Winter Skin Blues

This frigid weather is brutal on my skin! My back is itching like crazy and my face feels as dry as a desert. I have tried product after product trying to aid my visage to no avail. The closest I have come with a manufactured product has been the gorgeous line of Shaklee Enfuselle products. I use these products on a year-round basis because they are naturally sourced and chock full of great stuff for my skin. However, this time of year always gets my skin crying out for extra TLC, no matter what. For the past few years I have slapped on coconut oil religiously and it works pretty well. However, my kids balk at the scent of it and make gasping noises when they come in for a hug. Thanks, guys. It can’t really be that bad. In the container it smells delicious like a pina colada. On my face, not so much, obviously. Weird since I can’t smell it and my nose just happens to be smack dab in the centre of my face.

 

I think I have finally come up with a solution! The past few weeks I have been experimenting. I am sort of in an obsessive domain at present since the itching and stinging of dry skin is all-encompassing. I have tried a slew of DIY concoctions with varying success and have put ingredients from different skin care recipes together in my own formulations. I have figured out that exfoliation two times per week is necessary during the winter. I’m sure there are skin gurus out there gasping somewhere. Oh well.

 

 

Almost good enough to eat!

Almost good enough to eat!

 

 

 

Perfectoid Exfoliating Scrub:

*All ingredients are approximate amounts since I just put everything into a small dish and use immediately. This makes the correct amount for one use this way everything is fresh, fresh, fresh.

 

  • 1 tsp melted organic coconut oil
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp used coffee grounds (or is it grinds? I am never certain)

Mix these few ingredients together and you are ready for superior exfoliating and moisturizing action!

Splash warm water on your face a few times – just water, no cleanser necessary. You will feel as though you are in a face wash commercial at this point. Turn off the tap to conserve water while applying the concoction. Scoop a bit of the mixture onto your fingertips and apply to face starting with the forehead and working your way down. Apply all of the mixture before starting to scrub. Lightly scrub in small circles starting at the forehead while leaning over the sink since bits will fling while you are scrubbing. Go easy. You don’t want to irritate your sensitive facial skin.  Allow the scrub to stay on your face for a minute or two for the most benefit. It is now time to wash off the mixture with warm water. Cool water is great for your skin but makes the oils harden slightly so it is much easier to rinse with warm water then follow with a couple splashes of cold water. Do not use any cleanser or soap to wash of the oil residue. This is beneficial to your skin and no, it will not cause breakouts.  Pat your face dry gently. Very gently.

 

You are finished!

 

For added moisturizing, I finish with a very light coat of either avocado oil or coconut oil (at night). If it feels too oily simply dab a tissue over your face to remove excess. If you wear makeup, now is the perfect time to apply. I usually add extra moisturizer to my tinted moisturizer for a more natural look anyway so this is a great way to cut out a step.

 

 

Why did I choose to use these particular ingredients? Other than they were some of the few ingredients that my very sensitive skin didn’t react wickedly to.

Coconut Oil –

  • prevents and protects skin against free radical damage.
  • aids in reestablishing the skin’s natural antimicrobial and acid barrier
  • easily absorbs into the skin and doesn’t feel greasy
  • helps to reduce inflammation

 

Avocado oil –

  •  avocado oil is rich in vitamins A, D and E, all of which  help maintain healthy skin
  • heals and soothes skin
  • keeps skin young and supple
  • helps reduce itching, dryness, and inflammation

 

 

Sugar –

  • stripping away tired old skin by using an exfoliant is rejuvenating. Exfoliants smooth your skin and help increase the production of new collagen to improve the appearance of fine lines
  • sugar is rough enough in texture to help rid the top layer of dry skin
  • can be too abrasive and cause sensitivity if scrubbed to firmly. Go easy. If white sugar is too scratchy feeling, perhaps brown sugar would be a better option for you.

 

 

Coffee Grounds –

  • contains caffeic acid which is suggested to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects
  • stimulates collagen production
  • helps skin feel silky smooth
  • great use for used coffee grounds since I am not using them in the garden this time of year
  • What can I say? I love coffee whether it be in me or on me!

