DIY Spa Recipes Aren’t Always Easy to Make

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It’s pretty frustrating, searching the internet, reading books and finding do it yourself spa recipes that have ingredients that are hard to come by. Most of these hard to come by ingredients are preservatives, seasonal or fruit that only grow in certain places in the world (and for some reason that’s not the place you’re in), or ingredients we just don’t normally purchase on a regular basis.

Lye for home made soap, without this it’s pretty much impossible to create a bar of soap.

Emulsifying wax or beeswax, normally purchased in bulk by the pound from cosmetic suppliers.

Borax powder, a common chemical used in soaps and cosmetics as an emulsifier, preservative, fizzing agent. Not to mention borax is used to kill pests. This is an example of an ingredient commonly listed in DIY at home skincare recipes, that make me wonder.

These are just to name a few, from the many other ingredients I have noticed in people’s so called “DIY natural spa treatments”. The best thing to keep in mind that at home spa treatments made in your kitchen should be made of the fresh ingredients, not stale leftovers or expired pantry items. If the treatment you are making for yourself is perishable, then try making only a little at a time or prolonging its life by making enough to keep refrigerated for the series of treatments.

Any unavailable ingredient check for more natural or available substitutes, such as apple cider can be replaced with freshly squeezed lemon, distilled water for boiled water, etc. This also gives you the experience to play around with your ingredients and coming up with your own customized concoction, made especially for you. IF there are chemicals or items listed in the recipe that you are unfamiliar with, before considering them always do your research on that particular ingredient. Sometimes, if you can’t pronounce it, it might be better off left out.

$20 DIY Spa at the Convenience of Home

How often do you hear the words: Times are pretty rough these days? We hear them so much because it’s true and the economic situation is felt. But this shouldn’t mean that we should neglect taking care of ourselves. The economic situation leaves most of us with no room for unnecessary expenses such as spa visits. Here are some drugstore ideas for a day at home and being able to care for yourself as if you physically paid that expensive spa a visit.
Try these drug store products to take home that compare and hold up against the expensive spa and department store products. For a day at your at home spa here are some recommendations:
Aveeno Foaming Stress Relief Bath: For about $5, it’s good because it’s made with natural oat extract, with hints of the scent of lavender, chamomile and ylang-ylang oils that are noted for its calming effects. This soap is fragrance free and soap free, suitable for sensitive skin.

Aveeno Foaming Stress Bath

Aussie Moist Shampoo and Conditioner: For less than $4, it’s good because it’s a shampoo and conditioner in one and it’s infused with aloe and jojoba oil that is good for thirsty dry hair that need replenishment. An added bonus, it’s made in the USA.

Aussie Daily Moisturizing 2 in 1 Shampoo

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion: For about $3 you can buy the travel size bottle to try it out before committing to an 8 or 18 ounce regular size bottle. But from experience you will fall in love with this lotion because, yes, it is paraben free, it is almost odorless and goes on light on the skin while leaving it truly moisturized, suitable for dry, sensitive skin. This lotion has received so many great reviews all over the web, and now there’s a version available with SPF. It’s also good to know that the moisturizer is the same brand as your cleansing agent, this makes the products work better since coming from the same brand in some way they are meant to work in harmony.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion

Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask: This face mask for about $4 will help with impurities of blackheads, whiteheads and acne. The combination of the ingredients with its clay content, this mask gives a calming effect helping in relaxing facial muscles, thus minimizing some of those lines and wrinkles. While is shows it contains parabens, aside from increasing its shelf life, it is needed to preserve the clay to stop growth of mold or bacteria, this product is not animal tested and proudly made in the USA..

St. Helenes Squalene Face Mask

So far we’ve spent $16 and we have our hair, face and skin taken care of, before heading to the checkout counter pick up a cup of Yoplait and a bottle of Arizona Organic Tea Water; and that should take care of the $4. Now you’re ready!
Set the atmosphere by making sure you have set aside this time or yourself and you will not be interrupted. You can enhance the ambiance by playing relaxing music to your choice, nature sounds or Celtic would be more ideal; (assuming you have candles laying around) and add candles by the tub for a more subtle lighting instead of the bright bathroom lights. Make your bath warm about 98.8 degrees or the temperature of your body because if you make the bath too hot it will just dry your skin. Wash you face and apply your face mask, bring your yogurt and tea, served hot or cold with you to eat and drink while relaxing and just clearing your mind and enjoying.
After your bath turn on the shower and rinse off the face mask and wash your hair, dry up and apply some moisturizer. I feel better just thinking about it.

