Pencil Icon

Minimalist Monday: Close Some Tabs

Ever find yourself squinting at your computer, trying to discern which open tab is actually the one you want to be clicking on? We have, and aside from giving us the mother of all headaches, tab hopping is usually a sign that we’re attempting — unsuccessfully — to multitask.  

Here’s the thing: It’s virtually impossible not to multitask. Technology has quite literally allowed us to be able to write a blog post, check the weekend’s weather, scroll through our Twitter account and plan tonight’s dinner all in one screen.

image

TABBED. OUT. 

Yet we’d be kidding ourselves if we actually thought all of those things are happening at once. Let’s be real: NONE of those things end up happening. The blog post ends up as a draft, dinner is take out, and we can’t for the life of us recall what the weather is supposed to be on Saturday. 

Research and science backs this up. For example, when hopping from website to website, jumping from task to task, do you ever find yourself spacing out, then wondering, What the hell was I supposed to do? This 2011 study found that a multitasking brain, particularly as we age, can affect our short-term memory; you’re literally hindering your brain’s ability to store information, fragmenting its attention and dulling its sharpness. Moreover, this American Psychological Association article implicates multitasking as the enemy of productivity: 

Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error. Meyer has said that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.

When you think of 40% of your day’s productivity lost in the name of multitasking, the case for doing one thing at a time — and taking the time to finish everything you start — is increasingly compelling.

So, this week, we’re suggesting a seemingly simple yet REALLY difficult reduction in your life: Scale back the number of tabs you have open. Try giving yourself a cap (2-3), and make a concentrated effort not to toggle unless absolutely necessary. Because, really, is the dancing dog video REALLY pertinent to your work assignment? 

We didn’t think so. Let us know how it goes! 

Pencil Icon

Interview: Eden Grimaldi on Breast Cancer

Eden Grimaldi is the leader of our kick ass communications team at MediaCraft. When she had the idea for us to spend October supporting Breast Cancer Awareness, we thought she was really kind and smart. Then we realized that she didn’t just care about the issue, she LIVED the issue.

When you meet Eden, you would have no idea that she is a breast cancer survivor. That’s the thing about survivors, they don’t wear their struggles on a t-shirt. They hang out and act like the rest of us. But they’ve been through way more than many of us. It’s so awe-inspiring and humbling. Adina made Eden get on the phone and talk about the experience, because it sounds so terrifying and mysterious.

Thanks, Eden, for opening up to the S.W. audience. You’re right when you say you are helping women feel less alone.

image

ADINA: I can’t believe I had no idea! What is it like to talk about, or knowing that people know or don’t know?

EDEN: I was super private about it when I first found out, I wasn’t too keen on revealing what I was going through. Then I discovered that a stigma about it existed– about disease in general (had no idea), so decided that if I didn’t start sharing and talking about it openly then I would be perpetuating the secrecy.  I support everyone’s personal choice to disclose or not to, but I thought if I could make just one woman not feel alone, that a lot of us are dealing with this, then it would be worth it.  

A: Were you terrified when you got diagnosed?

E: It was the autumn of 2010. I was in the middle of a hellacious divorce and already trying to keep everything together…I just thought, “Ok, you know you’re a fighter, but this is going to be your greatest fight yet.”  I just put my head down and went through it.  I wasn’t angry, I didn’t grieve, I just did what had to be done.  When I broke down on a street corner in the Meatpacking district a full year later, unprovoked, just out of the blue, I knew I had only delayed my healing (emotional). That came at the end, it was the final step.

A: Were you lonely? Did you have people to talk to about it?

E: I had a ton of great information and resources and advice, I didn’t feel alone in that sense.  I had many friends who had traveled down the same path before I did.  I had great doctors. On the other side, I had my ex threatening to take my son from me because I was “ill” (even though I was working and doing my muay thai and running a company and household everyday with the exception of days I was recovering from surgery).  That kind of worry and stress was devastating…but I didn’t buckle.  It only increased my resolve.

A: What was it like with your son? Did you tell him? How did you do it?

E: I was on the fence because I didn’t want him to be afraid and worry. But he saw my mother die and he saw my father die. I couldn’t really hide it because I’m a single mother. He had to see the bandages and the recovery. He didn’t know what the word cancer meant. I told him, “I’m gonna be okay honey, I just need some operations.” I stayed with a friend for some of the recovery so he wouldn’t see all of it. But he saw me on morphine. He saw a lot. He never saw all of the pain. I left the room if I had to cry from the pain.  His psychologist later told me I did a great job managing the experience with him, that we was emotionally intact from it which was a big relief to me (yes, I hired a psychologist when I was going through my divorce because I had heard from so many friends how messed up their lives became during their childhoods when their parents got divorced – it was a preventative measure). 

A: How do you feel about the whole thing today?

E: I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation, thankfully.  But I had seven operations total. My first was November 2010, and the last was August 2013. Two and a half years of surgery. I had never even been hospitalized up until that point. It became my new normal. 

No one tells you that you’re going to die, but you think that, you have to face your mortality. I grew up in the generation where you whispered the word cancer, avoided it.  Oncology scared the living shit out of most people. The first month, when I was going for so many tests and interviewing so many doctors was the worst.  You don’t have the full picture about your treatment or your prognosis, I didn’t really know what the fuck was going on.  But after that, I was so fortunate that every doctor I saw said: “It’s not life-threatening it’s breast-threatening.” Not everyone gets to hear that. I couldn’t sleep, I thought about it all the time. I wrote my will. Got my life in order. I was so healthy. I used natural products my whole life, I ate organic. So I thought: What the hell am I doing wrong? I started doing research about the water we drink (I got a Tensuai water filtration system). I went vegan. I had always used clean beauty products, so that wasn’t an issue. But I changed my whole life. I never thought “Why me?” I never felt like a victim. But I know a lot of people do. I knew there was a reason I was going through it. 

