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DIY

Activated Charcoal and Avocado Face Mask

By | Beauty, DIY, Health Tips | No Comments

Avocado and Activated Charcoal Face Mask

I have been using activated charcoal in my skincare routine for awhile now and I love it! I have noticed a difference in the look and feel of my skin.  Today I am sharing all of the reasons why you should add activated charcoal to you skin care routine.

Activated Charcoal is a fine powder that is odorless and non-toxic. It draws oil, dirt and other harmful substances from pores and skin due to its adsorption powers.  It works by trapping toxins in its millions of tiny pores and negative electric charge.  Look for charcoal made from coconut shells or bamboo be sure to read labels like with anything.  You can find activated charcoal in the supplement aisle of any health food store usually in capsules.  If you want a powder which is easier for skincare purposes you can find it online.

The skin benefits include anti-aging properties and acne prevention.  Anti-aging benefits include tightening pores, smoothing the skin, and reducing inflammation.  Reducing inflammation is significant in preventing premature aging skin.  Activated Charcoal has anti-bacterial properties ideal for acne prone skin.  Trapping impurities, healing pimples, and preventing further breakouts.

By adding the avocado to this mask adds to the clear skin and anti-aging benefits.  Avocado is super nourishing and softening to the skin.  Its also a natural sunscreen protecting the skin even more.  A few warnings this mask will be black, like really black.  That is how it should look.  It will not smell like charcoal though.  It will smell just like avocado.  This mask will leave you skin feeling smooth, clean, and nourished.  A warning it is charcoal it will be hard to wash off things to be careful when making, applying, and washing off.

 

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Activated Charcoal and Avocado Face Mask

In a small bowl smash half an avocado removing as many lumps as possible.

Add 2 capsules of activated charcoal.

Mix

Apply a thin layer to face.  Let dry.  Wash off face.

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This will make enough for 2 masks.  Invite a friend a to join!

All Natural Egg Dying

By | DIY, Recipes | No Comments

All Natural Egg Dying

Ditch the dye tabs and try dying your Easter eggs with all natural ingredients that you probably already have in the kitchen. This has been something I have wanted to try for a few years and I finally did!  It took some trial and error but I think the final product turned out well.  I got three colors to turn out the way I wanted.

Beets– The beets will give you a pink to red hue.  In a saucepan add 4 cups chopped beets, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.  An option is to boil the eggs in the beet water or put in a jar until you achieve the color you want.

Turmeric–  Turmeric will make a dark yellow color.  In a saucepan add 4 tablespoons or turmeric, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Once cool dip eggs or put in a jar until the color is what you want.

Purple Cabbage– Purple cabbage actually gives you a blue tone.  In a saucepan add 4 cups cabbage chopped, 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.  Let cool dip or put in jar until the color you get the color you want.

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A few tips: My house did not smell amazing after this project especially after the turmeric.  I left the eggs in for about 24 hours.  Put them in something that seals like a mason jar and put them in the refrigerator after they have cooled enough to put a lid on.  After many tries the jar is what gave me the colors I wanted. If using the jars make sure to stir eggs once in awhile to they color evenly.  These recipes are easily adjusted for how many eggs or hues you want to achieve.

Coconut Oil Skincare

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Coconut Oil Skincare

I love coconut oil.  I use keep a jar in my kitchen and a jar in my bathroom.  Cooking with it is great but I like to use it on my skin even more!  Coconut oil is awesome because it has antibacterial properties helping keep your skin clean and clear.  Its incredibly moisturizing and has antioxidants like vitamin E and vitamin A which help slow down the aging process.  I use coconut oil head to toe and I’m going to share how I do that.

Do you have a dry scalp or dry hair? Depending on length of hair warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in your hands and spread on hair from roots to tips.  Concentrating on the ends.  Comb through then wrap hair in towel and let sit for half hour.  Wash hair normally.  Enjoy softer hair.

On the face the uses are almost endless.  Coconut oil can be used as a makeup remover, moisturizer, night cream, and can lengthen your lashes.  I wash my face and slather it on my face and neck at night.  I wake up to super soft hydrated skin.  If you are prone to oilier skin mix with your normal moisturizer or wash with it instead.  You get the benefits with out the added oil.

You can make lotion with coconut oil but I just use it plain out of the jar.  After a shower I just warm some in my hands and use as you would a body oil.  You can add an essential oil if you feel like it but I mostly just use it plain.  I have eczema and this is the one thing I use that has cleared it up with out much effort.  If you have sensitive skin like I do this will not irritate at all.

Out of shave gel or can’t find one you like? Coconut oil is awesome to shave your legs with.  Use it like you would a shave gel and you probably won’t need to put any lotion on your legs after it works that good.  Your skin will be soft with a close shave.  Its the best!

