31 July 2017

Marula Pure Beauty Oil Review

This post is sponsored by Beauty Bridge.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.

When my birthday rolls around in a few months, I'll be leaving my mid 30s and entering my late 30s.  As I'm getting older, I am getting fine lines on my face.  Although I've always taken good care of my skin, it's time to step up my skin care regime and use products that have ingredients specifically targeting fine lines and other signs of aging.  

My hair needs have also changed in the last few years.  When I was a kid, my hair was thin and straight, with not so much as a wave.  As a teenager, it was straight and oily.  Now, I have dry, curly, and extremely thick hair.  If I don't take care of it with the right products, it can get frizzy and dull very quickly.  After researching so many carrier oils for my blog and for my book, I knew that marula oil was one of the best oils for the hair and skin, so I gave Marula Pure Beauty Oil's line of products from Beauty Bridge a try.  


28 July 2017

Lemon Mojito Sugar Scrub Recipe

It's no secret that I love sugar scrubs. I use one on my feet every other day to keep my heels soft. I use them on my skin about once a week to keep my skin from looking dull. In the summer, it's even more important to use one because the sweat from the heat can clog your skin. Besides that, in the summer I'm showing off more skin, so I want it to look its best. This lemon mojito sugar scrub recipe was inspired by a summer drink, and it smells wonderful all year round.

Sugar scrubs are also a great inexpensive gift to give to your friends. I used to make them for my kids' teachers when they were in public school. It's a unique gift that nearly any woman can use.


Lemon Mojito Sugar Scrub Recipe


26 July 2017

20 Best Highlighters

Links in this post may be affiliate links.

I've been playing with new makeup techniques and more products.  It helps that I bought an awesome makeup organizer so now I can actually see all of my makeup and have it organized by type.  The makeup case that I bought has adjustable dividers, which is awesome because I have a lot of some types of makeup and not so much of other kinds.  I get a few beauty boxes and brands send me samples and full sizes, but I hadn't had a chance to use all of them before.  So this summer, I'm having fun playing and stepping up my makeup game.

I didn't use highlighter too often before because I could never get it to look right.  I had several of them in my stash, so I just started playing around and watching YouTube videos to get it right.  Now, I can't imagine leaving home without highlighter on!  I always use it down my midline to lengthen my face.  When I'm going out, I sweep some above my blush.  I'm not sure what I was so afraid of before because now I'm not happy unless the aliens in outer space can see my highlight.  Here are my recommendations for the 20 best highlighters.
20 best highlighters makeup



25 July 2017

How to Keep Your Hair Straight In Humid Weather

I got my hair cut, dyed, and highlighted a few weeks ago.  Even though it was the same cut, she did something a little different or thinned it a little more, so my hair looked awesome...for about two days.  Then the Ohio weather heated up and got humid.  It's been in the high 80s and 90s with high humidity for a few weeks.  I have naturally curly hair, so the humidity is wrecking havoc on my hair when I straighten it.  Luckily, I learned how to keep your hair straight in humid weather.  It takes a little bit of prep work, but it's worth it not to turn in to a poodle when I step outside or turn in to a hermit staying inside!

How to Keep Your Hair Straight In Humid Weather

24 July 2017

North Star Glitters Review and Giveaway

Thank you to North Star Glitters for providing me with product and sponsoring a giveaway.  I was not compensated for this review.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.  

Y'all know that I love glitter.  The more sparkle there is, the better!  North Star Glitters recently contacted me to see if I wanted to try some of their glitters, so of course I said yes.  My daughter is in plays, so I thought she might be able to use some for her costume too.  In the past I've used loose glitter and a glitter glue, but these are glitter and a binder in one, so there's less mess.  As much as I love glitter, I don't love the mess it makes.  I'm happy to say that these are a lot less mess!

21 July 2017

Frozen Aloe Vera Cubes - Instantly Soothe Sunburned Skin

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission.  Thanks for helping to support my coffee addiction.

You may have noticed that I didn't post on Wednesday as I normally do.  I was at the beach.  My kids are getting older, and we only have a few summers left.  I only have two summers after this one before my oldest is 18, and hopefully he still wants to hang out with us for his remaining summers.  I've decided that this will be our summer of fun.  We've done a lot of day trips, including Kings Island, Kalahari, and other local things.  One of the major perks of working from home is that I can take a day off during the week so avoid the weekend crowds.  Normally, I schedule my posts, but I didn't this week.  I was probably in our pool, looking for dive sticks, instead of writing.  

This week, we drove an hour away to a public lake with a beautiful swimming beach.  They have inflatables for the kids to play on, camping areas, fishing, and trails.  We swam and played at the beach for most of the day and then cooked out and caught crayfish.  My mental health needed a beach day to recharge.

As you all know, I'm a huge advocate of wearing sunscreen.  The kids and I wore La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Sunscreen and reapplied at every hourly break.  It's waterproof, but it wasn't enough.  I got a little burnt on my shoulders and upper arms, like I always do at the beach, and the kids got red on their cheeks.  

