May 25, 2016

5 Natural & Essential Beauty Oils

The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with revenues estimated to top 62 billion in 2016. And it's to no surprise that companies are capitalizing on the ever growing demands. But let's face it, some of the best beauty products aren't made in chemical labs---they're made straight from the earth, in raw and natural form. Here are five natural oils that every beauty babe should have in her beauty arsenal. 
1. Coconut Oil | Known for its versatile health benefits----the edible and greasy coconut secretions can solve just about any of your beauty problems. Seriously! It's an excellent moisturizer for the skin and hair. It serves as a great eye make-up remover. How about a DIY scrub? Simply add some oil to a bowl, add brown sugar and a hint of peppermint oil---and you've just concocted your very own facial scrub. Need more benefits? Well, it's also a naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal.
2.  Almond Oil | Rich with fatty acids, almond oil can be a great natural skincare cure for conditions like acne and eczema. My son suffers from chronic eczema and I often turn to many of the oils on this list as a treatment mechanism. As a nut base product, if you suffer from nut allergies you should probably stay clear of using this product.
3.  Peppermint Oil | Known for its soothing powers, when applied to the face-- it can reduce redness, even skin tone and restore a natural glow to the skin. Use it on the hair to eliminate dandruff and to support hair growth. 
4.  Castor Oil | Another favorite of mine. It's said to aid in stretch mark reduction (I'm still testing this out), scar fading, acne reduction, sunburn treatment, hair growth and intensive moisturizing. Like coconut oil, the benefits of castor oil are extraordinary.
5. Olive Oil | Stored in your kitchen cabinet, there are many benefits to its use. When I suffer from dry and brittle hair--I turn to an olive oil treatment. Simply warm the olive oil and apply to damp hair and let it sit for approximately 10 minutes, shampoo and condition. You'd be sure to notice an improved difference in strength. Same for nails. Soak nails in it for approximately 10 minutes twice a week for strong, shinny and healthier nails. Use it as a natural makeup remover. Also use it as a total body moisturizer by applying a couple tbs to your bath water or use it as an after shower moisturizer. 

May 18, 2016

Winter Style Flashback | 2016

Geez Louise.... winter came and went and I suspect spring and summer will too. It's as if the seasons are blending together and so has my hours, days and minutes. All the more reasons to push to be with the folks that I love, do the things that I should and live the life that I deserve. Yes, ready for the grand ole cliché? Yep...life is short. Are you living your life on purpose? Are you fulfilling your dreams? Have you decided to live life for you and nobody else? Have you determined what happiness means to you? Are you willing to step outside of the box? If you've answered with an unequivocal ---YES----congratulations!

May 16, 2016

Swim Things



May 13, 2016

5 Reasons to Hate Fashion Trends

One would certainly argue whether fashion is art. What is its purpose? It's not that complicated is it? It's a way of expression. Whether grown and sexy, mature and intellectual or insecure and youthful; fashion is what each individual wants it to be. It's a creative being that allows each artist to adapt, incorporate and invent. But trends?
Aaah....trends. You know the good ole marketing ploy to get us to the mall more times often than we need to. If you haven't figured out by now, I'm totally not the trendy type. I mean...I'm not in the malls biweekly checking for the latest and greatest products pushed by mass fashion retailers. I'm certainly not saying that I'm not checking for the semiannual S/S and F/W catwalk fashions gracing the runways. But---- I'm just much more interested in wearing what I like, which happens to not be dictated by designers, magazines and retail giants. Let's also keep in mind that many trends throughout the history of fashion has morphed into timeless classics. So one could certainly argue that every fashion staple was once a trend. But for the sake of this discussion, I'm talking modern day fashion trends which many have made countless debuts on fashion faux pas lists. There's a reason why I hate them. Or maybe five reasons. Here's the rundown.
  1. There's No Individuality | Everyone looks the same. I am a huge fan of individualism. I'm drawn to all things authentically creative and original. One of the reasons I started sewing was to create unique one-of-a-kind garments. It became so unbecoming and disappointing to visit the malls to only see the same ole fads hanging on the racks. Thank goodness for options like local boutiques, vintage thrift and consignment shops and the talents of local up and coming designers. Surely you can take the same Zara blazer and sandals and put your own creative spin on it right? How is that for unpretentious distinction. But where there is a lack of individuality in fashion; there is personality, our outlook on the world and our sense of humor to compensate. There is hope.
    unpretentious
  2. IIt's All About the Money | Yes. What better way to stimulate the economy semiannually than scouring the local malls and luxury department stores for new trends fresh off the runway from New York Fashion Week? Ooh,  brocade, metallics and radiant orchid is in this season----let me race on down to Neimans. No thanks. I've got better things to do with  my money than trying to keep up with what the industry says I should be wearing to appear "cool". Besides....it's much much cheaper to dress me than to feed me. This foodie has got to eat. LOL. No but seriously....thank goodness for the thrifting phenomenon, outlets and discount stores. As I become older and what I'd like to think wiser, I've become a more conscious and fiscally responsible consumer.

May 12, 2016

5 Must Have Spices for Your Kitchen

One of the aspects to producing tasteful and unique dishes lies within the herbs and spices that are often utilized during the cooking process. But many of these same herbs and spices provide additional health benefits that extends far beyond pleasing the oral palettes. I've outlined 5 beneficial herbs and spices below that have significant health impact
1. Turmeric - Known to put the yellow color in curry. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant known to slow the aging process and prevent ailment and diseases. It's also an anti-inflammatory. Lowering blood pressure and killing fungus are also health benefits amongst others.
2. Basil - Thai food is one of my absolute favorite cuisines. And anything basil or ginger is a must. The basil leaf looks alot like a peppermint leaf, but rounder in shape. Used to flavor other foods like pesto---the powerful herb packs a mean punch when it comes to its countless health benefits. A great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium---which are all critical to balanced health and nutrition. I like to add a couple leaves to my water for a refreshing touch.
3. Cayenne Pepper - A critical healing source across many cultures, especially in Asia. Cayenne pepper provides countless uses including cleansing and detoxifying regimes such as the lemon water detox or Master Cleanse, which uses the spice to stimulate circulation and neutralize acidity. The powder is also widely used to fight sore throats, heartburn and nausea.
4. Ginger - My absolute favorite root and herb. I battle digestive issues and ginger never fails in curing many of those ailments. While being pregnant with my son and battling morning sickness at times----having ginger or ginger ale on deck was a life saver. It's also said to aid in fighting infections, lowering cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease.
5. Rosemary - I was sold on rosemary just by its smell. It's just so refreshing. But fragrance aside----it's said to be useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing blood circulation, and aiding in proper digestion. Same with basil and mint, I often add a spring to my water for a refreshing touch.

What are some of your favorite spices and/or herbs?