Washington State University researchers have found that the timing of
an animal’s sleep can be just as important as how much sleeps it gets.
Ilia Karatsoreos, an assistant professor in WSU’s Department of
Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, shifted mice from their usual
cycle of sleeping and waking and saw that, while they got enough sleep,
it was of poorer quality. The animals also had a disrupted immune
response, leaving them more open to illness.
Most sleep research focuses on the effects of sleep deprivation
or the overall amount of sleep an animal needs. This is generally
referred to as sleep’s homeostatic process, which is driven by
sleepiness or “sleep pressure.”
The work by Karatsoreos and his colleagues–published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity–is
a rare look into the circadian process, a brain-driven clock that
controls the rhythms of various biological processes, from digestion to
blood pressure, heart rate to waking and sleeping. The cycle is found in
most everything that lives more than 24 hours, including plants and
Research into the system has significant implications for modern
living, write Karatsoreos and his coauthors, as “disruption of the
circadian clock is nearly ubiquitous in our modern society” due to
nighttime lighting, shift work, jet lag and even the blue-tinged light
emitted by cell phones and tablets.
Typically, sleep researchers have a hard time studying sleep
deprivation and the circadian cycle separately, as a change in one
usually affects the other. However, Karatsoreos and his colleagues saw
their model did not affect an animal’s total sleep, giving them a unique
look into the effects on the timing of the sleeping-waking cycle.
The researchers used mice whose body clocks run at about 24 hours
- much like our own - and housed them in a shorter 20-hour day. This
forced their biological clocks out of sync with the light-dark cycle.
After four weeks, the researchers injected the mice with
lipopolysaccharide, a molecule found in bacteria that can make an animal
sick without being contagious.
The researchers saw that the disrupted animals had blunted immune
responses in some cases or an overactive response in others, suggesting
the altered circadian cycle made them potentially less able to fight
illness and more likely to get sick.
“This represents a very clear dysregulation of the system,” said
Karatsoreos. “The system is not responding in the optimal manner.”
Over time, he said, this could have serious consequences for an
“Just like you have a car that you’re running into the
ground–things don’t work right but you keep driving it until it stops.
That’s what could happen if you think of disruption going on for years
for somebody who’s working shift work,” he said.
To his surprise, the mice on the 20-hour cycle were getting the
same amount of sleep as they did on the 24-hour cycle. But the sleep
wasn’t as good. The mice woke more often and the pattern of electrical
activity in their brains related to restorative sleep was greatly
We may eat a lot of food additives, but most consumers know very little about them. These often misunderstood substances go by unwieldy names like “diacetyl” or “azodicarbonamide.” They are in everything from salad dressings to Twinkies. But how many of us actually know what they look like or, more important, what they’re doing in our food?
Ingredients, a new book by photographer Dwight Eschliman and writer Steve Ettlinger, seeks to demystify 75 common food additives, from acesulfame potassium to xanthan gum, by providing an easy-to-read encyclopedia of sorts of various food additives, their uses and their history.
Okay, want some space things? I wanna paint spacescapes all over this unfinished wood decor stuff. Takes 1-2 weeks to finish and ship/deliver once ordered.
To order, simply comment or DM me with which item(s) or package you want, metallic accent color if your choice, and your PayPal email address for invoicing. That’s it!
Pencil box 20
Pencil holder 25
Recipe box 35
Photo box 30
Trinket box 25
Tissue box cover 30
Birch round coasters 10 ea/30 set of 4
Collectible decorative plate 40
Decorative plaque (5x7") 25
Desk set 1: 75 (save $10!)
-set of 4 coasters
-tissue box cover
Desk set 2: 100 (save $20!)
-set of 4 coasters
Weekend art blitz! I wanna paint space on as much stuff as possible the next couple of weeks, so I’ve got a new sales goal of 20 custom space pieces to sell this weekend. I’ve put together a handy pic collage of the raw wood items on which I will paint space things for you, as well as an easy pricing guide and some rad packages of coordinating items. See my next pic for details if you’re interested in snagging a kick-ass one-of-a-kind space thing from me!!!
GLaDOS comes back to life as part of the Portal adventure pack for LEGO Dimensions
As if LEGO Dimensions didn’t have enough awesome properties on board with DC Comics and Doctor Who among many others, there will also be a Portal 2 adventure pack, featuring Chell, a sentry turret, a companion cube and GLaDOS and her beautiful singing voice.
