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Chamomile + Lavender Calming & Cleansing Balm

Posted in DIY, Life
on December 15, 2016

 

After a long day of writing projects and taking care of the children, I look forward to unwinding and getting a good night’s rest. This task is more or less difficult depending on what I’m going through at the time. Stress is something that we all experience and any healthy way we can ease it, is a great idea. The better rest we get, the more prepared we are for life. Have you ever had a day where you didn’t get any sleep and you still had to function at full capacity the next day? I’m shaking my head just writing this, because it’s painful. Being tired makes us not only irritable but emotional.

I can always tell when my children are really sleepy because they get upset about the smallest things. I created this DIY Calming & Cleansing Balm for helping to quell you and your child’s anxiety after a stressful day or situation. This balm is great to use right after bath, for a peaceful sleep. I’m not a doctor, so please do your due diligence to find out if it’s safe for you to use essential oils. I know the package says to consult a practitioner if you are pregnant or nursing.

This balm is also an excellent Makeup Remover! Yes, the combination of calming essential oils and butters clean, nourish and calm skin. Just take about a dime sized amount of the calming balm and  rub it into your face using small circular motions. After you have applied the oil to your face, wet a clean washcloth with very warm water. Wring the washcloth out completely and rub off the oil. Your makeup should easily come off as well. After cleansing, splash your face with cold water to close your pores.

DIY Chamomile + Lavender Calming & Cleansing Balm

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cocoa butter (prevents dryness, moisturizes and nourishes skin)

1/4 cup olive oil (antioxidants prevent skin from premature aging)

10 drops chamomile essential oil (calms feelings of anxiousness)

10 drops lavender essential oil (reduces stress)

cosmetic glass containers with lids.

Directions:

Heat 2 cups of water on medium high. Add the cocoa butter and olive oil to a glass bowl that can fit over the top without completely being submerged in the water. Place the glass bowl over the boiling water and allow to melt. After the cocoa butter melts, remove from heat and add both essential oils. Pour in glass container and allow mixture to cool for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

What do you day when you need to take a load off after a stressful day? I also use a diffuser not only for relaxing but cleaning the air in my home with essential oils like lemon!

PIN IT!

 

dressing up to feel fabulous!

Posted in Home, Inspiration, Life
on May 10, 2016
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Everyday I walk my daughter to school and I also walk to get her in the evening. Well, I drive on rainy days or if I’m short on time because her school is very close. Whenever I walk, I see other parents, many around my same age or older, walking their children to school as well. Most people wear very relaxed clothes. It’s not uncommon to see mom’s in jeans and a loose tee shirt, jogging pants or even gym clothes and shades….can’t forget the shades. I’m the queen of comfortable, from clothing to shoes, opting for a nice wedge or flat vs. a stiletto heel. However, I didn’t want to fall into the deception that stylish equals uncomfortable. It’s simply not true. A long flowy dress is probably one of the most comfortable things to wear. You just slip it over your head and you’re good to go!
I work from home and I noticed that I was wearing jogging pants all the time or even jeans and a tee shirt. Don’t get me wrong, jeans and a tee shirt can be dressed up, but I’m not talking about when you add a statement necklace, bracelets and cute shoes. I’m talking about the jeans you always wear with one of your regular ole tee shirts. So I got to thinking about how I want to feel when I’m out and how much better my day goes when I put a little extra effort into the way I look. It’s almost like dressing well creates a confidence force field around you, making you walk taller and smile more! I decided to dress up a few more days in the week. Wouldn’t you know that people actually respond to you differently when you’re dressed nicer? Studies have shown that people view others who dress well as more successful.
Recently, I did a photoshoot and it was so fun to dress up and have my makeup done by a professional makeup artist. Years ago, I wouldn’t have even thought to hire anyone, I would have just did my own makeup and hoped it looked ok. I actually think it’s a great idea to do a photoshoot every once in a while. Sometimes we forget how special and beautiful we are and there’s nothing like tangible proof to give you a boost of confidence on your down days. Although you may get a few looks because you don’t have on the regular “mom uniform,” atlleast it’s something that you can feel good about. And you don’t need a reason to look nice.
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Loving and valuing yourself is something that you don’t want lose sight of. Yes, you are a mother and yes you are a wife…..but you’re also YOU! I’m not going to wait for a special occasion to look nice. Everyday we’re alive is a cause to celebrate and be thankful. Please don’t think I’m going to be walking around in ball gowns to Chloe’s school, but I am going to try a little harder and be more cognizant of how I’m presenting myself
What things have you found give you a boost of confidence?
Chat soon!
emeraldsig

