Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day

Happy Leap Day!  It's amazing to think that "February 29th" didn't exist last year, but, given that it's here this year, why don't we try to make the most of it?  I spent yesterday studying like crazy for the SAT (with a short Oscars break thrown in around dinnertime), and, while the studying continues today, it's also very pretty outside, so I'm trying to focus on more than just school/work/work/work and to reduce stress. I know I've posted about this before, but cortisol isn't something you want to be living on. Cortisol shouldn't be your primary energy source!  It's a backup reserve saved for situations that demand it--not for round-the-clock pick-me-ups.  Fortunately, if you've been running on cortisol, today is a great day to try to get grounded again.

“According to numerology the number 11 possesses the qualities of patience, honesty, spirituality, sensitivity, intuition and is idealistic and compassionate. Those people who are drawn to 11, operate on a different level of energy than most, and when two people come together who both have this type of energy it’s almost combustible. 11:11 is the universe’s way of urging us to pay attention to our heart, our soul and our inner intuition. It’s serving as a wake-up call to us so that opportunities are not missed in this lifetime.”
See?  View today as a day to connect with yourself and your intuition and inner creativity so you can find JOY in things again as opposed to just going through the daily motions.  And if you're looking for something to make you smile, here's a video of Mobula Rays belly flopping:

<3 Frances 

P.S.  Today is the last day for donations to Smile Train to have 5x the impact!  That means a $10.00 donation becomes $50.00!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Quotespiration for Today

We're one day from Friday.  Let's make it a wonderful Thursday :).

Jane Austen:
Best Ever 86 Inspirational Quotes:
You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic. - Alice in Wonderland #literary #quotes:
C.S. LEWIS quote inspirational quote Literary quote graduation gift integrity:
I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe the best does. - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables #literary #quotes:
<3 Frances

Monday, February 22, 2016

Space Age Inspiration

There's no denying it: space is having a moment right now.  From Star Wars VII to The Martian to gravitational waves, space and all space-related things seem to be everywhere, and today, in honor of NASA's record-breaking number of astronaut applicants and the developing body of proof for Einstein's black hole ideas, we're looking to the stars above for fashion inspiration.  


<3 Frances

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Playlist

The past two days were snowy and icy and full of studying, but we had music to keep us going, and I'm excited to share the songs that I now have on repeat.  

Boy: "Little Numbers"

Kaleo: "All the Pretty Girls"

Sleeping At Last: "Chasing Cars" (Cover of Snow Patrol)

Happy Wednesday! 
<3 Frances 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Bronte Obsession Continues

Although my excitement about this post may not be shared by anyone not totally obsessed with literature, I have to share it anyway.  For Christmas this year, my big gifts from my mum were copies of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre from 1943.  I know that those books were written in the 1800s, but having copies from 1943 is incredibly amazing to me because of a slight obsession with the 1940s (#modcloth).  That aside, though, the thing about these books is that the illustrations are so cool!  They're very dark and Tim Burton/Edward Gorey-esque, but they're from a pre-Tim Burton/Edward Gorey time, and they make the depressing moors and broken love stories of Charlotte and Emily Bronte's beautifully-crafted worlds really come to life.  It's like the books are haunted in the best way possible.

<3 Frances 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Year of the Monkey