Happy Monday, everyone and happy fall, too! Now that we’re a week into the official autumnal season, I’m getting all sorts of excited for impending cooler weather and fall holidays. Of course, it still feels like summer in Texas, so today’s post is sort of my final farewell to this year’s sunny spring/summer style.
A couple of months ago, I did this soft, pretty makeup look on Cassidy for an outdoor photo set with local photographer Nick Bruner. The results are beautiful and vibrant, and I think this look is simple and versatile enough to instantly make anyone look and feel a bit rosier.
Product details at the bottom of the post!
•I filled in Cassidy’s brows with a brown powder (by Anastasia Beverly Hills) and angled brush, but did not alter the shape or use harsh lines. The goal is to simply amplify natural features for this look, rather than too much contour or illusion.
•Use a felt-tipped liquid eyeliner pen for faster, cleaner, more user-friendly cat eye application than you’ll get with a brush or gel liner. Need tips for perfecting your cat eye? I’ve written a post about that!
•A rosy pink or peach blush with a little bit of warm gold shimmer will flatter all skin types and brighten up your whole face, making it perfect for a fresh and feminine look like this.
•Choose a lipstick and gloss combination that’s close to your natural lip shade, but slightly brighter and a couple of shades darker. Dusty pinks look great on fair skin, and more bronze/tan neutrals work well with darker complexions.
I hope you dig this look! I absolutely love the way the makeup colors and Cassidy’s dress and hair color blend perfectly with their surroundings. They found these amazing flowers in south Austin, near St. Edwards University, and I’m incredibly happy with the magical finished product.
Since the first recorded accounts of humans tinting their lips red with crushed gemstones and minerals in ancient Mesopotamia, red lipstick has continued to evolve and gain popularity through the ages. By the time cosmetics were popularized in Europe during Elizabethan times, lip stains were much safer and easier to make. Today, modern makeup lovers continue the quest for the coveted perfect red lip, and we have an immense variety of products to help us achieve it for any occasion.
I hear so many women — both friends and clients — express frustration with wanting to rock a red lip, but feeling overwhelmed by obstacles and options (color, finish, durability). We have it way easier than our primping predecessors did! Hopefully this post will help you to navigate the world of lipstick and find the red that’s right for you.
First, some info about my red lip photos. I’ll also impart a few of my go-to red lipstick application tips, and finally, I’ve included a great casual red lip tutorial video at the end of this post that’ll help you get acquainted with trying red lipsticks, as well as a lovely neutral look for the rest of the face so your lipstick can take center stage.
PHOTO NOTES (from top to bottom)
The photograph at the top of this post is a portrait of me by an amazing Austin artist, Ricardo Acevedo.
My lipstick is OCC Lip Tar in Maneater, a vibrant shimmery orange-red. I am absolutely in love with this color, and will be wearing it frequently this fall.
Second photo down is one of my omg-my-makeup-looks-nice-today selfies, when I’d just gotten the aforementioned OCC Maneater and couldn’t wait to try it on. Both of the top two photos show this warm lip color paired with a dark neutral smoky eye, nothing too dramatic, but certainly not the sort of fresh and minimal eye look you’ll see in the video below.
Third, the side-by-side photos are of my gorgeous friend and bride-to-be makeup client, Emily. She never usually wears red, and is going retro glam for the wedding, so we used Stila liquid lipstick in Beso, which will stay put all day and doesn’t really require any maintenance once it’s applied. We paired the statement lips with a simple, bold cat eye. Doesn’t she look like she should rock a red lip, like, all the time?!
Time and experience, along with really getting acquainted with your own face, will improve your ability to pull off the precise look you’d like to achieve. Along the way, keep these tips in mind for a better overall red lipstick experience, regardless of your mouth shape or color family.
•Use liner! Always! Lip liner helps keep your lipstick from bleeding or feathering. Choose a color that matches your lipstick, or get a versatile neutral red that can be used with either cool or warm lipstick shades, and draw a line around the perimeter of your lips. Afterward, fill in the lips, holding the pencil at about a 30 degree angle, to create a base layer. This will keep everything in place and looking fab much longer.