Luckily, I had already made these frozen aloe vera cubes, so they were in the freezer waiting on me.  See, sometimes it really does pay to plan ahead!

Frozen aloe vera cubes for instant sunburn relief.

Frozen Aloe Vera Cubes


If you've had a sunburn, you know it feels good to get something cold on it.  You can use a cool compress, but you should never put an ice cube on your burn.  The ice can actually burn your skin on top of the sunburn, which is the last thing you need!  Ice can also restrict blood flow to the area, which can delay healing.

Aloe vera is full of vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin while it heals, and it can soothe irritated skin on contact.


Making the frozen aloe vera cubes is really easy.  You can use aloe from a plant or 100 percent aloe vera.  I do not have my own plant, so I used store bought aloe.  I just squeezed some into a soap mold, but you could also use an ice cube tray.  Freeze for at least half an hour.


When you get the cubes out, they melt quickly.  It will be messy, but the quick, natural relief is worth the mess.

You can make several of them and store them in a bag for when you need them.


Calendula is very good for burns and irritated skin.  You could also grind the leaves with a mortar and pestle to mix with the aloe before you freeze it.

If you like this frozen aloe vera cube recipe, then you'll love these posts:
Calendula Soap For Dry Skin

DIY After Sun Spray
Protect Your Eyes

If you like DIY beauty posts, follow me on Pinterest for more!




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17 July 2017

What's In My Gym Bag


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Special K. All opinions are 100% mine.

I'm a very type A person, so I keep things organized.  I have bags packed for our different activities so I can grab them and go.  This reduces a lot of stress when trying to get out the door with three kids, two with autism who have trouble transitioning to a new activity.  My tai chi nights are especially hectic because the kids have martial arts after my tai chi class, so I have to get all five of us there on time.  Needless to say, we all have bags packed and ready to go.

I don't go to the actual gym often because I work out at home.  However, there is a punching bag and weights at the community center where we have martial arts.  With my bag packed, I'm ready to head to the gym or to the community center to work out or attend tai chi.
 

16 July 2017

Michael Todd Total Refresher Review

Michael Todd Beauty sent me a Total Refresher to review, but I was not compensated for my review.  As always, all enthusiasm is my own.

As a Michael Todd ambassador, I was lucky enough to get their newest device, Total Refresher, before it will be released for sale on 7/24/17.  My complexion is fairly good, but I do have some fine lines that are creeping up on me.  I also struggle with large pores on my nose and cheeks and blackheads on my nose.  

The Total Refresher is one device that works in three ways.  It exfoliates, extracts debris from pores, and sprays your favorite toner to infuse your skin to soothe and refresh.  Keep reading for my Michael Todd Total Refresher review.

Michael Todd Total Refresher Review

14 July 2017

Watermelon Mint Sugar Scrub Recipe

I'm a Chick Fil A ambassador this year, so that means a lot of visits to Chick Fil A.  My closest one is half an hour away, but we go there a few times a month for appointments, so it makes a good reward for the kids.  They sent me some gift cards for their new watermelon mint lemonade, so I got one last week.  I like strawberry lemonade, but I wasn't sure about the mint.  I'm happy to report that it was a very tasty drink and perfect for a 90 degree Ohio summer day.  There was just enough mint to taste, but it wasn't overwhelming.  

That drink was the inspiration for this watermelon mint sugar scrub recipe.  I omitted the lemonade because I think three main fragrances would have been a little much.  You could add some lemon essential oil if you wanted, but I liked it just at watermelon mint.

Easy DIY watermelon mint sugar scrub recipe.

Watermelon Mint Sugar Scrub Recipe

Links in this post may be affiliate links, which means that I earn a small commission from sales.

What You Need


To make the scrub, just combine the sugar and oil and stir.  I used grapeseed oil because it's a light oil.  You can use any carrier oil like olive oil or even coconut oil.  Coconut oil will alter the scent unless you use refined oil, but that strips out some of the properties for your skin.  Olive oil is readily available, but it is a very oily oil, if that makes sense.  You'll want to use a soap to wash your hands after you use this, which means washing away the oil that will nourish your skin for hours after you've used the scrub.  

After you mix the sugar and oil, add food coloring if you want to until you get the desired color.  

Then add the watermelon fragrance oil and peppermint essential oil.  I would start with the lowest number of drops, stir, and then smell it.  Add more of each as needed.  Depending on your preference and the oils you use, you might not need as many drops as I recommended. 


When you are happy with the scent, put it in a glass jar with a lid.  Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the watermelon mint sugar scrub recipe to use on your body.  This is really good for your hands and feet, but don't use it on your face.  Rinse well.  I don't generally use soap after I use a scrub, but you can if your skin is really oily.  




Learn how to make 30 different body scrubs in my ebook, Body Scrubs!