Chocolate Aromatherapy and the Holiday Season.

hot coco aromatherapy for the holidays

The Body Shop, several years ago, I say; because, that’s the last time I ever got my hands on their Chocolate aromatherapy scented oil for burning. Till this day I have not seen a better product true to its’ scent as they made theirs. Why not bring it back? Isn’t the holidays made for giving?! Please bring it back!!! Ok, that’s being over melodramatic.

The scent of chocolate during the holidays, remind me of grandmas hot coco made the old fashion way with the beautiful aromatic mixtures of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. And how comforting it was to sit beside her and listen to her stories while we waited for Christmas.

Grandma’s Hot Coco Recipe.

These past recent years, every time I step into a Body Shop store, not even the sales personnel are aware that they once carried this product. Why was it discontinued, when it was only out seasonally to begin with?

I’m pretty sure there are other chocolate aromatherapy oils out there; that are better, I have yet to discover them. If anyone knows of one or what I’m talking about and share my frustration feel free to send me a comment and maybe together we can find a product substitute.


How to live after a break up

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Regardless of how much experience or lack thereof, break ups can be a tough experience in our life. It can leave us feeling heartbroken, lost and or depressed. There’re over 6 million results of experts that write about this topic when searched in Google alone. While there’s no cookie cutter way to eliminate the pain, and frustration of a separation, there are a few things you can do to help yourself recover. Having a healthy outlet and allowing yourself time, you’ll be back to your uniquely wonderful self again.

For those of us that have gone through a break up, ending a relationship has very real effects on the mind and body. Studies have shown that breakups cloud our senses. The more serious you were with your ex, the more devastated you’re likely to experience.

Treating yourself well during the post-breakup period regardless of whether you initiated the split or were on the receiving end is essential to heal. The phrase “time heals all wounds” is a saying you’ve probably heard about at some point in your life. Allowing yourself the chance to grieve, accept, and love yourself is a part of your path to your health and well-being.

Below are a few ways to help you live better after a breakup:

Document your thoughts and feelings

Subconsciously we train ourselves to suppress feelings that’s unpleasant as a method to protect ourselves from harm. However, when learning to cope from a break up, it’s actually the ball and chain that will suppress you from moving forward. According to an article by Forbes, people that that want to achieve a goal are more successful at accomplishing it when they write it down. This allows us to confront the emotions that we’ve bottled up and turn it into something tangible. In doing so, you remove it as a crazy thought from your mind, and transform something that’s visual that can be measured. The goal is to gain clarity and understanding to why the relationship did not work, and what you’ve learned from it that makes you a stronger and better person.

Don’t punish your body

In the movies you see one of the main characters completely trash their body as the cope with the stress of a breakup. They either stop eating, and go on a crash diet to lose weight to try to impress their ex to get them back. Or drink themselves drunk at a bar or at home as a way to mask their suffering. In addition, avoid mindless eating as a coping mechanism, as the effects of higher sugar, salt and unhealthy fats will cause more harm to your body’s ability to keep itself healthy. Your body is a part of you. So instead of restricting calories, over consumption of alcohol, or binge eating a ton of junk food, eat nourishing whole foods that are high in fiber, protein and nutrients to boost your overall mood and energy levels. A balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits, greens, and lean meats such as fish and chicken can help counteract the physiological stress of the breakup.

Incorporate Exercise back in your life

Research has shown that exercise and staying active reduces fatigue, improve awareness, concentration, and mood by producing endorphins that act as natural pain killers. Getting your endorphins pumping through cardio exercise such as going for a run, indoor cycling, or dance class is often prescribed as a way to get over a breakup and reduce stress levels, while improving your cognitive functions. It’s also a great way to providing you with a healthy distraction away from your problems This works even better when accompanied by your friends.