 

 

 

One of the best ways to assist skin this time of the year is ensuring you maintain a high level of water consumption. I drink a lot of water because I simply like water not juices. I must admit that I suck down far too much coffee which doesn’t help but I do try to compensate by drinking extra water for every cup of coffee I consume.

 

If you try out this DIY exfoliator, please report back with your comments.

 

 

“Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.”  – Rosalind Russell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Few of My Favorite Things

I am going to veer off my Festive Mode momentarily and jot down a few of my favorite things. It seems appropriate to this time of year.

A Few of My Favorite Things:

wonderful hiking terrain - escarpment

wonderful hiking terrain – escarpment

– without a doubt, at the top of my list are my children. That goes without saying, though.

– unsolicited hugs from my children. There is nothing like the hug of your own child that is infused with love, trust, and adoration to make you realize how much you impact another Being.

– laughing a good, deep laugh right from the belly. Laughter is so rejuvenating.

– standing with my face to the gentle breeze, closing my eyes and just feeling the sensation of the wind on my face and in my hair.

– a cold, refreshing beer on a hot summer day. Or a sumptuous glass of red wine while sitting by the fireplace on a cold winter’s night.

– the smell of fresh-cut grass.

– aloo gobi. The thought makes my mouth water….mmm…

– great tunes cranked up loud!

– the plant world. Truly fascinating.

– Brussels sprouts

– water. Fresh, clean water

– baking

– Get Clean products. The ONLY cleaners I allow to enter my home because they are safe and work like nobody’s business (check them out via the link to Live Love Be Green at the right side of this blog).

– my phenomenal family and friends. I love that we have a mutual respect for each other’s individuality. There is no need for us all to be clones of each other!

– Glorious coffee. You make my morning.

– muscles. No explanation necessary. (I felt it necessary to add this)

– the different terrain in the area I reside. Rocky escarpment, lakes, forests, vineyards and orchards, to bustling city. I love the contrast and the unique beauty of each.

– the Christmas and holiday season

Of course, there are many other things I could add to my list because this world offers so much bounty. However, I must stop somewhere! These are just a few of the things that make each and every day a bit brighter in my world. No, I don’t consume aloo gobi every day but honestly, I could.  I reserve the cold beer to occasional consumption which allows me to enjoy it even more when I do have it. I try to amalgamate most of these things into my every day.

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“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”  – Charles  Spurgeon

Liebster Award

A big thank you to Cyndi at Healthy A-Z for the Liebster Award nomination. I am honoured that you enjoy my blog posts enough  for recognition. The Liebster is focused on blogs with less than 200 followers. What a great way to get the word out about blogs by others that we may not have had the pleasure of finding ourselves! I highly recommend checking out Cyndi’s blog. She is an inspiring woman.

 

award-liebster-award

A factor in receiving this award is answering a few questions to help you all get to know a little more about what makes me tick. Here goes!

 

How would you describe yourself in one word?

Spirited.

 

 

What is your favorite quote?  

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”     – Harriet Tubman

 

 

If you could spend one month with a person from history who would you choose?

I would choose to spend a month with Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee. He was a man of great vision and passion for helping others. His life story is incredibly intriguing and gave me a huge respect for him as a person and as a scientist. His work changed the world of health and medicine. I will be adding a page soon on my personal website (found at the right-hand side of this blog as Live Love Be Green)  regarding Dr. Shaklee and his scientific career. Truly a fascinating individual.

 

 

What modern convenience could you easily do without for the next year?

I could easily live without a microwave oven. I have a love-hate relationship with the microwave. It is too easy to use for reheating food even though I know they it is unhealthy. After a year without a microwave I would be reprogrammed into not feeling the need to use it.

 

 

Where was your favorite vacation?

My favorite vacation was a side-trip to Wales while visiting England. There was something so homey and mystical about Wales that the experience has stayed with me as almost a “home-coming” of sorts. I intend to revisit Wales at some point.