•Clean up the edges. It’s not easy getting those edges crisp and pretty like the plethora of perfect Pinterest lips you aspire to have. Over time, as with any precision work, it becomes more natural to maintain a steady hand, but you’ll still mess it up from time to time. Concealer is your best friend, and can heal (almost) all wounds. If you go outside the line or need to correct a wobbly edge, first carefully wipe the excess with a Q-tip (which you can dip in makeup remover if the lipstick is longwear or otherwise not budging). Then, using a small, flat eyeshadow or concealer brush, dab on a tiny bit of product that best matches your skin tone, and blend it out into the rest of your skin. Take a wee bit more concealer and brush on a thin line right along the entire edge of your lip. Blend out away from the lip, into your face. This step makes such a noticeable difference, but please skip it if you’re in a rush! It’ll take some time and patience to master.
•Give it time to set. After you’re all done applying lipstick, blot on a tissue or napkin for good measure and then LEAVE IT ALONE. Try to refrain from eating, drinking, or otherwise disturbing your lipstick for a little while. 20-30 minutes is usually plenty of time. Don’t let this discourage you from wearing bold lipstick all together if you’re about to indulge, but is a good idea to keep in mind so you can avoid rubbing off your freshly applied makeup as often as possible.
Ready to try it yourself?! Not yet? No worries.
Here, watch the process in action. This video from Shameless Fripperies is full of all sorts of helpful info on now only applying the makeup, but also comparing and selecting the right color for you. Check it out!
If you try the tips included here and learn something new, please tag us in your pics or comments on Instagram (@thiscreativelife @jenheartsart) and/or Twitter (@thiscre8ivelife @jenheartsart)!
This week is very full, but mostly full with awesome things! More on my week coming tomorrow. Wednesday is my normal work day for Armadillo Christmas Bazaar, but I’m leaving early because that night The Get Up Kids are playing. I’m SO excited! If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my tweet about one of my besties (Daniel) calling me from the show in SF when they played Woodson (my fave song) so I could hear it. It got me even more excited for the show. Here’s another one of my faves:
I’m really hoping the crowd will be as energetic as in the video (minus the crowd surfing). Ryan (the drummer) is so good. While looking for a vid to post I would get lost watching him play. I remember in college when we would get to bring in “pop” songs we wanted to learn I would always bring in a song by The Get Up Kids. Sometimes when I listen to them I regret selling my kit. Maybe I should buy a new one next year after I move. Hmmm. Things to think about.
Some days call for music you can dance to. My Chromeo Pandora playlist is one of my faves when I want some music I can dance to, but can also work to. You may or may not know I’m a huge fan of the Step Up franchise. That movie changed my association with this song, because I’ve now seen those movies more than I’ve seen Chromeo live. Good thing I’m a fan of both! I hope this fave jam of mine puts you in an upbeat mood. XO -renée
Today was full of a bad “case of the Mondays” for too many of my friends. Recently this song came on the radio while I was at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar HQ working, and my heart just melted. I could not concentrate on anything other than the song, and remembering what it felt like driving with the windows down jamming out to this in my car when it came out. This song always fills me with love and hope, and a swoony feeling. I hope it does the same for you.
This is my new car TARDIS. When they first came back I looked at them, but didn’t get one because I was the one always driving my friends around and I needed a car that would be easy for that. This time around I could be more selfish in what I was looking for in a car. My dream car is a car I already owned, which was a VW cabrio. I loved that car. They don’t make them anymore. I was looking for something small, with good gas mileage, bluetooth, and ideally a convertible. This car was close enough with a sunroof. How could I pass up this cute car in almost a TARDIS blue?!? With that in mind, this is what came next….
The keychain was originally a pendant I ordered awhile back, but it was too big for my taste. I now had the perfect use for it! And for the big finally….
(license plate hidden for privacy concerns)
When I did roller derby my derby name was Bad Wolf. I chose that name because it’s a cool storyline from Doctor Who, and the story arc covered more than one Doctor. I’ve also always wanted to be the Doctor. I’m getting closer, no?
The view from the sunroof on the way home. I think this car suits me perfectly, and I’m loving the zip-zoom of it.
WARNING: This post is photo heavy (loaded with cuteness).
Whenever I go to the West Coast (which is usually at least once a year) a trip to Daiso is always on the itinerary. Finding out one was FINALLY coming to Texas was a dream come true! Especially since I will not be making a trip to L.A. this year. I need to get my cute fix! With August being my birthday month, Josh agreed to drive me to the Dallas area to have a “pretend we’re in L.A. trip”. He drove my new car (post on that coming soon) so I could “play” with my planner on the drive there. When we got there for their grand opening, we found ourselves in quite the line. I was happy that it had such a turnout, but was a little worried we wouldn’t get in!