Learn to appreciate the good things in your life

It may seem easier to think negatively about your break up experience vs. all the positive of everything else that’s a part your life. Studies show that painful breakups can cloud your thought process so that it’s almost impossible to look beyond the pain and loss directly in front of you. In addition, you may experience some difficulty in remembering all the things to appreciate as a result of your focus towards the bad stuff. Women and Men alike agree that by applying the practice of gratitude towards things you do have, as well as those that positively impact your life, can help elevate your mood and get you get back into a more positive mindset. Studies have also shown that listing things you’re thankful for through a journal as a reminder will help you in your journey for appreciation.

When all else fails, seek professional help. Join support groups within your community, online, social media or within your church.Get a hobby, help out others, for example volunteer work. That way you stay busy, you socialize and you feel good.


Getting Pretty With It!

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We all know water is vital. We’re supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Adequate water consumption helps fight fatigue, dry mouth, bad breath, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chapped lips, dry skin and list goes on. But drinking plain old water can get boring, aside from the fact it’s tasteless, colorless and unappealing. Why not make your water pretty? Grab a clear pitcher, fill it with drinking water, grab a cucumber and slice it, throw the cucumber slices in the pitcher with the water and viola! Spa water.

Just be sure to let the spa water chill overnight, and when your done drinking your pretty water, you can either eat the cucumbers or use them on your eyes. Sounds silly? If it is silly, then it’s a great way to have fun with your food!

Moving forward from after abusive relationship

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If you’ve recently escaped that horrible chapter in your life, congratulations! You’ve done what many are still struggling with and it’s commendable, and brave. While others may say that you’re free, so go and find someone better etc. you may not be ready to move on just yet. Crazy right?  After all that you’ve been through, why would you think for even a moment about it. We’ll it’s because we’re human, we’re emotional beings with the ability to apply logic to our actions. Leaving a relationship, especially if you’ve really invested your time and energy to make it work, can feel like one of the hardest things to recover from. Because of our feelings towards that person, sometimes the emotional and mental effects from experiencing abuse can linger on. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, those that are recovering from an abusive relationship may experience any combination of feelings such as:

  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Easily frightened or scared
  • Difficulty engaging in future relationships
  • Feeling emotionally numb towards others

While it’s not as simple, the first step toward recovering from any type of traumatic experience is by reconnecting your sense of safety and security. This begins by establishing stability in your life. It’s true that the concept of stability varies for different people, and it really starts by setting a daily routine such as going from home to a steady job towards gaining your independence back.

Next, allow yourself the chance to grieve. It’s within your right to feel sad or angry for a while. Create outlets that gives you an opportunity to do so. Activities such as writing, painting, exercising, meditation, and dance are a few good examples. By letting it out through positive outlets can also act as a way to give you back the power to own your life again.

Last but certainly not least, reconnect with a support group that understands you and what you’ve been through. Maybe that’s friends or family, and maybe it’s other’s that helped you in your journey. It’s fair to say that It can be pretty difficult to remember what life was like before an abusive relationship. In addition, you may feel emotionally disconnected for a while, and it may be a challenge to trust people again. Take it one step at a time. Talk to those that gave you comfort and strength. The world is filled with wonderful people that do care for one another.

12 common phrases that a victim in an abusive relationship may say to themselves to stay

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If your reading this article, chances are you’ve probably wondered one of two things. 1, who would in their right state of mind want to stay in an abusive relationship. Or 2, you either have been, currently are or know of someone who’s dealing with this problem. According to CDC, on average 20 people suffer every minute from physical abuse from their significant other. Through their study of 571 people in relationships, men suffer as much as women when dealing with emotional abuse from their partner. This means that each year, over 10 million Americans are victims to psychological and physical abuse from people that they believe should love and trust the most. Intimate partner abuse is a complex issue that definitely goes beyond the boundaries of age, race, and gender and can go unrecognized or unreported for many years or longer. Below is a list of statements that those in an abusive relationship may say to themselves:

  1. I have a child with this person, I don’t have the choice to leave.
  2. No one will love me after this.
  3. No one else will take care of me like they do
  4. My child has grown attached to this person
  5. It’s my first real/serious relationship
  6. They’ve helped me financially and I owe it that person to stay
  7. I thought I can turn things around
  8. I still love that person regardless
  9. I’m doing it for our child/children
  10. I want to be loved, and the abuse only happened once
  11. It’s because it’s my fault
  12. I saw my parents go through the same thing, so I thought it was ok

Studies show that repeated themes of abused victims involved financial concerns, parental responsibilities, marriage obligation or still be in love with their abuser. As mentioned in our prior article are you in an abusive relationship, it’s difficult to assess the damage when you’re knee deep in the trenches. Sometimes the best thing that can be done is to assess your situation first before acting out in a way that may put you in harm’s way.