Great Reasons To Visit Japan

Posted in Inspiration, Life
on May 4, 2016

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that Chris and I lived in Japan for 3 years. It was almost immediately after I graduated from college and I went from being a college student, to being a graduate, a wife and living in another country — all in a matter of months. To say that I was caught off guard would be an understatement. I was literally terrified. I hadn’t ever even traveled away from the east coast and I really didn’t know what was going to happen on the other side of the world. In retrospect, I’m so glad that I went because it shifted my view of life and the world really. I started working at a Japanese school teaching English as a Second Language and this experience exposed me to even more Japanese culture! I even made a few Japanese friends, which was really cool. I wanted to share some reasons you should take that long (did I say long) plane ride over to the far east. I think that you’d be surprised at how much you’ll like it.

The 100 Yen Store

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Not to be confused with the dollar store here in the United States, the 100 Yen store has a massive mall of merchandise all for a dollar.(Give or take, depending on the exchange rate) The thing that makes this store amazing is that it is filled with quality merchandise. If you have an extra 1000 Yen ($10.00) to burn, this place is where you need to be! You can buy anything from mops, brooms, cleaning solutions, paper, pens, waste baskets and cute notebooks, all for a dollar. That list is in no way exhaustive, because this place had EVERYTHING!

Everything is Smaller

From the cars, to the restaurants, to the people — everything is smaller in Japan. If you visit a popular mom’s and pop’s restaurant, you most likely will have to wait in a line outside before you are seated. The restaurants are so small! One French inspired restaurant that Chris and I frequented called Marche’s was always packed and so was New Miyaki’s, Kurrumba’s….really everywhere! Also, the cars are super tiny. Seems like everyone had a smart car in Japan, but it was in proportion to the small roads and highways. Plus, things are cuter when they’re smaller.

The Food

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I didn’t know what I was missing until we were long gone. The food is nothing short of amazing! Chris and I went out to eat several times a week back then. Most places give you the beef or chicken and allow you to cook it yourself. I also tried Kobe beef while I was over there. This is the most tender beef you will ever taste and is exclusive to Japan! I really feel like I’ve been spoiled because now when I eat at the Japanese restaurants here, I’m disappointed most of the time. I have found a few Japanese restaurants that taste amazing stateside. There was Tokyo One in Lorton, Va and Fujiya House in Fredericksburg, Va. Also check out my delicious Sesame Chicken Recipe that will give you a taste of Japan!

Culture

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Japanese people have such a rich culture. They actually have traditions and customs — an authentic way of doing things. Everyone knows that no one wears their shoes in the house and that they usually have inside slippers for the house. Same thing with brooms, one for outside and one for inside. I was told by one of my Japanese friends that if your boss ask you out for drinks, you have no choice in the matter. It’s seen as disrespectful if you don’t have a beer with him/her. The architecture of the buildings is very distinctive, with layered levels, triangular roofs and striking colors. The geishas of Japan are another facet that I found to be fascinating. I fell in love with their gorgeous kimonos and jet black hair decorated with vibrant flowers. Living here also made Arthur Golden’s book “Memoirs of A Geisha,” come alive.

Soda Machines On Every Block!

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This may not seem like an amazing thing to you, but there are soda machines right on the sidewalk  every block or few blocks. I found it so comforting that I would never be thirsty for long on the streets of Japan! There was soda, juice, water, and tea!

One Country All Climates

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We lived in Northern Japan, almost at the tip, in a place called Misawa. It snowed three fourths of the year. Being from the East Coast, this definitely took some getting used to. However, I went snowboarding at Appi Ski Resort to see what all the fuss was about. I wish I could tell you I had a great time but I started crying about halfway down the mountain. I had never had lessons and Chris thought it was a good idea to go with his friends anyway. It’s really funny now, but it wasn’t at the time. We also traveled to Tokyo and visited the Roppongi district, which is filled with clubs and bars. Okinawa is another beautiful place in Japan. It’s like Hawaii, but in Japan. Chris and I vacationed there and literally did not want to leave!