You live with cancer until the day you die. Even though my oncologist says it’s not coming back, I’m like, “How do you know?? You’re just saying that!” I go every six months for blood work. Basically if it comes back, you’re effed. The chances of recurrence for me are very low, but there are no guarantees. Some people don’t give a shit, but I do everything I can to make sure it doesn’t come back. After you hit your five year mark the chances drop, but I’m not there yet. 

Pencil Icon

Minimalist Monday: Scale Back Your Cleansing Routinue

Team Sdubs recently sat down and discussed Minimalist Monday and what it’s all about. It’s our way to provide tips to reduce clutter, live more simply, and ultimately be happier with less. It’s not about adding — it’s about taking away. 

In this spirit, we also discussed the fact that both prominent beauty websites and skincare companies are extolling the benefits of double cleansing. AKA washing your face twice, with two different products. 

Double cleansing is actually an ancient Japanese practice: Geishas removed the thick, paint-like makeup with an oil cleanser first, then washed again with a more rigorous exfoliant to remove any of the remnants of the oil. A good idea if you’re wearing lead-based makeup (like they used to), but it’s not exactly a necessary daily ritual. 

The beauty ”secret” that often goes unpublicized? Sometimes, you just need water. That’s it. No magical combination of cleansers, no ornate morning and evening rituals. 

image

the basics

Here’s why: Over cleansing not only can mess up your skin’s delicate — and purposeful — pH balance, but it can strip it of its essential natural oils. Unless you are consistently wearing heavy, pore-clogging stage makeup (which means you’ve got a pretty cool job!) there’s no need to wash your face twice, with two different cleansers. 

So try it this week, perhaps in the morning (before you’ve applied any additional product). Cleanse with water only. It’s not only easy, it’s liberating — and freedom is beautiful, right? 

Pencil Icon

Weekend Recipe 10/10/14: Pumpkin Pandemonium

We’re suckers for two things: alliteration and pumpkin. So it’s truly our pleasure to bring you this weekend’s recipe duo, which we’ve (un)creatively deemed Pumpkin Pandemonium. 

image

Before we delve into said recipes, here are some reasons why we love pumpkin: 

  • It’s got a hidden secret. Did you know pumpkins are BERRIES? Well, they are, of the family Cucurbitaceae (aka cucumbers, etc). Within this family is the genus Cucurbita which includes gourds, winter and summer squash, and pumpkin. 
  • It’s a ghoulish gourd. We know of no other fruit that allows for such stupid brilliant, relevant opportunities for alliteration. 
  • It can, metaphorically speaking, make you glow like a jack-o-lantern. It’s loaded with carotenoids, antioxidants that not only can reduce risk of disease, but also give fruits and veggies their signature tinted yellow-orange-red tint (there have been studies that link carotenoid consumption with healthy skin coloration). Also, when lathered on the face, its enzymes serve as natural exfoliants, leaving you as glowing as a big ‘ol jack-o-lantern. 
  • It’s a seasonal and spooky way to consume your vitamins. Stacked with Vitamin A and C; the former soothes and softens the skin, the latter serving as a natural cold remedy and a free-radical fighter. 
  • YOU CAN EAT THE SEEDS. Name another fruit whose seeds are as tasty as the pumpkin? Throw them on a baking sheet, add your seasoning of choice, wrap yourself in a woolen blanket, and relish in the most fall-ish of activities: pumpkin seed snackin’. 

image

Without further ado, this weekend’s recipes: 

Ghoulish Pumpkin Mask

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Most effective while watching Disney’s Halloween Treat, Casper, Hocus Pocus, or The Craft.] 

2 flat tablespoons (meaning not over-filled) hibiscus mask
1 heaping tablespoon canned pumpkin
1 heaping tablespoon Greek yogurt
image
Stir together in a small bowl to make a [bright burgundy] paste. Apply as a mask and leave on up to 20 minutes for rosy, glowy skin. 
Recipe inspired by Jordan PacittiimagePumpkin Sage Soup 

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This soup is almost impossible to do wrong. You can add to it, subtract to it. Just listen to your heart. For best results, listen to Roxette’s ‘Listen to Your Heart’ while cooking].

Ingredients

One pumpkin or 2-3 pie pumpkins (the smaller, cuter variety)
2 cups of nut milk or 2 cups of vegetable stock
A dollop of butter or 2 Tbsp. of olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
A bunch of fresh sage
Salt
Pepper
Cinnamon

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°. Cut your pumpkin into manageable quarters put  them in a glass pan with a little bit of water on the bottom. Leave the pan in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft and cooked. Take the pumpkin out and scoop the meat. 

At the bottom of your soup pan, heat butter or oil and add your garlic cloves. Brown them for 3 minutes. Add the water, pumpkin, sage, salt, cinnamon and pepper. Cover the pot and leave to boil for 15 minutes. Put the whole she-bang into a food processor, and blend. 

image

*recipe originally made by Angela Lusk

Images: Union Sq Greenmarket Instagram, S.W.’s own Elana Browsher & Pinterest