Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Facts: More than one blogger's opinion

I am always one to sing praises for all-natural skin-care and organic products, but I feel I must add a disclaimer: I am not a doctor, skin-care specialist or have any expertise in what I recommend other than my own personal testimony. They may not work for everyone, but the research I've done, as well as my education in aromatherapy, massage, basic skin-care, anatomy, as well as my personal experience, has led me to trust more in natural and homemade products than anything synthetic or store bought. I'm just one blogger putting my love of naturalism out there, and I hope it works for you too! At the very least, you're investing in your body. Your skin is your largest organ after all, anything you put on it will go directly into your bloodstream and affect the rest of you too. Something to keep in mind when you want to get a self tanner or shimmery lotion...
So, if my opinion does not satisfy you to try natural cleansers, oils and edible scrubs, then here is a website that began my self-imposed exile from commercial products. (be warned, you may rethink everything you've ever bought for your skin...)

They list products by recognizable labels, so just search your current moisturizer, cleanser, sunscreen, nailpolish, makeup, and see what happens. They list all ingredients, as well as the Hazard Level. This was a game-changer. Try your favourite concealer ladies, it might make you think about what you're putting on your skin!
On that note, My wonderful girlfriend Della recommended me to this amazing site. It started with a jello recipe, annd one thing led to another, naturally I was looking at the skin-care Instructables
This one caught my eye; something I had neglected to suggest! Now, bear with me, this one sounds counterintuitive as well, but hear me out (and read the Instructable!).
Wash your face...with oil. Just do it, try it once, a week, a month if you can! I like to use olive oil. I got hooked on it as an all-body oil and cleanser when I first went to Italy and forgot to bring any skin products with me. My hippie brain kicked in, and I used olive oil it for everything! My skin took to it like Nemo to the open sea. When I returned, I unconsciously went back to my normal skin regime. On my next visit to my kinesiologist, she said I was lacking something in my diet. Turns out, my body had gotten used to "eating" olive oil through my skin that it required that essential nutritional and moisturizing boost.

 So try it. When I ever suggest oils for the skin people cringe and say "doesn't it make your skin all oily???". Well duh, what would you rather your sebaceous glands secrete? Lotion? Your skin already produces natural oils to hydrate itself, when would you consciously put anything else on it? On the last page of the Instructable she recommends different oils based on heaviness and consistency. I like olive and coconut (in the winter as it's heavier). Jojoba is closest to your skin's natural pH level, so your skin will accept it the easiest. 

Try it out! Let me know what you think! If you have a favourite natural skin remedy you'd like me to give a shout out to, leave a comment! 
Have a great Tuesday everyone!


P.S. Oil is also awesome for your hair...more tomorrow! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

" "

{Insert inspirational quote here}

As much as our modern culture feeds into the necessity and vitality of youth, as a young 20something I find it's a hard demographic to stand out in. Whether you're looking for yourself through fitness, meditation, philosophy, traveling, an avid social life, or excelling in school, it's still hard to find a niche that addresses all our needs. I can only speak for myself. And my observations, and lackluster research have led me to this: those who you think care; don't. Those who you want to, won't in time to realize how amazing you really are. And those who never will? Are just missing out. But those who do care, are the only ones that matter.
 Call me crazy, but if we all fed into our own egos once in a while and only lived up to our own expectations, we might realize it doesn't have to be so lonely at the top, if you're surrounded by equally outstanding people.
It doesn't mean squat if you keep hearing what a great person you are, unless you believe it. I'm not going to drone on, and this is mainly to reiterate what I've been preaching in my own head. But if it's in writing it's a lot harder to ignore. So aside from all of you, here are some things that are absolutely awesome.

Don't ignore your instincts; it's what keeps us a little animal. And trust your gut.Tumblr_ls2y3cmrql1qed43zo1_500_large

Live a little. Nobody ever died from self indulgence once in a while. And I don't mean any extremes, don't be a wisenheimer. I mean that gingerbread latte once in a while. Or casual coital romps. Or prank phone calls. Or wearing sweatpants all weekend. Whatever it is, it's ok.

Do one thing a day that if the world ended tomorrow, you'd regret not having done it, more than if it blows up in your face today. Think small, and big things will happen.

Don't strive to be anything but the hottest version of yourself. Be vain if it pushes you to try harder. Be selfish if that means taking better care of your body. Be obnoxious if it's standing up for what you believe in. Be inspired.

It's not easy to try to be better than what we think we can be. And I'm not speaking from someone who has risen above my insecurities, or overcome obstacles to become the gem of a person I want to be. Because I'm still experiencing the journey that will get me there. I'm only speaking from somewhere that I know everyone has inside their heads too,
all you have to do is listen. 
And tell the rest of it to shut up.

Hope you all had a great weekend. And if not, there's only 5 more sleeps to try again.


video: youtube.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Ok I'm about to lay down some serious knowledge.

