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The Meadow

Yesterday we invited you to sense the meadow, a complementary and holistic resource to enhance your well-being. Now we’re back to explain how.

We invite you to envision a large tract of land with lush green grass and abundant wildflowers. There is a flowing stream nearby, and you take a sip of the sparkling, cold water. You feel the warmth of the sun shining down as you watch some deer and bunnies frolic in the distance. A smile begins to spread across your face. You hear birds singing as the stress of life starts to fade. You feel calm, happy, motivated, and the environment inspires you.

Welcome to the meadow. This feeling is our goal. It’s the feeling we want for you when you visit our website, our social media, or use one of our products.

So sounds great, right? But you’re wondering how we’ll bring the meadow to you. You couldn’t find it on amazon. And it wouldn’t be at Wal-mart. That wouldn’t make sense. Don’t worry. We’ll make sense of this meadow! (Haha, we crack ourselves up.)

We’ll be bottling up the green grass and the wildflowers in our products and shipping them directly to your doorsteps. The plant power in those products will uplift, relax, calm, and inspire your soul. The warmth of the community in our future Facebook group will feel like the sun is shining down on you. Animals will frolic across your screen in cute creature memes. Singing will happen as we share song lyrics and inspiring videos. You can drink from our knowledge stream to quench your thirst for knowledge. There will be a smile on your face when you read the encouraging news stories, jokes, and fun puns we share. The only reason for the smile might be because you don’t have to hear the puns every day, but hey, you’re still smiling.

If the above paragraph was a little too Disney for you. Just know we’ll be creating quality natural products, offering encouragement and support, and providing information to you from excellent resources. We’ll be connecting with experts about nutrition, fitness, organization, motivation, and more. In the future, we’ll create ways to offer coaching services, consultations, and maybe even write some books.

Oh, and we can’t forget. There will also be cats! Not so much because this is a meadow but because this is the internet. And we really love our cats.

Welcome to Meadow Sense. This is going to be fun!

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Common Goals

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, there was a tv show called Cheers. Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart-Angelo wrote the lyrics for the show’s theme song, and in it, they sing, “You want to be where you can see the troubles are all the same.” Paradoxically (or pair of ducks-ily) as the country grows more divided, many of the personal problems we deal with remain the same.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. The National Institute of Mental Health published statistics for 2017, and an estimated 17.3 million adults in the US had at least one major depressive episode. Diagnoses of ADHD are also rising. Sometimes people are dealing with all three. Sadly, these illnesses are often co-occurring with other disorders making it even more challenging to get through daily life.

We recently wrapped up the holiday season. Facing holiday stress with mental illness can feel unbearable. But as you can see, you aren’t alone. You might be feeling like an outsider who just cracked open a dad pun and watched everyone around you cringe or run away. We’ve been there.

We’re all stressed out, and it’s hurting us. If you are one of the millions facing this, we strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor, take medication, and see a therapist. Once you’ve done that, we invite you to sense the meadow, a complementary and holistic resource to enhance your well-being.

We’ll be back tomorrow to tell you more.

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An Update From Meadow Sense

So, we’re here. 2020. A new year, a new decade. Many of us are starting the new year with a steadfast commitment to resolutions and goals. Many of us gave up on making new year’s resolutions a long time ago. But either way, it’s always exciting to have a fresh slate.

As the pages of 2019 drew to a close, there was an air of contemplation at Meadow Sense HQ. We started this business to make a difference in the world. We care about our friends and family and have a strong desire to enhance their lives. We are happy learning about and creating natural products, but we want to do more. We’ve been thinking about the best way for us and the business to move forward.

As we’ve been growing our business for the last few years, we’ve also learned things about ourselves and noticed a general trend in the world. Many people are feeling isolated, unhappy, misunderstood, and unmotivated. The rates of suicide have been climbing. Many people are struggling with addictions. We know most of you can relate.

So as we begin this new year, you will see some changes to Meadow Sense. We’ll still have your favorite products. You can continue to order the same way. However, we’ll also be introducing products, resources, and sharing information to help our customers with specific areas such as focus, rest, energy, motivation, and organization.

We’ll also be implementing small details to support you daily. Because sometimes an uplifting scent, some calming music, a positive word, or an encouraging story really does change a day. And sometimes, a tiny change in one day can create a massive transformation in life.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about what is to come! We will share more details as the first week of this new year unfolds. Until then, thank you for being a valued member of our community! Happy new year!