 

 

I have chosen the following blogs for my Liebster Award Nominees:

Late Bloomer Show

The Girl in Yoga Pants

Change My Body, Change My Life

Candid Impressions

Confessions & Dreams

Homesteading Downsized

 

 

These bloggers always post thought-provoking material that I look forward to reading. Please visit and show them some love. Here are the questions for these nominees to answer on their blogs:

How would you describe yourself in one word?

What is your favorite quote?

If you could be anywhere at this exact moment in time, where would you be?

If you could have a conversation with anyone, from the past or present, who would it be?

What is your favorite time of the day, and why?

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

 

 

Thank you, once again, to Cyndi at Healthy A-Z and all of you that take the time out of your busy day to read my blog.

Processing

I had no idea the impact that visiting Las Vegas would have on me both physically and mentally. In a strange way, I guess it has affected me spiritually as well. I suppose you could say  that  I had a cushy  upbringing and my only reality was the one I was in – like so many other people I only saw things from my perspective. Yes, I am compassionate. Sometimes overly so to the detriment of myself. I have tended to put others first to not create waves too often in my lifetime. I have been focusing on respecting my own Being over the last couple of years and have made huge strides in allowing myself to be joyful and fulfilled without guilt or selfishness. This has taken a lot of focus and strength. Learning to say “no” was paramount in my forward movement of personal growth. A person can take on too much and stress themselves out needlessly when “yes” becomes the dominant response. Call me crazy but I feel very empowered when I say no when it is necessary. The trick is not being reckless with “no’s” but to use them wisely, not foolishly just for the sake of it.

It has taken me approximately a week to process my reactions and actions as well as absorb what I have learned while in Vegas. I figured I would just carry on my merry way and come home the same person. WRONG! My eyes have been opened to another reality that I had never really inspected thoroughly before. Another lifestyle choice that was not like mine. The world of the Eternal Party. I love a good party just like the next person but I must admit that there can be too much of a good thing.

 

The puzzling part of  this trip was how overwhelmed I felt once I got home. I was  bombarded by so much in a week’s time that I needed to allow myself to come back down to reality. I am not sure how else to explain what I was feeling. I learned a great deal about myself in the process. Here are a few of the things I discovered in my week of processing.

  • I reaffirmed that I love to live a fairly simple existence.
  • I prefer moderate temperatures. Not extreme heat that sucked every bit of moisture from my flesh or the polar opposite of shivering in overly air-conditioned buildings. How is a woman supposed to know what to wear in these conditions?
  • Home grown and home-made (with love) food is essential to my well-being.
  • my sister that was one of my travelling companions is, and always will be, one of my best friends. I am very thankful we are a part of each other’s lives.
  • gambling is of no interest to me
  • smoking repulses me. Not the person smoking, per say, but the act of smoking and putting out noxious air into the surroundings. I apologize if you are offended by this statement but I am entitled to my opinion.
  • there is no excuse for behavior that encroaches on other people’s safety or well-being. We are all equal here on Earth…get over yourself if you think you are better than anyone else. This is not directed at anyone in particular, just a random observation.
  • I have been vegetarian in many variations (vegan, raw foodist, ovo-veg, lacto-veg) over my lifetime. Eating any other way seems unnatural to me now. Why is this still so hard to grasp for restaurants?
  • I love to travel but I really love to be at home.
  • to love generously and without judgement. We all have “stuff” we are dealing with. This is an ongoing project.
  • Shaklee supplements are essential not only while at home but while travelling too. Thanks to my good friends that insisted I keep up my regime.
  • dehydration sucks
  • there is too much perfume and air “freshener” products in this world. The air is not fresher because chemicals are swirling around in our nostrils. If something smells bad it needs to be dealt with – easy peasy.
  • sleep is vital
  • walking is good. I am thankful for a fully functioning pair of legs. I won’t take them for granted any more and worry about what they look like. They work!

 

The Shaklee Convention was the main focus of my trip. It filled me to overflowing with incredible information. So much so that I think my brain shorted out and was in need of time to absorb and filter all the knowledge that was packed in. My brain is back to functioning properly with all this new information sorted and filed where it should be. I must send a big shout out to all of those at Shaklee head office that put together this fantastic convention. You all are amazing!

