards your long term goals.

3 Tips for a Motivating Workout

The start of a new year is a great time to refocus yourself on your goals – if you happen to have a fitness/health related goal this post is for you!  This week I want to talk about something that can make or break your daily, weekly, even long term goals. Motivation. It’s a simple word, but it can make a huge difference in your ability to push for that final 30 seconds or finish the last round in a tababa style workout.  I break motivation down into a few things: in the moment, for the workout, and for your overall goals.  The next few weeks I’ll be featuring each of them in a post.

I like to think of the first topic as “in the moment” motivation.  These are the things that keep you going for one more rep, one more revolution on the bike, or one more minute on the treadmill. Personally there are 3 things that affect me at this level; music, scenery, and the instructor.

If I’m in a class with bad music I can sorta feel it’s impact on my workout, but in a class with great music I can absolutely feel a difference in the level of energy I’m willing/able to put out.  Its not as simple as loading up your favorite artist or band, you really have to find a selection that can motivate you for the specific style of workout you are doing.  In today’s technological society there are tons of ways to find music created just for workouts, you could try the Spotify running feature or download a playlist from your favorite gym.

The scenery of your workout is important  as well & no, I don’t mean the attractiveness of the people around you!

  • Do you have mirrors to check your form?
  • Does competition factor in?
  • Are there motivational signs up in the gym?

If I’m in a spin class I really prefer to be able to check how I’m doing in comparison to others, but that’s because I have a competitive side to me, so I enjoy the Torq Board at Flywheel.  If I’m in a strength building class I need to have a spot with access to a mirror, because I check my form a lot!  I want to make sure that I’m following the directions & doing the workout correctly!

The final element for me is the instructor, is this someone that gets me excited? Does this personal honestly care how I’m doing in class?  If you are in a class with a distracted instructor you aren’t getting the full benefit of group fitness classes!  I love knowing that if I’m not doing something with correct form I will be adjusted, that I’ll be pushed to try something outside my comfort zone, & that I’m not in this alone.  If you are in Chicago there are some great instructors at places like Flywheel, Full Psycle, and Sweat. They make an early morning workout so much easier to get excited about.

What song is your go to motivator?  Next week I’ll be sharing my thoughts for how to get motivated for the workout – not in it!

My picks for Best Dressed at the 2016 Golden Globes

If you are anything like me you are more than excited that Award season is upon us!  I look forward to this time of year EVERY year because it means a few things..

  • Exposure to new creators, authors, actors, and musicians who can take me on an adventure!
  • Time spent with friends and family, I’m a huge supporter of Award Season parties!
  • Lots of new popcorn recipes!
  • and finaly.. Fashion.

I was tuned in with the E! team this afternoon well before the beginning of the show and while we certainly got to see lots of looks (some amazing.. some well.. they are looks), I tend to be more positive and only want to share my best dressed from the 2016 Golden Globes.

Olivia Wilde is, atleast in my eyes, the clear winner of the best dressed of the evening!  I love this dress, the slight sheen/glitter of the gown combined with a perfect fit makes for a fabulous look.  I also really enjoy the almost choker jewels.

Jamie Alexander, star of NBC’s The Blindspot, took a risk and it paid off dramatically for her!  The hair could be better, but the print and volume of this look offset that for me.

Jenna Dwan manages to outshine her husband Channing in this dramatic outfit which not only grabs but demands attention.  The thing I love most about this dress is sparkle which looks much classier than a full sequin gown.

The Golden Globes themselves were an interesting few hours, I can’t say that I loved the entire award show… but overall it was a good time. There were plenty of other well dressed women & men, but these were my favorites!   Who were some of your best dressed?

Sci-Fi Block Review – November 2015

If you read my end of year recap for Birchbox 2015 I mentioned that while I love getting my Birchbox… I think it’s time to widen my “box of month” experience.  I cancelled my Birchbox subscription for the upcoming year & instead am going to try out all different types of boxes this year!

The first box I decided to try was from the company Nerd Block, who actually have 7 different boxes (or block’s as they call them) you can choose from!!!!  I decided to go with the Sci-Fi block for the first month.. in part because Star Wars was coming out and I was hoping for some BB-8 love!

The Nerd Block normally costs 19.95 + 9.95 shipping, I’m not committing to a long term commitment, but typically you get a discount if you do… I’d encourage you to check on that if you are interested.  My box this month contained 6 different items, once you include shipping that equates to about 5 bucks per item.. which is a pretty good deal!

Lets jump into the Sci-fi Block and see what I got this month

Nerd Block Keychain – This is item that I was the least excited about this month, it’s a standard “sci-fi” designed ray-gun.. just not something I’m going to get at on of use out of myself.

X-Files Patch – I am VERY excited for the return of the X-Files this January, so getting this patch made the entire box worth it for me!  I haven’t decided what I’ll be adding this to just yet… but it’ll absolutely be getting used.

Trio of Star Wars Baddies Posters – I haven’t figured out where to put these, but I enjoy the style of the artwork & appreciate the timing of this one.

Storm Trooper Shirt – Nerd Block Exclusive – I was very happy to get this item, it’s a killer design, nice fitting/feeling t-shirt, & gave me something to wear to my viewing of Force Awakens.

Captain Malcolm Funko Pop Figure – Do I need another Pop Figure… no.. have already added him to my desk, yep!  I wasn’t a fan of Firefly the first time around.. but it’s on my list to rewatch, I think it’d be more interested in now.

Tribbles Screen Cleaner – Is this specific screen cleaner necessary in my life… nope, but if I’m going to have one why shouldn’t it be a Trible? This is one of those standout memories of Star Trek for me, so I love it.. plus it’s a conversation starter.

Interested in getting your own Sci-Fi (or nerd, gaming, etc) Block?  Click my link to sign up (& help me afford more boxes of the month!)