Monday, December 16, 2013

Products that help me through the hectic times

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about feeling down during the holiday season. I’ve been practicing as many of my coping measures as I can. I haven’t been getting up early enough to journal, and I haven’t played my keyboard, but all in good time.
I’ve also been turning to certain products this holiday season to help me navigate the stress and hectic nature that this time of year can include.

Holiday lights
I love being surrounded by the tree lights and other lights on decorations. They light up the darkness and make me feel warm and safe.

Battery-powered candles
I think I write about these every Christmas, but I just love them. I get to have the pleasure of candlelight without the worry of lighting a real candle, or having a real candle sitting around in reach of a jumping cat.
Some would consider this an avoidance of dealing with an obsession in OCD. Essentially, I’m not facing my harm obsession manifesting as fear of fire.
But I believe that some obsessions can be dealt with in ways other than exposing myself fully to the object of my fear. I think in this case, I’m choosing a safe alternative to lit candles in a house with a cat. And if I had to light a candle, I could. I’m choosing not to.
Not everyone will agree with me. But it works for me.

Lipton Soothe Smooth Green Tea
We just recently discovered this. I’m usually not a big fan of green tea, but this tea has a delicate, light taste, and it really seems to soothe me. I enjoy having a cup in the evening as I wind down.
I especially like to drink it in a holiday mug I found at a local thrift store.
(Note: I was not asked to write about this brand of tea or compensated to do so. These opinions are mine.)

My phone
My timer function on my iPhone has been very helpful to me. It’s easy for me to lose track of time. I get involved in whatever I’m doing and time goes by.
So I’ve started using a timer when I really need to be reminded to look up from my work.
For example, often Larry calls me at work to see if I’d like to go to lunch. After I hang up, I set the timer for nine minutes. It takes about that long for him to leave the house and drive over to my office. When the timer goes off (with a soothing tone), I know it’s time to put my coat on and go out the front door of the office building. This saves me from running late, keeping Larry waiting, and just feeling frazzled.

Gas logs
The gas logs help heat the house. We have a furnace and a heat pump, though. What we really use the gas logs for is comfort.
Chase Bird loves to sit by the fire, warming his tummy, then his back.
In the late evenings, I like to curl up on the sofa. The tree on the dining table is behind me. Candles are on the mantel. And the fire is going. It’s so peaceful.
The photos I took of Chase by the fire turned out blurry. By the time I realized it, I couldn’t get him to return to the fire for a retake. 

Do you have a favorite product that makes life a little easier?


  1. Thanks for sharing these products. The battery operated candles are awesome, I think I'm going to purchase a couple for myself. Often I want the glow of a candle, but I'm worried about falling asleep or leaving my home with leaving the candle lit.


  2. curious - where do you find that tea? sounds delicious. i think anything in our world we can get lost in ... i have a problem of getting lost in my computer time ... it is like another world - you are just pulled in - & suddenly i come back to the real world & i have much work to be done. i enjoy your timer idea. works for me. ( :

  3. Oh I left a very nice comment twice and I have no idea where it went I am trying this once again. LOVE the candles, fireplace and log, tea and wise Chase. I could not get buy without the heater in my tractor brrrr. HUGS B

  4. I love battery-powered candles! I think that's such a great idea. My favourite thing during the cold season is my electric blanket. I turn it on about 15 minutes before I go to bed, and the sheets are toasty warm when I slip into them!

  5. I love this -- learning what helps you through and also seeing your pretty tree, decorations and of course, Chase Bird. I love the lights especially -- I put them everywhere! And the battery candles are a real bonus!

  6. did you notice they had the battery candles at the lodge too! i love christmas lights. i have them all over inside the house and love to turn all the lights off and just relax to the glow of christmas lights!

  7. Yes my phone helps me as well - I would be lost without the reminder function! And the Christmas lights really do soothe the soul don't they? I love turning all the other lights off and just using the Christmas light's glow to light up everything :)

  8. Yorkshire Gold is my go to tea every day. Yum.

  9. i think the no-flame candles should be considered in any home that has pets that climb. a nice, safe alternative. gas logs - no mess. :)

  10. I have those battery-operated tea lights for my Christmas decorations and love them. It just makes good sense. We've had a particularly long cold-snap (cold for here anyway) and I love using our fireplace with the fake gas logs because there is no mess to worry with afterwards. I had always wanted this, and when we bought this house last year, that was a definite selling point. :)

  11. I have never commented, but I do so enjoy reading your blog. This post is great. We have 2 cats and 2 dogs (with wagging tales) and I use battery operated candles ~ with the timers ~ year round. So much safer. I have a Keurig but have never tried that particular tea. I do use a tea bag of Lipton Mixed Berry green tea every afternoon, though! Again, I look forward to your posts and enjoy them so. Thanks for sharing.

  12. We watched The Waltons Homecoming last night and Paul and I were both freaked out by the real candles on the tree. I don't blame you for battery candles at all. Plus in college my friend's cay caught its tail on fire walking past a candle!! He was ok but still!

  13. Those battery candles are lovely, I didn't even know they existed. I don't have anything special other than tea with a bit more sugar than I need and half hot milk. I use our timer to keep me focused, no more burnt cakes, breads, cookies, no more boiled dry potatoes, etc I carry it with me, a big ol thing but I love that it keeps me from spoiling or missing things. Those cats are like that, no repose!

  14. whaterver works for you tina, we all have little tricks and products we rely on!!

    i am a list maker and a list lover!!

    and the hubs helps with everything, i would not make it without his help!!

  15. Sounds like you are trying to be mindful of the here and now. Very good strategy! I've started using Scentsy. They are candle holders, but use a lightbulb to melt the wax instead. I really like it and I don't have to worry about fire. I do still use real candles at times, but I always have to keep an eye out for them.

  16. This is a wonderful, comforting post, Tina. Thank you for sharing! We use battery powered candles also. I think they're best, and much safer with four kitties around. :). I love this photo of Chase Bird. Adorable!

  17. I have an essential oils diffuser that I can run if I'm concerned about mold and mold spores. That's helpful. I'm glad for convenience food and leftovers (not a product, I know) but when I'm hungry and tired and don't want to go through the effort of cooking, that helps. I burn beeswax candles, although I haven't done that much this year. I love incense but I'm not sure that it's good to have it around the birds, so I have that in the bathroom. Otherwise, I think I'd just let it smoke the place up! :)

  18. Pretty tree and ornaments! The battery candles are a good idea.. I could not go without my coffeemaker..have a great evening and week ahead!

  19. Tea and all kinds! I'm not a tea drinker the rest of the year, but I enjoy a cup of tea when it gets cold. You are the winner of my "Pelican Point" book giveaway. Please send me your address at and I will send your book to you.

  20. Your post exudes light and warmth, Tina. Nothing better than that!

  21. I have a few of the battery candles, but prefer the old-fashioned kind. My mom switched to a candle warmer which is good so I don't worry about her forgetting to extinguish the real version.

    I love the flavored coffees this time of year -- chocolate mint mocha is my go-to right now. :)

  22. Love this post. I love to see different ways people help manage the holidays, especially when OCD is a point. I saw Costco had a bunch of battery powered candles ... I think I know what I'm getting next time we go (I use a candle warmer to avoid my OCD fire stuff...shhh).


  23. I totally agree with the candle/fire thing. I have never purchased these battery candles but I love them. Chase Bird is so cute by the fire and I love the cat ornament.

    It's good to do extra little things for ourselves. I really like your suggestions.


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