The harsh winter weather can really take a toll on our skin. In the midst of all the snow, storms, and polar vortex’s of late your skin may be feeling kinda dry and drab right about now and your hair looks dull and frizzy…not so much nourished and healthy as we would like. It happens to all of us who live in cold weather climates so rest assured that many others are in the same boat right now. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways in which you can remedy the winter beauty blah’s though. Here are some natural remedies that will enable you to bring some “spring” to your winter skin.
Chapped and dry lips - Use a product that will be easily absorbed by your lips to help nourish and repair…as well as provide a barrier to wind and weather. Good products to try include those with beeswax (vitamin A stimulates cell repair) and coconut oil (skin cells drink it up).
No Glow – Winter skin can be pale and blah. Do not head to the tanning booth or start using toxic self tanners. Go for a bit of glow with mineral makeup.
Crow’s feet and fine lines - A lack of hydration in winter skin can make find lines more pronounced. To combat this issue drink more fluids. Green smoothies are very hydrating and help to plump the skin up but you may not be crazy about drinking smoothies when the weather is cold. I suggest water with a couple teaspoons of aloe vera juice added, very hydrating.
Cracked or chapped hands – Our hands are quite often exposed to the harsh weather, even if we try to wear gloves or mittens as much as we can. In order to keep them hydrated we need to use something thick, creamy, and hydrating. Good options for hand creams would include coconut oil, shea butter, or jojoba oil. Keep some in your purse so that you can get to it frequently.
Dull dry skin on your face/body – Exfoliation is your best friends this time of year. Not only does the arid air present a problem but your natural oil production slows down in colder months. The old skins cells need to be sloughed off so that your complexion does not appear dull and dry. Put a cup or two of almond meal in a glass jar or container and keep it the shower. Mix a tablespoon or so with a bit of water to make a paste and then exfoliate. It works great and is natural to boot.
I also recommend using a really soothing bar soap with french clay and natural oils and ingredients. This handcrafted soap is made with olive, coconut, palm, avocado, cocoa butter, french rose clay, Egyptian geranium essential oils, and crushed flowers.
Essential Oils for Winter Skin – Essential oils are amazing plant based oils that can help you look your best. Some of the best are Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lavender, Chamomile, and Patchouli. They are all well known for helping with skin care and skin issues.
Frizzy hair – Dry air, lots of wind, and friction with certain winter fibers creates frizzy, static hair. To combat frizz use apple cider vinegar to rinse your hair in the shower. Then rub a bit of coconut oil or olive oil on your hands and gently slide them over your damp hair, avoiding the roots. This locks in the moisture and helps with fly aways and frizz. For additional help try an avocado and olive oil hair mask, leaving it on your hair for 30 minutes or so. Also make sure ot check out my article on Essential Oils for Hair.
A few smart products and some items from your pantry can go a long way to help you beat any winter skin woes…
Summer is in full swing, and if your house is anything like ours sometimes it feels as if summer sucks the money right out of the front door. Between the high costs of water, air conditioning, having the kids’ home from school and everyone wanting to go places and do things it can seem as if there is never quite enough money for everyone who is demanding it. But how would you like to actually save money this summer?
I know that it may seem impossible, but you really can save money this summer simply by using these three simple ideas to get started saving and let yourself get creative. Why only three? Because you are busy this summer and it is easier to stick to smaller, defined goals than a broad range of tips of and ideas. Once you get started though you’ll find yourself coming up with even more ways that you can save.
Save Money on Your Energy Bills
One of the easiest ways to save the most significant amount of money this summer is to acclimate your home and family to the natural cycles of heat and humidity. The best way to do this is slowly adjust your air conditioning to higher settings during the day. Take about a week and slowly adjust your settings each day. You may find that your weather is too hot and humid to go without AC altogether, but this method can significantly reduce the amount you spend on air conditioning. In addition, try turning the AC off altogether in the evenings and use ceiling fans, floor fans, and window box fans to keep the cooler outside air circulating through the house. Also instead of running the dryer do all your laundry on sunny days and hang outside to dry on Urban Clothelines. They don’t have to be permanent or bulky structures either. Many are portable so that picky homeowner’s associations won’t have a reason to cite you. Plus, kids can help you hang and remove laundry.