You Get To Be Nude In Public

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One thing that was starkly different from our culture was the public onsens. These are indoor or outdoor hot springs that are said to have a healing effect when you soak in them. I loved going there because it made my skin and hair feel softer. There is one side for men and one for women. You go in with your basket that is filled with your soap, washcloth, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner. You bathe at these small sinks before you get in the super hot water! There is a sign that says you are not allowed in the springs until you have washed up from head to toe  first. There was also a cooler bath that had a milky white color to it. It only cost 300 yen (3.00) to go. People would stare but I wasn’t really uncomfortable. There were people of all sizes there and they all seemed to be pretty comfortable in their birthday suits.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my adventures across the world and I hope that you take a trip to Japan one day to see it for yourself!

Chat Soon!

 

Blueberry Sugar Scrub

Posted in Home, Life
on January 6, 2016

Blueberry Sugar Scrub

I really love blueberries. Blueberry muffins, blueberry cobbler, blueberry smoothies and especially blueberry pancakes! The only thing that I don’t seem to like is blueberry pie. I don’t know, ironically I feel like there are too many blueberries in the pie. It feels like overload to me. Haha! If you enjoy this dark colored berry with its aromatic fragrance, you’re going to be smitten with this Blueberry Sugar Scrub! After I’ve gotten all cleaned up, I love to use a scrub all over my body for not only exfoliation but moisture that last all day long in these cold winter months.

Pampering yourself in your alone time is priceless for your own peace of mind. I wrote an article, Simple Ways To Unwind & Relax and right near the top of the list is taking a warm bath. Making this Blueberry Scrub is so easy and it will definitely be worth it when you feel how moisturized your skin feels! Just imagine the warm notes of vanilla combined with yummy blueberries and coconut oil! This would also be a thoughtful gift for a friend. Who doesn’t need a little more pampering in their lives? And anything made with your own two hands is going to have so much love in it. Get the recipe below!

Blueberry Sugar Scrub Ingredients

 

 

Blueberry Sugar Scrub In-Process #6

Blueberry Sugar Scrub

Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 8 oz. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Cane Sugar
  • 1 cup Freeze-Dried Blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. Blue Sugar Sprinkles
  • ¾ cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (room temperature)
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. Place freeze-dried blueberries in sealed zip-loc bag. Using a rolling pin, crush blueberries until very fine.
  2. Combine cane sugar, crushed freeze-dried blueberries, and blue sugar sprinkles in small mixing bowl.
  3. Add coconut oil and vanilla extract to dry mixture. Stir well.
  4. Garnish scrub with freeze-dried blueberries.
  5. Tip #1: use organic ingredients.
  6. Tip #2: works as an exfoliator and moisturizer. 

Stand In Your Own Light

Posted in Home, Life, Uncategorized
on December 29, 2015
We live in a world that tells women to be self confident but if they acknowledge their own beauty, they’re viewed as conceited. We live in a world that tells us that education is imperative but if a person acknowledges their own intelligence, they’re viewed as a snob. We’re told to love and take care of ourselves is important but when we chose ourselves over others, we are called selfish. These double messages are confusing and we are left to wade through them, never knowing if we’re being perceived in just the “right,” way. It can really tax our mental and emotional health trying to keep up with what others think or say about us. I want to tell you not to care. In many ways that can be unrealistic, so I’m saying not to care to the point that it clouds your ability to discern. 
 
One of our basic human needs is to feel loved and accepted. However, this need doesn’t factor in if  people  may resent you for reasons that are beyond your control. Needing to feel accepted often clouds one’s ability to judge others true intentions. Everyone will not think that you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread and you have to be okay with that. It’s their loss, really.
 
Standing in your own light may cost you relationships. If you have been shy and unassuming and now you’re beginning to acknowledge and walk in your own brilliance, it may scare some away. People don’t like change. When you start altering their perception of who you are or what your potential is, they will often reject you. This is something you must be prepared for if you want to live up to your highest potential. We’re either going to go after our goals with reckless abandon or we’re going to choose a life that doesn’t offend anyone and doesn’t impact anyone. The dreams in your heart were put there for a reason. Be brave. Stand In Your Own Light.