Happy Chinese New Year!  It is *officially* the Year of the Monkey, and, to get even more specific, this year's monkey is the Fire Monkey. Yes, you read that correctly: FIRE Monkey.  Personally, I think that's quite possibly one of the most inspiring power animals ever, and it gives me a lot of hope as far as making this year a positive one.  Channel your inner Fire Monkey!
Anyway, because it's the Chinese New Year and because we do so very much love astrology here at Moth Bird, here is your 2016 Fire Monkey horoscope from Suzanne White via AstroStyle.  She says that the Monkey "is like a sunrise full of hope," and she gets into the details of what it means as far as everything from love to real estate is concerned. 
The influence of the Fire Monkey in 2016 will cause many of our preconceived notions to hit the fan. It’s going to be a scurrying kind of year. Individuals can accomplish great deeds. But extremist group movements will have less and less effect on the world at large. Fire Monkey years are chockablock with wakeup calls for all and sundry. Fire Monkeys have no time for ostriches.
Sweeping global shifts are afoot. Whether it’s climate change which brings everything from volcanic eruptions to cyclones, drought, floods and unbearable heat and cold spells, or it’s the prevalence now of religious wars when enemies fight each other over whose God is the best God and whose God doesn’t count—these, we know, are futile wars. But they exist and will persist and even try to worsen in the Fire Monkey Year.The Monkey is the problem solver. The arrival of a Monkey year, just at this juncture, is like a sunrise full of hope.
Another planetary niggle in 2016 will be about massive exodus and immigration of desperate refugees from the above-mentioned conflicts. Many war-torn countries today can do nothing for their people who are homeless and frightened and hungry. So these same people (understandably) need to leave their stricken lands and find a place where they can live in safety and peace and try to make a better life for themselves.Trouble is, where can they go? Where will they be welcomed and accepted? Looks like 2016 will be chockablock with trials and tribulations. In other words, 2016 might be the perfect time to Dial-A -Monkey.Because 2016 is a Fire Monkey Year, progress will be accelerated in all the above areas. Wars might not stop being fought and tornadoes and earthquakes may not desist. But the Monkey is the problem solver. The arrival of a Monkey year, just at this juncture, is like a sunrise full of hope. Monkeys find solutions to even the most labyrinthine of issues. And they do it in subtle ways that other less wily and crafty signs would find impossible. Everybody’s life will be somehow altered because of the Monkey’s know-how in 2016.In 2016, alternative energies to dangerous pollutants will suddenly be taken seriously and developed quickly. Populations everywhere will begin calling for reforms to delay the progress of global warming. Detractors and fanatics who have resisted the idea of climate change will be forced to accept that the consequences of their faulty beliefs are grave and they can no longer hide behind reactionary rhetoric. Let’s face it: When the underpinnings of their million dollar seaside villas begin eroding and their houses teeter on the brink and threaten to topple into the ocean, even the most conservative climate change dinosaurs will begin to pay attention to what reforms are necessary to save the earth from self destruction.In 2016, unconventional medical advances and a new respect for naturopathic cures will also thrive. Already we see that scads of people are fed up with allopathic remedies that not only make people sicker, they don’t always cure them. Instead they treat the symptoms—not the cause. The Fire Monkey will see to it that this trend changes. In 2016, more and more patients will be drawn to homeopathy, acupuncture, osteopathy, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and many other nonconformist techniques. Health maintenance and disease prevention products such as food supplements and natural healing methods will begin to be taken seriously. 2016 could be just the right time to invest in the stocks of laboratories which make vitamins, homeopathic remedies, food supplements and the like.During this Fire Money year more and more countries will be outlawing toxic insecticides and refusing to allow farmers to use genetically modified seeds (GMOs). It’s the Monkey’s job to clean up what has gotten muddled and soiled through greed. Monkey years are famous for making order out of chaos. Monkeys are forever seeking novel solutions for all the world’s problems.The Monkey, instead of looking at the problem, looks through it, calculates the risks and then begins to pick it apart. This unique method of sorting out predicaments gives the Monkey an edge. Monkeys have few hostile verbal confrontations because their enemies know full well that they are up against a superior Monkey mind.This is not to say that the Monkey year will always favor your side. If you are a Dragon or a Rat, you might have an easier row to hoe in 2016. Not so the Rooster or the Dog who consider Monkeys scatty and inconsequential. And by comparison to the hardworking Horse or the slog and drudge Ox person, Monkeys look like lightweights. But they are not. Monkeys achieve their goals. But often they don’t succeed merely through sheer toil and trudge. Monkeys get what they want by adapting their behavior to the situation and then setting about dismantling it in order to fix it.On a personal level, everyone will be called upon this year to take stock of the condition of their bodies. Some of us have developed chronic conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, trick knees or tennis elbow. Some people ache in every joint. 2016 will be the perfect year to start a regimen and perform at least one detox. Simultaneously, get yourself to a physical therapist who can guide you through exercises to heal even the most painful and debilitating complaints.  Too, you should either join a gym, swim four times a week, jog or sign up for courses in Pilates, Yoga, Zumba or cycling. If you can afford it, hire a coach to assist you in building and maintaining muscle. If you’re feeling sluggish, see a nutritionist and follow their instructions. If all of the above approaches are also above your means, grab a throw rug and download an exercise video. The Fire Monkey year urges and even pushes us to find original ways to remain healthy and strong.Love in the Fire Monkey year? Well… it’s iffy. There are some New Astrology™ signs whose love lives will float along without incident this year. Others of you will encounter snag after snag, often having to do with one of the members of the couple evolving and growing in a direction that both frightens and alienates the other. If you are planning to improve your life and/or make huge personal changes this year, don’t forget to inform your partner and, if they so desire, take them along for the ride. The more you do together, the closer you will become. No matter how passionate you are about your bodywork and cures for chronic ills, remember to maintain a satisfactory level of passion between the sheets.The real estate markets will improve in 2016.  Low interest bank loans for mortgages will become more available. The banks themselves will show more flexibility with the people they lend money to. In all 50 U.S. States, same-sex couples can now be married. This breakthrough alone means that 2016 will see new approaches to fusty old obstacles. As Bob Dylan warned way long ago: The times they are a-changin’. Banks will become more user-friendly. And if you are buying or selling property, don’t hesitate to negotiate the price. Monkeys applaud and encourage the haggler in us.In the Fire Monkey year you can get ahead, create new concepts, start a business or leave a job. This is a time to be bolder and cleverer than the next guy. But remember that this Fire Monkey year will also be rife with chicanery and deceit. You must play each opportunity deftly. Do not barrel ahead on any project or make any investments that you have not thoroughly researched. Study each situation and pore over complex documents ‘til your eyes are popping out of your head. Just because 2016 is a leap year doesn’t mean you should leap before you take a good hard objective look at all the details. Nonetheless, forge onward. Take charge and dare in the Fire Monkey year.But before you rush into any enterprise—be it personal, romantic, professional or social—do your homework. The Monkey encourages the spunky, audacious you. But he or she might also be hanging out on a neighboring branch, waiting for you to show weakness. When you do, the Monkey may swing right on over and snatch your banana. 