Save Money on Your Water Bills
Water bills can be prohibitively expensive during the summer, especially if you are trying to keep your yard green and also allowing your kids to play in the sprinklers. Well, there are several ways to cut down on your water bills. First off is to reuse all of your water, and I do mean all of your water. Save the water from your baths and showers as well as your dishwater. Mind you, you’ll have to switch to biodegradable soaps and shampoos, but believe it or not, your shrubs, flowers, houseplants and even garden vegetables seem to thrive on recycled water, so don’t be shy!
Another way to save money on water is to buy a kiddie pool instead of letting your children play in the sprinkler. Buy a pool with a cover or rig a mesh cover that will prevent leaves and bugs from getting into the water so that you don’t have to refill the pool as often.
Saving Money by Skipping the Vacation
The idea of not going on a vacation can seem absolutely depressing to most people. After all, isn’t getting away from it all what summer vacations are all about? Now I’m not suggesting that you not take a vacation, but that you don’t go anywhere on your vacation. No mind you, you have to do some preparation for this kind of vacation so that you won’t slip into your usual home routine. You can choose a theme (such as a Caribbean cruise or a Tour de France) and plan your meals and activities accordingly. You can schedule a number of day trips to local attractions that will keep you out of the house. The point is to enjoy your time off without having to pay the ridiculous hotel, restaurant and resort fees. Just using this idea alone you’ll end up with money leftover at the end of the summer; money you normally would have spent on something else.
While there are dozens of ways to save money over the summer, hopefully these three have given you a place to start so that you can get through the holidays without feeling as if your budget has been sucked dry and you can head into autumn with a little jingle in your pocket.
As the weather warms my kids are staying outside longer. The garden house is already being turned on for quick sprinkler sessions when they get overheated from play. Soon they will be in the pool. All of this means wet clothing, wet swimsuits, and lots of towels. I cannot keep up with the amount of wet clothing and towels that come with spring and summer so I have to accept that I am going to have a fair amount of stinky laundry to wash…laundry with that icky mildew smell. So how do I get it out? I absolutely detest getting out of the shower and reaching for a towel, only to bring it to my face and realize that it smells noxious even though it’s technically been ‘cleaned’. Gross!
I describe my very effective plan of action here, it works for all laundry items that have mildewed:
Hope it helps!
Have a great weekend all! I slept in on this glorious Saturday morning and then made everyone a sweet and salty breakfast combo, muskmelon and bacon. It is cold and dreary here in Ohio so maybe it is a movie day? A laundry day most likely. I hope the weather warms up a bit tomorrow. We want to break in our annual passes to our local zoo.
Today is the last day to buy the new Herb Fairies series/set. I have now read the first book in the series and OH MY GOODNESS it is great. My 7 year old son and 9 year old daughter will be over the moon for it I think. The main characters are some really empowered children who grew up with herbalist parents. Yet there are also some child characters who not have quite their comfort level with the great outdoors so it is a fun mix. This set goes away tonight at midnight and won’t be available again until 2014 so don’t delay.
I wrote two articles elsewhere this week and wanted to share them…
I am a member of the Green Sisterhood. which is a group of amazing green women bloggers and business owners who have banded together to work towards our goals, both environmental and personal. They say everyone needs to find their tribe and the Green Sisterhood is an amazing tribe. I knew most of the women involved previously but getting together in this more intimate group has been so rewarding. I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together. You can follow the blog for more great, green and conscious content as well. This week I wrote a post there about Unplugging the Family for Screen-Free Week, which is coming up at the end of April. It is a week when we are encouraged to unplug the TVs and computers and reconnect to real life, family, and nature. Will you join?
