Thursday, 15 October 2015

Coffee Bar Scrub- Home Remedies for Cellulite

I’ve seen so much on Instagram lately about coffee scrubs! Well there’s no need to break the bank on products like these when you can make simple, natural coffee bars or scrubs at home! I take so much pride in homemade products because you can tailor them to your needs and know exactly what ingredients are used. I find this eases my mind rather than the mystery of what chemicals may be in your drug store products!

Coffee has been known to minimize the appearance of cellulite and these bars are the perfect example of that. Cellulite is caused from the fat tissue herniating through the connective tissue, which causes skin dimpling. Coffee is a natural diuretic which releases the water of the cells allowing the toxins to move and decreasing the appearance of cellulite. This coffee bar gets rid of the appearance of cellulite, exfoliates, moisturizes and leaves the skin glowing.

Why do women get cellulite and men don’t? In simplest terms men and women store fat in different ways. A perfect example of this is how men will typically get a gut or “beer belly” before their arms and legs follow suite. Where as women will store their fat in many different parts of their body like their arms, legs, chest, bottom and abdomen. Estrogen also plays a big role in making women’s skin and connective tissue thinner than their fat tissue. Men have a thicker skin tissue so the fat cells aren’t able to project and cause cellulite.  To put it in even simpler terms than that, women got the short end of the stick.

Nevertheless women are resilient and deserve to feel beautiful. So let’s pamper ourselves with some coffee skin care! The ingredients you’ll need are:

6 tablespoons of Coffee
5 tablespoons of Sugar
2 teaspoons of Cornstarch or Aloe
2 teaspoons of Baking Soda or Baby Powder
3 teaspoons of Cinnamon
2 tablespoons of melted Coconut Oil or Aloe

      1. Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl
2. Spray with water so that the mixture will get damp but will not dissolve any ingredients.
3. Press the mixture firmly in to a mold (I used both plastic shot glasses and muffin tin        works as well.
4. Let the mixture firm over night then use in the shower or bath anytime you need a pick-me-up or some extra vavavoom.

I made one batch of coconut oil and corn starch and another of olive oil and aloe. I found I got the best results using the plastic shot glasses (bar on the left) rather than the muffin tins. 

Some notes about the recipe:
·      The coffee bar may crumble if there isn’t enough water added
·      You can leave out the last two steps and use the mixture as a scrub instead of a bar
·      It is best to moisturize with lotion after use 
·      I added some alternative ingredients for those with sensitive skin or special skin needs

Aloe: good for dry skin, treats acne, fights aging and lessens the appearance of      stretch marks
Olive Oil: protects from aging, doesn’t clog pores and leaves skin glowing
Baby Powder: naturally dries out oily skin and fights acne

I hope this recipe leaves you glowing and confident! I can’t stress enough what amazing, natural treatments and products you can make at home. Natural products have the benefit of knowing exactly what ingredients you and your kids may be using. Please leave a comment below on how the coffee bars worked for you!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Mindful Storyteller

Your boyfriend goes to the bar with his friends, while you are stuck at home. You feel no real insecurities about the situation and even if you did he said he’d call around 11:00pm.

10:30 You remember that most of his friends are single and you start to think…
Hmmm I bet there are a lot of girls around, well I’m sure they are having a good time!
10:45 Everything’s okay it’s just him and his buddies at the bar. He never puts
up a fuss when I go out for girls night, and we all know what the guys are like at bars.
10:55  Oh no…"What guys are like at bars?!?!?!?!?” Am I referring to what his
friends are probably like at bars?
10:56 I’m just overthinking it
10:57 No I’m not.
10:58 There’s probably girls all over them who am I kidding?
10:59 He still hasn’t called???? He said 11:00… Oh…
11:00 He has to be kidding me, he is so rude and unreliable. I can’t even.
11:05 REALLY?!??!!?
11:20 Ring, ring
“Hey babe, sorry I didn’t call earlier me and the boys ended up just staying in at Rick’s place to watch the game! How was your night?”

This is basically an excerpt from The Story of My Life. However it’s an example of how our minds can get the best of us sometimes. I call this “story telling” and what I mean by that, is the reality of the situation was much different than the story that got built up to the point of anger. Story telling is not limited to the scenario above, anytime you make yourself the victim of a situation you are story telling.
            Story telling is something that is so easily avoidable until it becomes a habit of constantly trying to feed our ego after a bad experience. There isn’t a big difference between lying and story telling. When you story tell, not only are you lying to yourself but you are also mentally torturing yourself. Lying has quite a negative connotation to it so, I’ll cut you some slack and we’ll call it story telling. 
              Why do we story tell you ask? Well sometimes when you’re in a sucky situation it can feel really good to play the victim card and have people feel bad for you. The reality is that your ego feels hurt and hungry and can only be fed by attention. (I cut you some slack already with the lying but I have to be brutally honest with that one.)