 

This trip to Las Vegas began as a time to focus on growth in my business as well as a vacation. I came out on the other side of this experience with much more than I had expected. I have evolved in ways I never knew I would. I thought I had already made peace with my existence and the life I am living but I gained a new sense of  “belonging” within myself that was deeper than I thought possible. Belonging to Myself and loving it!

 

 

“Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.”  – Rachel Naomi Remen

Viva Las Vegas!

“Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire…”

Set my soul on fire, it did.  I have never been anywhere in my travels that is remotely similar to Vegas. Bright flashing lights, the sound of  helicopters constantly, slot machines announcing another winner, the smell of smoke and the crazy antics of people out for a good time.  I’ve ventured into casinos in the past but I’m not a gambler and feel unnerved by people literally throwing money away for mere seconds of  exhilaration that they may win big. I have enjoyed theatrical performances over the years but Las Vegas is so packed with choices as to which shows to visit, no one could possibly enjoy them all. Some of them would scar me for life if I did see them. The endless buffet lines were a statement of societies sheer gluttony. That’s a few of the negatives. What about some positive thoughts, you say.

I was blown away by the creativity and splendor of the hotels. I felt as though I had time traveled or teleported, or whatever, each time I entered a different hotel. Incredibly amazing (in a good way). I love that people wear sequins at any time of the day or night in Vegas. Sparkle like every day is Christmas seems to be the motto…and I love it! I must admit though that the best part of being in Las Vegas was the people I was with. My spectacular sister and fabulous friends and business associates.

Why was I in Las Vegas you must be wondering. Business or pleasure?

Why, a little of both!  I was attending the Shaklee Global Conference from August 8-12 and decided that while in Vegas I should see the sights as well. The conference was mind-blowing with the abundance of information and excitement. I have never, and I mean never, seen a company host a conference like Shaklee does…wow! Shaklee isn’t just a company, it’s a movement. A movement for positive change. A movement to become the healthiest you have ever been while enjoying yourself. A vehicle for health and financial wellness that is ethical, environmentally responsible and proven to be safe and effective.  These qualities in a company touch my heart like no other company can. There is absolutely no comparison out there as far as I’m concerned. Visit my Facebook page and “like” Live Love Be Green. You will be kept up to date on what’s going on and be a part of the conversation regarding health and wellness.

As if the conference wasn’t packed with enough fun-filled moments, my cohorts and I tried to pack in as much excitement as possible. We were awestruck by a Cirque de Soleil performance called KA at the MGM Grand. How the human body can do the things it does in Cirque’s shows baffle me. My brain kept repeating, “don’t try this at home” throughout the performance.  Don’t worry Brain, I won’t be foolish enough to think that I could execute any of the actions I witnessed.

We also took in the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay and had lots of laughs while being amazed at the aquatic life.

There was nothing that could prepare me for the heat of Las Vegas. The 112 degrees of blistering heat made my eyeballs feel as though they were melting in their sockets. I am a southern Ontario Canadian girl who likes moderate temperatures and gets out of sorts when the thermometer reads 80 degrees or higher. 73 degrees is optimal in my world. I’ve had a difficult time acclimatizing back to the temperature at home and even found myself putting on a sweater this afternoon. I will remind myself of the extreme Vegas heat whenever I find myself wanting to complain that I am hot!

I would love to see Vegas become more vegetarian friendly. It was difficult to find things to eat and I ended up cinching in my belt  three holes. Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to tighten my belt but I would like to not feel light-headed while doing so. Maybe I was just drying out in the heat.

Over all, Las Vegas was a blast. Thanks to Shaklee for hosting a totally kick-butt convention again this year!

I’ve always wanted to see the bright lights for myself and now that I have I can focus on other destinations.

“Viva las vegas with you neon flashin
And your one armbandits crashin
All those hopes down the drain
Viva las vegas turnin day into nighttime
Turnin night into daytime
If you see it once
You’ll never be the same again”