I also wrote over at Fit Frugal Fabulous about an issue that keeps many up at night…health insurance woes. If you cannot afford health insurance or you have a less than desirable plan there ARE still ways you can take charge of your healthcare. Traditional health care is really sick care and we CAN take steps to make sure we don’t need sick care. THAT is real health care! Read A ‘Do It Yourself’ Healthcare Plan When You Can’t Afford Health Insurance.
Other worthwhile links…
Good Girl Gone Green’s amazing Almond Pulp Bars – a delicious way to use up almond pulp leftover from making almond milk.
Litterati – This is an AMAZING site and idea. Basically when you are out and about, picking up library books or taking your kids to the park and you see a piece of litter, you take a photo with your camera and upload it to Instgram (follow me here) and tag it #Litterati. Then you recycle or throw away the litter. It creates a platform for people to unite and clean up the earth one piece of garbage at a time and the site tracks everyone’s efforts via a global map. The kids are actually loving this process and finding it game-like. Here is a piece we tagged this week, found along a roadway as we were walking.. Who throws an empty bottle of laundry detergent out of their car?!?
Books I am Reading:
Attack Your Day!: Before It Attacks You – FREE right now. It is an excellent book about being more productive.
You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too – A great read about a couple who live in one of those tiny houses and have very little by way of belongings.
Soap Maker’s Workshop: The Art and Craft of Natural Homemade Soap – Yep, I really, really want to try my hand at making my own soap. I have wanted to for years. One of these days….
Unlike a lot of moms in the natural parenting blogosphere I don’t really harp on media and electronics too often. We are not a TV free house and never will be. My kids all have a TV, an xBox, and a computer in their bedrooms. We are plugged in and I quite enjoy it that way. For me it is more about balance and making sure we stay connected as a family and to the outdoors and other screen-free pursuits whilst still enjoying our screen time. I think our approach has worked pretty well.
My oldest plays video games with a historical bent and comes to me daily to tell me what historical things he learned on the game and then confirmed online for accuracy. These games have helped him discover that he LOVES history, especially as it relates to military and world wars. He just finds it all fascinating. My middle child plays a game daily that is all about architecture and world building. Both have gravitated towards educational games so I count myself lucky. Neither of them watches very much TV and both will happily spend 5-6 hours outside after school if the weather is nice. My youngest is my TV watcher and he watches a little more than I would like but happily he loves to watch Netflix documentaries about dinosaurs, prehistoric time periods, and animals.
I watch a handful of shows via primetime and cable network…they keep me from cancelling our cable. Though I always watch them later via DVR because I refuse to sit through commercials. I love True Blood, Justified, Game of Thrones, Dexter, Grimm, Person of Interest, Burn Notice, Lost Girl, and Elementary. I also love to watch Netflix and the amount of conscious and inspirational documentaries on it is amazing. For only $7.99 a month we are able to stream all of their content to our TVs…via xBox, Wii, and Roku. Sometimes it sucks me into TV that does not better my mind…like when I watched the first episode of Gossip Girl (just to see what the hullabaloo was all about) and then spent a week watching every single episode of every single season. :) Mostly though it enables us to watch all kinds of documentaries.
I recently asked fans on the NaturesMoms fan page what documentaries they were streaming via Netflix and here are some of the standouts…
No Impact Man
Vanishing of the Bees
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
Super Size Me
Forks Over Knives
Hungry for Change
Growing Food Documentaries:
The Business of Being Born
The Vaccine War
Loving Lampposts (about autism)
This is only a teeny tiny sampling. They have just about every kind of documentary/movie you could want from animals and national parks to religion and human rights stories. If you don’t have game consoles and you don’t want to watch on your computer I suggest a Roku. It is about the size of a deck of cards and allows you to stream all sorts of content …Netflix, Hulu, TED talks, exercise videos, etc.
What are you watching?