-The Meadow Sense team

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5 Ways to Make Walking More Fun

Walking is one of the easiest and most common forms of exercise. If you read this blog post on May 15, then you already know the benefits of walking outside. However, walking outside isn’t the only way to increase walking enjoyment. Here are a few more ideas for you to make going for a walk just a little more enjoyable.

1.) Grab a friend who likes to walk. When walking with a friend you get wrapped up in conversation and time seems to move faster than it otherwise would. You may even get distracted and be so involved in a discussion that you end up walking a bit farther than you intended.

2.) Listen to music. For me, music is the biggest motivator. A great song can change your mood, empower you to push through an obstacle, or even help you focus on a task. Try listening to your favorite songs while you go for a walk and see if it empowers you to climb an extra hill or walk an extra mile.

3.) Listen to a podcast. Podcasts are the thing right now. There’s a podcast available for everything imaginable. If you wish you could have a motivational speaker follow you while you walk then search for a podcast and pop in some earbuds.

4.) Get a pet. My cats do not walk on leashes. We’ve tried but they aren’t comfortable with it. We’ll keep trying. However, I know plenty of dog owners. And I know their dogs get them out of the house multiple times daily. So if you’ve been thinking about adding a new pet to the family and also want to fit more walking into your life, a dog might be the answer.

5.) And the final method to make walking more fun, watch TV. No, not on the couch. Place a treadmill where you can see the TV, turn on your favorite show and start walking. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime make it easy to find something enjoyable to watch at any time. It’s a great way for a couch potato to ease into regular activity.

There you have it, 5 easy ways to make going for a walk a more enjoyable task. Walking is simple but it doesn’t need to be mundane. Using these simple techniques to fight boredom may motivate you to become a regular walker. Have fun!

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Creating Our Clear Cut Shave Soap

Do you remember being in school and going on field trips? It was always fun to get a behind the scenes look at how some familiar items were made. This week we’re bringing you our version of a field trip and showing you how we make our Clear Cut Shave Soap. We just whipped up a batch last Saturday and took a few pictures to share exactly how we do that. Our shave soap is great for sensitive skin, it leaves your face soft and smooth.

First, we begin with the soap. We use an organic melt & pour base. We choose the organic base for the best quality. We slice blocks of soap into smaller portions and begin melting it with a double boiler.

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The Sunshine Vitamin

In last week’s blog, I mentioned a benefit of walking outside is getting some vitamin D. But some of you might be wondering what exactly is vitamin D, why do we need it, how much do we need, and where do we get it?

So what exactly is Vitamin D and why do we need it? You might be surprised to learn that it is actually a hormone. When skin is exposed to Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, your body can produce vitamin D. Pretty cool, right? But why do we need it? Because it does all kinds of stuff. It helps control calcium levels, regulates the immune system, balances minerals in our blood, supports heart, thyroid, and nervous system health and more! Bad things happen if you don’t get enough. Low vitamin D levels can increase the risk of cancer, cause a fast heartbeat, contribute to Type 1 diabetes, cause weak bones, and lead to tooth decay. And you know what else? If you don’t get enough vitamin D, you’ll feel awful. Exhausted, hopeless, and unmotivated. I know because at one point my levels were very low. I was constantly tired and depressed. It made everyday life so hard!

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Lets Take a Walk

I met a friend in college who was from the west coast. One day we were discussing why we decided to attend West Virginia University (WVU). She explained that she didn’t like how everything was close together on other college campuses. While attending WVU she enjoyed the change of scenery and various experiences she had simply by walking to class. As anyone who has attended courses in Morgantown can tell you, you have to walk quite a distance from one building to another. As I look at my treadmill covered in a layer of dust I can understand exactly what she meant.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the treadmill. I have spent plenty of time walking on it while watching my favorite tv shows. It’s been great when I’m participating in a challenge and need to get my final steps in for the day. I also like that they give us the ability to walk even when the weather outside is not great. And in West Virginia, it rains. It rains a lot. But walking outside is a totally different experience. Just as my college friend stated when we walk outside we feel like we are going somewhere. Even if we aren’t. Even if we’re simply on a trail that circles around back to where we began.

So let’s celebrate walking this spring. We should do it as much as possible. When we head outdoors we get more than just a walk. Walking outside on a nice sunny day means we’re getting some Vitamin D from the sun. We’re breathing in fresh air. One of my favorite things about going for a walk is the scenery. You get to see animals, flowers, trees, and people. Every walk is different. The scenery is never completely the same. Going for a walk invigorates us. It changes our entire attitude. Stumped on a problem? Head out for a walk. You’ll likely see it from a different angle when you return.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, try it for yourself. Put on your walking shoes and head outside. Make it a habit and maybe one day we’ll run into each other out there. Enjoy your walk!

