Life Candy! All The 

All The Things That Make Life So Sweet!

 In this week’s installment of Life Candy, we explore the things of life that make living more sweet. Some of them are free and even the things that do cost money don’t cost very much. The important thing is we want to provide a friendly reminder to take care of yourself. Self Care is something we take seriously at Explore What’s Next and we hope you will as well. If you do need professional help, the EWN therapists have expertise in effective treatment utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic, Interpersonal, Solution, Supportive, Mindfulness, or Trauma-based therapy. I’m sure that we have the skills to assist you in your journey of healing.

Each week Dr Aletta and invited guests share with you their latest suggestions of Life Candy. Whenever possible we include local products that can be found or manufactured in the Buffalo and greater Western New York area. However, the internet has no limits so we also include interesting and inspiring things that we’ve discovered online. We’d be thrilled if you’ve ran across something that makes your life a little bit better and choose to share your findings with us! Please share your suggestions with us in the comments! We can’t wait to see what you’ve found! We’re sure that others will enjoy them as well!

Life Candy (Text) shows a paper cup with candy inside) and the Explore What's Next Logo on the outside of the cup

Tiny Desk Concerts on NPR

Tiny Desk Concerts are amazing! Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Duckwrth, Yoyo Ma and so much more! Eight hundred concerts with over two billion views on YouTube. This week I learned about Tinariwen!

Socks from Thin Ice

Hand-made gifts by local artists. Treat someone you love or treat yo’self! I did both when I found these soft Buffalo print socks! Bought a pair for a friend and went back to get a pair for me!

Tarot Cards

Don’t laugh! Yes, I am a scientist/clinician, which means I’m all about evidence-based treatments. However…I’ve been so stuck in my head lately (on the left side of my brain, to be precise) my daughter suggested I use the tarot deck she gave me for Christmas just to see what happens. So this week, every morning before I meditate, I shuffle my deck and draw a card. Result: Mind (left AND right) blown! And can we please give a big amen that mercury is finally out of retrograde?

Most delicious braised short rib recipe ever!

Serve with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans and you have a carnivore’s winter-comfort-dream meal. Better still, find a partner who loves to cook so you can sleep-in as the seductive scent of bacon, garlic and sherry wafts through the house! Bonus! Watch the video of Chef John making this awesome dish.

Rearrange the furniture

The other day I looked at my home office and thought, “This is depressing”. Since the Tarot said I had to stop Thinking and just Do Shit, I got a box to throw in  stuff off my console that I didn’t really like but held on to because of some weird sentiment. Moved my desk around so that my chair wasn’t boxed into a corner. Took the dark red slipcover (which looked cool ten years ago) off the light blue loveseat. Grabbed some throw pillows from the living room downstairs that worked great on the newly exposed loveseat. And voila! My Chi thanked me as it danced around the freshly opened space! Bonus: I didn’t spend a dime!

Note: Not my actual furniture.


Plants are enjoying a huge comeback after years of minimalist decor. Plants are living things that bring life and oxygen into a room. They soften the sharp edges of walls, desks, tables. They come in all types, shapes and sizes and are beautiful in color and form. During my home office rearranging frenzy I poached a few plants from other parts of the house and felt instant happiness. Go to any of these local shops for healthy plants, Daddy’s Plants, Put a Plant On It. They also have gorgeous pots and advice on care. Plant people are nice and very cool.

Watch Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day!

It’s not too late. Turn the clock back and do it. It’s amazing to watch the Bill Murray character go through all the stages of grief until, finally, he reaches Radical Acceptance, and then the higher plane of Finding Meaning. All this in 1993 before there were cell phones! I’ve heard this movie described as the most Buddhist of all films. Yup, it’s all that, plus, it’s smart, funny, a rom-com and features the cutest rodent ever.