The line was outside wrapped into a neighboring empty business, then back outside again! Thankfully the line moved fairly quickly. We were in line for around 30 minutes, but it wasn’t so bad, the staff passed out water to everyone, and there was music playing, so everything was upbeat. This was just what was in front of me, the whole line was over double what you see here!
Daiso is a Japanese $1.50 value store. Think dollar store, but with loads of cuteness!
I tried to convince this employee to give me his Pocky jacket. I did get a Pocky file folder. YAY!
Here’s a peek at a tiny portion of some of the goodies I picked up there:
After the Daiso trip we went to Sprinkles (another L.A. fave) for some cupcakes.
I’m so glad we were there for the grand opening, there was so much excitement in the store. I can’t wait to go back next month! Here’s a tip for artist/maker friends that do shows, you can find super cute items here for your booth displays. Lots of mine come from Daiso.
Long time, no post. It’s been an even longer gap on the “Motivational Monday” posts, too. We’re getting back into the swing of things over here and hoping to resume our normal posting schedule. Baby steps.
This year has been rough for team This Creative Life and team Robo Roku.
I prefer bad news first, so let’s start there.
This year if one of my parents weren’t in the hospital, Josh’s dad was, and then Jen’s mom.
My mom had some seizures, she’s fine now.
My dad broke his neck and was in the hospital for two months, and he’s still recovering. He’s at about 90% now.
Josh’s dad was in the hospital for almost two months and ended up passing away on Memorial Day.
Jen’s mom ended up in the hospital around the same time and passed on last month.
We’ve all been trying to recover from the sadness and catch up on everything we all fell behind on. Life doesn’t stop when you’re going through a hard time, so we all have just been doing the best that we can.
I’m not sure I’ve had a chance to really talk about this, but in April of 2014 I took a part-time job at a print shop working mornings. I had been getting bad cabin fever, and Josh had been complaining about a co-worker that would not show up a lot. At the print shop he worked before this one they had an employee like that, and to get out of my house and mingle a bit I asked to be on call and work when they wouldn’t show up. I asked Josh if he thought I could do that at his new place, and they ended up asking me to work mornings. That was more of a commitment than I wanted, but I did it anyway. That was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life. I would come home exhausted just because I was dealing with demanding and ignorant jerks on the phone every day. Between working mornings and being tired, I didn’t get as much done as I was used to. Last year was the most unprepared for holiday season I’ve ever been. Licensing deals were working out, but I wasn’t posting on social media and rarely listing new stuff online. I had planned on quitting the print shop before December, but because I was so behind on getting it together for the holidays I stayed on. Holiday sales were down because we didn’t have as many tees as we normally do, so I stayed on at the print shop after the holidays. With all the family members being in the hospital I just didn’t have the creative energy to make and list new things, so I stayed on at the print shop even longer. I finally quit last month.
I cannot tell you how great it feels to have my life back! Today was my first day back to the life I had been living since 2006. I ran errands and started working on holiday show prep. There is one small change to my schedule, and that’s that two days a week I will be going into work at a job I started in March working for Armadillo Christmas Bazaar! It’s so awesome having a job where all my past work/life experiences (social media, merchandising, craft show producing + jury, retail, web design, and artist experience) all come into play. I also like that this job doesn’t interfere with my designer life like the print shop did. I leave the Armadillo offices excited and happy about what I’m doing. Something else new for this year is that I’m the new Chair for Chula League. Chula League is the non-profit that is behind Cherrywood Art Fair and Little Artist BIG Artist. I’ve always wanted to do Little Artist BIG Artist, but I don’t know how to teach people to draw. Being on the board allows me the opportunity to give back to the creative Austin community with my strengths.
This month is all about “breaking free” from things that were holding me back. So many good things have happened since the first of this month, that I feel like the good things were just waiting for me to be ready for them. I’ll have a post for you tomorrow showing you how I kicked off my birthday month. I just wanted to check in and let you know that we’re all surviving, and we’re coming back. I wanted to share my experiences this year in case you’re going through a tough time or stuck in a rut and you need a push to break free from whatever is holding you back. We owe it ourselves, to our friends, family, and to anyone else stuck to get unstuck and find the happy that’s waiting for us.