A few other uses sunburn relief.  It replaces the moisture lost and soothes.  If you add lavender essential oil in your burn will be lighter in and less painful in no time.  Add coconut oil to your epsom salt bath.  Add  1/4 cup epsom salt and 1/4 cup coconut oil in a hot bath.  You will get the detox benefits with added moisture.

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I found these individual packets of coconut oil at Trader Joe’s.  They are awesome for travel I throw a couple of packets in my makeup bag and I have coconut oil without the mess of trying to put into something smaller or having it leak.

Spring Gardening Tips

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Spring Garden Tips

Gardening can be fun but also intimidating if you’re just starting out.  Here are a few things to think about.

It’s a time commitment. Gardening can be time consuming planting, weeding, watering, pest control, and harvesting.  Thats a lot so start small.  You will grow more and produce more each year but start small.  It will be cheaper to start and you can hone your skills with a few plants before adding more.  This is especially helpful if you’re new to gardening.  You can figure out what you can handle and what works for you.

Know your climate zone.  You can look this up in a gardening book or in google.  This way you can find the right plants for your area, best time to plant, and harvest.  Certain plants will grow better in certain areas.  I live somewhere where squash goes crazy.

Find the right space.  Gardens need sun so pick somewhere in your yard that will have about 8-10 hours of sun a day.  It also needs to be large enough to hold all of your plants.  If you don’t have a space like you may want to try container gardening you can move the planters toward sun and its great for space saving.  Raised beds are another option.  The require less weeding, have better drainage, and you will have a healthier growth.  If raised beds interest you cedar is rot resistant so your beds will last a while.  Raised beds can be expensive so make sure this is something you want to do.  I have also used containers and I usually end up using a mix of both.   The most important thing to keep in mind is make your garden as accessible to yourself as possible.  This way watering, weeding, and harvesting will be easier.

What to plant? When choosing what to plant keep in mind that some will produce through the season like tomatoes, peppers and squash.  While others will produce once and be done like carrots, lettuce, and onions.  Lettuce, snap peas, beans, radishes, summer squash and herbs are pretty easy to grow so if you’re just starting out they are good.  Plant what you eat most often that way your garden is useful and not wasteful.

I have learned quite a few things in my 7 years of veggie gardening mostly by trial and error.  Starting seeds myself did not work for me so I buy starts its the only way I am successful.  You can find organic starts at a lot of garden centers now.  In my raised bed I plant lettuce, tomatoes, kale, zucchini, walla walla onions, swiss chard, spinach, and string beans.  In containers I plant herbs, snap peas, jalapeños, blueberries, and strawberries.

Each year I try to grow something new sometimes it works other times it doesn’t.  Tomatoes need to be staked or caged.  I learned about two years ago how to stake my tomatoes in a way that works for me.  Its called the Florida Weave.  You set stakes at each plant and take twine and weave it in a criss cross pattern through the plants.  You add twine when the plants grow to keep them trained.  I grow my herbs in pots because they are easily accessible and usually last longer then the veggies.  I am able to control the elements they are exposed to more and get to use fresh herbs longer.

Gardening is fun for the whole family! Start small and you will be successful!

Green Tea Body Scrub

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Green Tea Body Scrub

No big plans for St. Patrick’s Day or you want just a low key night.  Try this Green Tea body scrub.  I like tea but I have not been able to get into the drinking green tea, do you feel the same? This is for you!  You can get the skin benefits without the taste and use up that green matcha powder while you’re at it!  Green tea is full of antioxidants which fight free radicals you know those things that lead to aging skin.  It can also improve complexion and calm redness.

Body scrubs are good after the drying winter season.  Get rid of the dulling dead skin and leave the shower with smooth skin and reap the benefits of green tea.  Jump in the shower (carefully body scrubs add to slippery shower floors) or bath and show your skin some love!

Green Tea Body Scrub

1 1/2 C Sugar (granulated is smaller and will give you a lighter exfoliation and natural is more coarse leading to a coarser exfoliation)

2 Tsp Green Tea Powder (Matcha)

2 Green Tea Bags brewed and cooled

1 C Coconut Oil

Mix ingredients together. Slowly pour in tea and mix until you get your desired consistency.  I will look gritty wet sand like.  It will look grittier if you use coarser sugar.  You can also use brown sugar if you prefer.

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Tips and Tricks: If you use distilled water when you brew your tea the scrub will last longer.  If you want this to have a longer shelf life omit the brewed tea and cut open the tea bag and add the leaves without the water it lasts longer. This recipe makes about three 8 ounce jars of scrub.  Adjust the recipe according to how much you want to make. There are no preservatives in this so it will not last long.