My hands. Are so soft. No jokes kids. A-maz-ing.  And I did it all by myself. With a little help from this awesome website - go here for the recipe to make your DIY Body Scrubs.
No more lusting after expensive scrubs. This one is for real. I've made brown sugar scrubs in the past but had forgotten how unbelievable my hands feel afterward. If only I had a hand to hold now... ;)

As soon as I read this recipe I said: Done. It was an immediate impulse and I urge you to try it right away too! Only takes 5 minutes to make and you'll be so thankful you did. Your hands will thank you too!

Hope this brightens your Tuesday night!

Tip: massage it into your hands over the sink - it's a little messy but totally dissolvable! Finish with a hand massage of your favourite oil and you are set! Do it before your next manicure and use weekly this winter to help your hands stay soft and moisturized! Remember to wear gloves and moisturize more often when it gets cold!

image: Pinterest

How to Breathe

Monday, September 19, 2011


Happy Monday! 

I thought I'd start today off with a mind-clearing remedy. It requires nothing other than 5 minutes of your time, and a little patience. Going into another jam-packed week can be a little overwhelming, so to start, try doing nothing. For 5 minutes. Just sit and close your eyes. Think about whatever you want. I'm not suggesting you aim for "enlightenment" or mental silence. Just sit quietly. Lean against a wall, or in a chair if you like.
And just breathe. Breathing is the most healing thing you can do for your body, both mentally, physically and spiritually. If you notice, a lot of us hold our breath while checking email, or reading, or walking. Try consciously breathing for 5 minutes and see how you feel. Set a timer if you like.

I hope this helps you start your week a little clearer and more peacefully!



image: weheartit.com

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Autumn of Our Lives

It's a rainy Sunday. Sometimes these are my favourite kinds of days; when nothing's going on, the house is quiet, and really the only acceptable thing to do is find a good chair and curl up with a book and a big mug of something warm to drink. 
September is a time of transition for a lot of people. The haze of summer fades away, and the crispness of fall is already upon us. Friends leave for school, those of us still in Vancouver begin to mill about, zombie-like from the shock of returning to the classroom. Books are seen as the bane of our existence..$500 is something that could be spent elsewhere...
But, in light of the drudgery of our educational duties, I believe fall is the best time to literally turn over a new leaf. It's the best time to re-evaluate your priorities and think about what is really important to you. What's benefiting you right now, and what's only adding carbs of excess to your full plate. Whether it's a favourite junk food that really, you don't need at 9am, or a conversation you've needed to get over with, nows the time to get it done. Take a deep breath. And let it go. 
In the spirit of mentally detoxing our lives, which is also a good step to making sure you're healthy for the bitterness of winter (no one likes to be sick at Christmas! Until which there is only 97 days by the way), I think it's a good time to start detoxing our bodies. A really good way is to simply do something different. It makes our minds get out of autopilot (which about (98% of people are on the majority of the time) and lets our bodies do what has been our saving grace throughout history: adapt. 
This fall, do something different for your body! Try a different yoga class, splurge on a high-quality supplement to help your skin, your tummy, your immune system, or try a apple cider vinegar detox to help cleanse your body from the inside out! I am a proud member of the church of ACV. This stuff can cure anything! Try in it a couple ways, good topically and internally.

The Many Uses of ACV:
- Detoxifying:

In summer months: Add 1/4 cup of ACV to a quart of water. Add ice cubes. Drink this on a hot summer day, especially before working out. Your body will feel very cleansed.
In winter months: 2 TBLS of ACV in a mug filled with hot water 3x day. Are you used to drinking tea or coffee during your long commute to work? Try this instead -- you will feel energized but not adrenalized. Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper if you REALLY want an energy lift!
To detox: 2 TBLSP of organic ACV in a 1 or 2 Liter filtered water bottle (ie Smart Water, Evian, etc). 2 TBLSP = 1/8th cup. You can add more vinegar than this amount, however, make sure you dilute it with plenty of water. Do not add a sweetener. Drink this solution throughout the day. The solution will be cleansing your system and kidneys all day long. That's the point.

1 part ACV
3 parts water
dab onto blemishes (start gradually: once at night and morning)
use as a toner after washing your face. Always make sure you rehydrate with a facial oil or moisturizer! Acne is caused by excess sebum, which is your skins natural oils that it produces to hydrate itself. If these oils are depleted or not replaced, your skin will dry out more, and produce MORE oil to try and rehydrate! Aka, more acne! Don't worry, as long as your using 100% vegetable oil, it will not clog your pores. Only use enough to see a shine to your hands, and lightly massage into your face. 
*do NOT put full strength ACV on your face! It is very acidic and could burn you.