If you like this watermelon mint sugar scrub recipe, then you'll love these recipes:

Matcha Green Tea Sugar Scrub Recipe

Salt Scrub Vs Sugar Scrub 
Coconut and Calendula Sugar Scrub 
If you like DIY beauty recipes, follow me on Pinterest!



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12 July 2017

Unicorn Snot Glitter Gel Recipe

I have a new obsession.  Unicorns!  My daughter and I love all things unicorn.  The pink/blue/purple color combination has always been my favorite color combo.  And who can resist all of that glitter?  Not I!  My daughter is active in our community theater, so she needs specialized makeup sometimes.  She will need some sparkle for the next play, so we made this unicorn snot aka glitter gel.  We picked blue/green, pink, and purple glitter to make ours, but you can use any color that you want.  You can also make it as glittery as you want it.  I wanted her to sparkle a little bit from stage and not be completely covered, so we went with a lighter look.  You can totally customize it to fit your needs.


10 July 2017

Summer Hair Care Tips

Last week, we talked about summer makeup and beauty tips to keep your makeup and skin looking flawless.  I gave you a few tips for your hair, but I wanted to devote an entire post to summer hair care because this is something that affects me each year.  Between the harsh sun and chlorine, my hair takes a beating, but I've been able to keep it healthy with these summer hair care tips.

Summer hair care tips.

06 July 2017

My Weight Loss Journey


Today, I'd like to talk about something personal.  Something that I've alluded to here, but I haven't fully discussed: my weight.  I've never been a thin person.  Even as a small child, I wasn't thin.  When I played softball and basketball, I was the biggest on the team.  As an adult, I was always the biggest person in the room.  That changed five years ago. When I was approached by Z Living to let you all know about their newest show,The Big Fat Truth, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my personal journey with you all.  Keep reading for my journey to better health.

05 July 2017

How We Are Going Green With Tom's of Maine



My husband and I have been green since before green was even a thing.  We both respect the earth and nature, so we want to do our part to take care of it.  We have kids, and hopefully we will have grandchildren one day.  I want them to inherit a clean earth so they don't have to spend their lives cleaning up our messes.  We do little things every day that add up to be bigger things that help us take better care of our planet.  Keep reading to see how we are going green with some help from Tom's of Maine.



Bath and Body

I make many of our bath and body products, including soap, lotions, salves, and some of my makeup.  Sometimes I use food from our farm to make my recipes, and I've even used dandelions to make a salve.




We also use Tom's of Maine Luminous White whitening toothpaste because it only has naturally-derived ingredients.  It uses dual silica to safely and gently remove surface stains in just two weeks.  There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives either.  I buy my Tom's of Maine Luminous White at Target, but you can also get it at Walmart or Amazon.


I love Tom's of Maine because their products are natural and work great, but they are also a company that gives back.  They've given 10 percent of their profits back to non-profit organizations that help people and the planet.  They also give their employees paid time to volunteer for 12 days each year.  

Food


Our farm was built for self-sufficiency.  We have berry bushes, nut trees, an orchard, a large garden, and the chicken eggs for food.  We harvest and can or freeze the fruits and vegetables for the winter.  This reduces our trips to the store and reduces waste in that we can reuse the mason jars and freezer containers for the next year.  

Recycling


We recycle our paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal by taking it to the recycling center, which is conveniently located next to the grocery store so we aren't using extra gas to get it there.  We also recycle our food scraps.  Most people have a compost pile to turn their food waste into a nutrient rich fertilizer, but we have a different way to recycle.  We use our chickens.


Our chickens are free ranging, so they eat bugs and other yummy things all day.  I collect food scraps in a bucket, and then we take it out to give to the chickens.  When they see the bucket, they all come running to get the best scraps.  


Lawn Care


We have 11.5 acres to mow.  If we mow all of it, it takes more than 12 hours just to mow, not including trimming around the trees and around the house.  So we got goats.



We have 5 goats to help keep a large section of our farm cleared.  They are happy being outside, and we get the lawn trimmed so we can go longer between mowing.  Watching goats is much more fun than watching a lawnmower anyway.  

How are you going green?


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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03 July 2017

Summer Makeup Tips for Sweat Proof Makeup

I have a love hate relationship with summer.  I love that we get to enjoy some much needed down time with no school or other obligations.  However, I could do without the excessive heat and humidity and what it does to my hair and makeup.  I get my hair perfectly straightened and looking good before I leave the house.  Before I reach the end of the patio outside, I look like a poodle.  My makeup just slides off my face.  I used to not even bother, but I like wearing makeup.  I have oily skin and oily eyelids, so add in some humidity and sweat, and it's just not pretty.  Luckily, I learned some summer makeup tips for sweat proof makeup.  I don't do all of these every day, so don't feel like you need to either.  Just pick a few that you think will work for you and your makeup routine and go from there.  If all else fails, just take some Olay Daily Facials and your makeup bag to reapply.  

Summer Makeup Tips for Sweat Proof Makeup