I happened upon this simple, beautiful typography print from Etsy seller Coco And Dee, and was inspired to share a little bit about a topic on which I’ve been working in my personal life recently: acceptance. Accepting the world around us isn’t always easy, and accepting ourselves is often even harder. “It is what it is,” is a statement I’m known to use often when discussing external situations or problems, but applying that same understanding to myself has been a significant challenge throughout most of my life. I know I’m not alone in this; many people experience the same difficulty and it holds us back from being our best, most satisfied selves. A few moments of digging online will produce an ample selection of resource options, though, so there’s definitely hope for us!
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – e.e. cummings
Accepting oneself does not necessarily mean approval of where one is in life right now. You can still recognize area for improvement, have goals and ideals, and have a plan in place to help you achieve those goals (which, of course, means changing something about where/who/what you are), but you don’t have to beat yourself up along the way. Acceptance simply means no longer struggling against your reality, which will actually make it easier for you to attain results and make lasting changes.
In a Tiny Buddha post on the topic of self-acceptance, author E.K. Bradley explains, “No one can attain happiness if they are hung up on what is lacking; we must transcend the need to compare ourselves to others and let go of our apparent flaws and shortcomings. This frees us from self-imposed judgment and the need to fit into society’s standard of what we should look like, be, act, and do.” (The site has lots more great content on acceptance, by a variety of writers, FYI.)
In acceptance lies empowerment, happiness, and freedom. Be kind to yourself and consider your weaknesses, without making excuses, when beginning a new journey to improvement. Making small, realistic, quantifiable actions toward your chosen goals will help you achieve lasting lifestyle changes — but don’t forget to love who you already are along the way.
You are who you are. And it is what it is.
When people cooperate to achieve a common goal, amazing things can happen. Even for those of us who prefer solitude to being around others much of the time, the benefits of connecting with fellow humans — both in personal and professional contexts — affect not only the group, but also the individual in positive ways. (Of course, if you are an introvert, this may require a little creativity and a pretty thorough understanding of your boundaries, but there are tons of innovative digital resources these days that make it easy to collaborate with a team on your own terms.)
Working together, at home as well as work, boosts morale and yields higher efficiency when each person focuses on his or her contribution to the whole by offering their respective strengths. Even better? Practice makes perfect, so practicing a specific task diligently (as opposed to handling a whole project on your own, spreading your attention thin) will ideally create new, stronger strengths for you. Practicing teamwork also teaches improved conflict resolution and communication skills. According to research, cooperation can even make you more intelligent!
Together. It’s a powerful concept. We are stronger together than apart, and history has proven the power of organized groups of people passionate about the same causes.
In my personal life, I’ve begun implementing team-building practices into our household routines, and am continuing to seek solutions that seem fun for the kids and easy for me to maintain. The goal is to encourage generosity, solid work ethic, social skills, and balance. We’re still attempting to design the perfect chore chart for my family’s lifestyle, one that makes it easy to keep track of goals and how/when/how much each member acts in the interest of achieving them.
When it comes to art and business, I find myself doing my best work with a team, despite not considering myself much of a “people person.” I’ve found many ways to create awesome things that are integral to their projects without being confined to an environment in which I’m not comfortable enough to thrive. I paint theatrical set pieces in solitude, usually while rocking out to 80s-90s music and getting quite a workout, which are then combined with the fruits of the actors’ and theatre staff’s labor to produce wonderfully entertaining shows. I make custom accessories at my desk at home for clients who are overseeing team-powered projects and events of all kinds, and am always thrilled to see the finished product, once it’s all pieced together. Being an important little part of an awesome bigger picture is exhilarating and inspiring to me, so there’s an effect on my momentum going forward as well.
Even for this blog, Renée and I each contribute posts that highlight our individual interests and areas of expertise. We both have busy daily lives, and have each experienced our share of significant family and personal obstacles that serve as setbacks on the path to some of our professional ideals. If one of us is overwhelmed when life gets in the way, the other always tries to make certain the ship stays afloat.
Knowing we have a caring support system helps soften life’s blows. Having a cohort who shares your vision is an invaluable resource, making it more likely that we’ll get back on track after we stumble. I know there are areas in my life wherein I’d like to be a better teammate, and wherein I’d love to influence those around me to do the same.
Do you manage a team or a busy family? If so, what tips and insights would you say have been particularly motivational or helpful? Leave us a comment below!