- Hair Rinse
Use an old shampoo bottle and fill it with 1/2 tbsp ACV and a cup of cold water. Use as rinse after shampooing to relieve your hair of oil and buildup and to keep your scalp clean! 

- Teeth Stains
Rub your teeth with ACV and rinse to help combat all those extra coffees we now need to get through class!

Hope you're all having a productive, healthy weekend! 


images: weheartit.com

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sunny Hair

Good morning everyone! Before I procrastinate any longer, here's today's home remedy:
One of the things I'm going to miss about summer is going to the beach and letting the ocean work its magic on my hair. You know how Bumble & Bumble has that sea-spray to give your hair that beachy look? Well for much cheaper you can make your own! Plus it's an excuse to buy vodka and a cute spray bottle.
For the official tutorial (I can't take credit for this ingenious idea) go here: Beach Hair Tutorial
(another little secret: add a few drops of your favourite essential oil or perfume to give it a nice scent!)


Happy Friday!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sugarpie Honeybunch

Successive blog day number 2: Here goes.
I started writing today about exactly what I was doing; writing notes on 18th century France...not that interesting for the general public. So I got a better idea. As part of my own 30 Day challenge, I am going to try a homemade recipe every day, report back, and encourage (or warn) you to do the same!
Today I'm starting with something that may sound odd, but a regiment that I've come to love!

Honey as a facial cleanser.
Bear with me friends, this one's a goody.
It started as part of my plan to limit the products I put on my skin. I've always been sensitive to chemicals and commercial products, and as a result, a bit of hippie when it comes to skin and body care. (not in the excessive body hair kind of way don't worry). More in the I-make-my-own-products and use food on my skin kind of way. And it's been one of the best things I've ever done!

Try it:
1 tbsp honey (or enough to lightly cover your face)
for an exfoliant I add about a tsp of baking soda.
Massage it into your face lightly in circular motions (this also helps with superficial circulation and cell regeneration, also tones and firms skin)
I like to leave either plain honey or the mixture on for about 10 min, but you can wash it off sooner if you like.
Pat your face dry. Marvel at your baby's-bottom-on-your-face feeling!
You can thank me later.

As a moisturizer I only use 100% coconut oil. Just a light covering, remember, your skin only absorbs the surface it touches. Same goes for lotions, sunscreen...ok maybe lather on the SPF but a BBQ thick layer of lotion isn't doing you any good. As far as oils go, anything that's 100% vegetable oil is awesome, and won't clog your pores! (I promise!) Try olive, coconut, jojoba (this is closest to your skin's natural pH level), sesame, the list goes on!

Honey is also a good hair mask. Don't worry it all comes out. Same goes for oils! Just REMEMBER to put shampoo in FIRST! Otherwise the soap won't get past the oil's surface. Massage thoroughly into scalp, a bit of olive oil mixes well with the honey, down to the roots and leave for 10-15 min.

Try honey on more than your toast tomorrow! Let me know how it goes!


p.s here's some links on more things honey-related:
Honey to Remove Whiteheads
Overall benefits of Honey
I wanna make these!
MD certified info

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuition Blunders: A Wanted Ad For Help

Fellow Bloggers,

Captured Blog: NYC from AboveI'm feeling that familiar tug of guilt for being so negligent with my blogging. What was once such a vital little oasis for me has become something of a week-old casserole at the back of the fridge; something I've come to avoid and be ashamed of still having. I am putting it out there to the blogging world that this little blog will no longer be a stale casserole! I am vowing to step forth, and breathe new life into this forsaken place of online blurbing. For better or for worse. I will write. Every day (high hopes, and I am prepared to suffer the consequences of my failure, should it happen).
For all the useless time I spend cruising the internet, trying to find something better to do with my time, I could at least be putting my thoughts out there, and hopefully, some of you will find it interesting. Or if not, let me know and I will strive to find something more interesting to write about.

Friends, this is the beginning of my plight of desperation. A premature twinge to the feeling of absolute hopelessness that I am determined to avoid, has arrived. The more time I invest in researching my future, the more I begin to think about the value of that time. Such time looking at bank loans, tuition costs and quick ways to earn money have made me think that I need to be more proactive. Alas, I am not as independently resourceful as I would like to be. This is where you all come in.
So, I ask, no, I plead for some assistance. If you know me, and I know most of you don't, you will know that asking for help is not something that comes naturally to me. Nor is the idea that I can't find a solution on my own.
So this is my plea: ideas, concepts, however farfetched, I will read and value them all. Dog walking for $50, or contests for much more (yes I have entered some already), please lend me your imaginations. As well as ideas for this tiny blog, I am determined to revive it.
My dream is big: New York University. Your thoughts are my lighthouses, guide me home to New York!

In light of this, I pose this challenge to you: 30 Challenges for 30 Days. Give it a try!

Linky - very inspiring!


p.s I'm aware this has usually been Alliteration Wednesday. My Apologies. <3