Moving forward from after abusive relationship

The value of opposite personalities in a relationship

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Remember when you first learned about magnets? Someone showed you than when you put two of the opposite charges or sides of a magnet, they’ll attract. In its basic form, this concept applies to everything that has two opposing factors. One example that comes to mind is the north and south pole’s electromagnetic polarity. But let’s hold off on the science of magnetism part for another day. Let’s get back to how that applies to dating and relationships today.

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last few decades, it’s likely that you’ve either been or currently in a relationship with someone that may seem like your complete opposite. According to Hudson and Fraley, what we seek from others to fulfill the role of our partner, stems from our needs of support during the infancy stages of our lives. Individuals who experience consistent love early in their childhood develops a secure attachment vs. those who receive harsh and/or inconsistent love early in their childhood may develop insecure attachment. Therefore, if our dependency for others is directly correlated to how we view our needs when we we’re kids, how does that apply to whom we choose to be our partners as an adult? In her blog, Dr. Vinita Mehta explains that our dependency for others in a relationship should not be based on the how we look for those with personality to ourselves. Instead it should be based on being in a relationship where you can complement each other’s personality, as well as understand the differences. In other words, by being with a person that’s somewhat or completely opposite of your characteristics and nature, you can both address each other’s weaknesses by the other’s strength. This opposite attraction creates the harmony and balance that help us grow and evolve to better ourselves, and those we love and care for.

Growing together as a couple

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At some point in your relationship, there will come a time when the initial concept of dating will transform into something more meaningful for you and your partner. Between that time, you’ll have a deep conversation about the importance of learning to grow together. But what does that mean really? According to Psychology Today growing together means having a partner to help support and uplift one another during difficult challenges in your journey together. In addition, growing with partner offers benefits to your mental and physical well-being that would otherwise be more difficult on your own.

Some of the benefits to your mentally include:

  1. Stability & Security when dealing with the uncertainty that life offers
  2. Constant Support that helps motivate you to be better by seeing it through your partner’s perspective
  3. Physical representation of someone by your corner acts as a deterrent to fear and provides you with a piece of mind that you’re not alone

Some of the physical benefits include:

  1. Reduces of passing or carrying a sexually transmitted disease
  2. More likely stay healthy for the sake of each other
  3. Stress reduction based on activities you enjoy together such as sex, exercises, and any other physical activities

Growing together offers you and your partner the chance to live your life with someone you that understands you, your dreams, and your goals. It’s something that we all hope to have, and should be something we cherish and hold dear in our hearts.

Jealousy in a relationship. Is it really all bad?

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Growing up in the 90’s, I’ve seen jealousy as a negative instead of a positive. Of course, it didn’t help that many of the popular TV series shows we’re really dramatic when a couple deals with what I use to call a “relationship poacher” or couple thief” whose primary purpose was to disrupt a normal couple by making physical or emotional moves to create an opportunity to steal your or your partner out of the current relationship. Watching that, and then allowing my overly high teenager emotions to kick into overdrive didn’t help me at all. It didn’t help me in identifying the needs of my partner, or the danger that I’ve put the relationship in by being ignorant to that threat.

However fast forward to the present, I no longer look at jealousy the same way. Part of it was growing up. After leaving high school, I’ve experienced dating and relationships in a whole new light. Through trial and error, I’ve come to understand that in order to really appreciate the conceptual value of a relationship, jealousy is a component towards self-worth. Supporting studies state that factors such sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity drives men and women to imagine the worst-case scenario based on his past history of relationships. A good way to approach jealousy is to discuss the driving factors so the pain or frustrations of it can be remedied or avoided. The words trust and respect should not be taken lightly when applied towards you and your partner’s ability to face situations that may test each other’s self-worth. Having an open line of communication helps clear the air on misunderstandings and threats that could hurt feelings and pride. Jealousy should not be based solely on the negatives. It can be good way to understand your value for and from your partner when applied with respect towards one another.