What do you like about walking outside? Comment below and let us know!

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Grief and Trees

As anyone who has ever been fortunate enough to have a pet knows, losing them is difficult. That is a big understatement.
Here’s a short description of my afternoon after losing my cat, Zoeie. I think this provides a more accurate portrayal.

We arrived home after the euthanasia and burial. I walked into the kitchen and collapsed. The screams of anguish coming out of my mouth were unrecognizable to me. I stared at an empty food dish trying to absorb the knowledge it wouldn’t be used again. I was inconsolable. I didn’t want to think. I didn’t want to move. And at that moment, I didn’t want to live. The light of my life was gone.

Although I was still wandering around in a state of mindful numbness, I went to work the next day. Society expects us to keep showing up. It doesn’t matter if we can’t concentrate, the tears are flowing, our heart has shattered. We must go to work and move on. This tradition of disallowing grief after pet loss only made me angry. People are uncomfortable with silence and with pain. Although we mean well, we tend to want to cheer each other up. Grief is not wrong. It is not a state we need to change. Grief is vital. It’s a state we need to exist in so we can learn how to move forward with this change in our life.

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Mosquitoes!

It’s the first day of summer! Summer in West Virginia is a wonderful season of warm weather, days at the pool, and trips to amusement parks. Unfortunately, due to the many lakes and rivers across the region, it’s also a prime time for mosquitoes. So many times I’ve spent an evening outside enjoying the wilderness and then wake up to a swollen itchy red dot. Those tiny creatures are stealthy. Much of the time I don’t see them and I don’t feel them but I wake up and have proof they were there. The itch of the bite is enough to drive even the calmest person crazy. But the itch isn’t the worst thing that can happen from a mosquito bite. The West Nile and Zika viruses are now in the US and that’s an even better reason to keep those bugs away.

Last year as confirmed cases of the Zika virus grew and travel advisories were issued there was an announcement that Lemon Eucalyptus oil was as effective as DEET. DEET is the most common ingredient in commercially available insect repellents. This announcement turned out to be a bit misleading. While there is a component in Lemon Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) oil that does repel mosquitoes, it is only occurs naturally in the oil in a very small amount. The product that was tested and compared to DEET had this component in a much larger amount. So if you are purchasing the essential oil and expect it to work just as well as the insect repellents you’ve used in the past you will be disappointed.

Here are a few tips if you’d like to create your own spray. Keep in mind these sprays will have a short shelf life if you are using water without a preservative. Catnip and Peppermint oil are both effective oils to use in a spray for your skin to keep away the mosquitoes. (Peppermint is fine for adults and older children but shouldn’t be used on children under six.) You could also begin by using a Catnip or Peppermint hydrosol and then adding essential oils to it. Turmeric is a great essential oil to use in a mosquito repellent. And, of course, Citronella essential oil has been found to be effective at keeping these pesky insects away. Just remember that natural insect repellents need to be applied more often than others so reapply often if you don’t want to end up with those itchy bug bites!

If you decide to create your own mosquito repellent, make sure you do a skin patch test first to ensure you do not have a reaction to the oils. Another alternative is to use the spray on your clothing. Safe dilution rates will depend on how often you are using the repellent. If you have any questions, let us know. Wishing you a fun-filled and bug bite free summer!

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Protect Yourself From Ticks

A few years ago I found myself with a loved one sitting in the exam room of a Lyme disease specialist. It was unsettling news, the specialist thought my loved one needed to be tested for Lyme disease. We were incredulous, there had never been a bulls-eye rash. There were no memories of a tick bite. That’s when we found out most people with Lyme disease never develop the most well known symptom. The costly test had to be sent to California and it would take a while before the results were back. In the meantime, we began researching the disease trying to see if the symptoms matched what we were reading. During our course of research we came across the movie, Under Our Skin. It was enlightening and also terrifying. So many lives changed by a moment in time. We got the results back, they were negative. We were, of course, thankful for the negative result but also moved forward with a heightened awareness of the possibilities a small bite may bring.

 

 

As if Lyme disease itself was not enough, there are also other risks from a tick bite. The Powassan virus originated in Ontario but according to the CDC there have been 75 cases reported in the Midwest and northeast US over the past 10 years. The main symptoms are fever and headache but neurological symptoms may also develop. The virus can lead to encephalitis and meningitis. Sadly, a small percentage of cases lead to death.

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