<3 Frances

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Mind-Immune Connection

Today we're talking about the immune system, that wonderful biological defense mechanism we all have that's supposed to keep us well and help protect us against infection and illness.  While that's wonderful, though, sometimes the immune system isn't feeling very well itself, and then it can't do its job properly.  This can, of course, cause a whole cascade of problems, allowing issues to fester in your gut and other important places and leaving you feeling just plain awful.  The math of it is simple: sad immune system = sad you.  And the worst part of it is that this equation eventually becomes a positive feedback loop.
Wait, what?
Allow me to get a little science-y now.  A "positive feedback loop" basically describes any cycle that contributes to its own perpetuation by fostering/amplifying the changes it creates.  The melting sea ice, for instance, is a positive feedback loop because as more ice melts, more dark water is revealed, which in turn absorbs solar heat (dark water is more absorbent than light ice) and causes more melting.  And so on. And so on. With regards to your health, a compromised immune system can make you feel sad and stressed, and your own stress can dampen your immune system, etc., etc. I know...the frustration of it sort of can make you feel like this:

But DON'T WORRY! Worrying is pretty much the worst thing you can do if you're caught in a rut of stressed immune system--->stressed you---->stressed immune system.  I mean, worrying will only contribute to the cycle, right?  I'm no doctor, and I know immune system complications probably extend far beyond how happy or stressed you are, but feeling positive, peaceful, and calm can definitely help amp up your immune responses.  Plus, even if it doesn't fix the situation 100%, there are a lot of other things being happy/having low stress will do to make your life better (clearer skin, better resting heart rate, etc.).  So find something that makes you feel relaxed and at peace--yoga, reading, even just escaping to a happy place--and do your best to incorporate into your everyday life.  It may seem difficult (so much work makes it almost impossible to find a free minute), but it should be a priority because your health is important, and you don't want to overwhelm yourself.   

<3 Frances 

For more information on the mind-immune connection, check out these links:
Mind & Body Connection - attitudes affect your health (Graves' Disease & Thyroid Foundation)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Hi, dears!  I think I mentioned this briefly before, but I'm doing a project related to forms of artistic therapy (specifically bibliotherapy) and how they help people to not only heal but to also survive/thrive in general. Things like dance, music, and literature are so important for connecting and sharing, and they have such positive mental effects that they can even contribute to physical healing due to immune system strengthening.  That's pretty awesome, isn't it?
Anyway, I was reading an article about compassion yesterday, and I stumbled upon this video by the Cleveland Clinic that emphasizes the importance of empathy and considering others.  It's very moving and sad, and the truth behind it is very powerful.  We're so often focused on what's going on in our own lives that we don't realize what's happening in the lives of others, and this video shows how crucial it is that we take time to step outside of ourselves and acknowledge the world around us. Empathy for the win.

<3 Frances