            For many people, including myself, story telling has become a habit (and a bad one at that.) It’s easier to make yourself the damsel in distress rather than accepting that maybe he really just didn’t get around to calling. The first thing to do to stop the story telling is to catch yourself in the act. Whether you’ve already done it or you’re just about to, just be aware that you are story telling. Once you become more aware of when you’re story telling you can begin preventing it before it even happens. You will notice right away that not only does this eliminate most conflicts but it will also greatly lessen your day-to-day stress levels.
So now that we’ve found the problem here is the solution: mindfulness. Yes! One word will fix this whole hiccup in the road. To be mindful is to be aware and conscious of your emotions, body and feelings and recognize them fully before reacting. In this context it is to be mindful of the reality of the situation. The reality of the first example is that her boyfriend didn’t call at 11:00pm. The reality is simply the known facts of the situation, not a hunch or a thought of what may be behind the reason he didn’t call. 

When you mindfully accept the reality of the situation it stops it from unraveling further and halts the negative snowball of emotion right in its tracks. The easiest practice to be mindful is to sit with your feelings breathe through it and distinguish the real truth of the situation.

For example: you go home to your wife after work and tell her about how your boss came in to your office today and yelled at you for a small mistake that you made. You then blame it on the fact that him and his wife aren’t getting along at home and he probably needed to blow off some steam.

The reality is: your boss had to give you a harsh talking to when you made a mistake because he is your boss. It’s his job to make sure you’re doing your job to your full ability.

            Don’t get me wrong some stories really do need a hero and a villain! But is it worth it to wreck your credibility, have people pity you and increase your level of stress just to feed your ego? If so then grab a snack for the road because people can only feed your ego for so long. If not then you are on the right track my friend! 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Let's Talk Relationships

Who am I to know more about relationships then the next person? No one really but I figure it wouldn't hurt to share any useful tips I may have.

One very useful tool I keep in my back pocket for every budding relationship is called the Five Languages of Love. 

What this is referring to is the idea that some people respond better to certain elements of a relationship like physical touch or gift giving rather than others like quality time or acts of service. 

To find which love language you, your partner or friends reacts to best complete the quiz below!

I'm very interested in what your results were so if you feel comfortable please leave a comment below. 

Words of affirmation:
How To Communicate:

The most productive way to communicate with the love language of "words of affirmation" is to listen attentively with empathy, appreciation and encouragement. 
What To Avoid:
It is best to avoid non-constructive criticism or not appreciating and recognizing effort.
Actions To Take:
Send unexpected cards, texts, or notes with words of genuine encouragement, and do it often!
Gift Ideas:
It's as easy as writing your partner a good morning note, putting a note in their lunch for them to find, with kind words saying what you love about them.
Also see "Reciving Gifts" at the bottom of the page for more ideas.

Acts of Service:How To Communicate:
The love language "Acts of Service" wants to feel united with their partner even through busy days responsibilities. They find comfort in phrases like "I'll help" or "What can I do?"
What To Avoid:
By not following through on your word, whether small or large tasks this will make this love language feel as though they are not a priority.
Actions To Take:
Chores or sweet gestures that help to relieve their work load.
Gift Ideas:
Think the little things when it comes to acts of service, like: making your partner coffee in the morning, doing the dishes, taking the garbage out or make it as simple as if they are stressed about a chore they need to do, offer to do it for them.

Physical Touch:How To Communicate:
Body language communicates much more than words do in any relationship however in this love language it is especially important. 
What To Avoid:
Since this love language finds comfort through the touch of their partner, being physically neglectful or going long periods without intimacy can result in relationship turmoil.
Actions To Take:
Use touch to comfort through kissing, embracing, holding hands etc. make physical touch a priority in the relationship as it is a need to this love language.
Gift Ideas:
A gift idea is making a "coupon book" for your partner. Not just sexual coupons (however including those isn't completely off limits) but things like foot rubs, back rubs and cuddling. Other things you can add to the coupon book is a romantic dinner, a week of love (everyday doing something loving for a week) or coupon letting your partner choose what it's valid for.

Get these free print outs at I Heart Nap Time

Quality Time:
How To Communicate:
Spend uninterrupted time together with one-on-one conversation while giving meaningful and genuine replies.
What To Avoid:
Stay away from distractions during one-on-one time like checking texts or emails and long periods of time without quality time.
Actions To Take:
Create special moments and memories by doing smaller activities like walks. The big jackpot is a weekend getaway.
Gift Ideas:
My good friend gave her boyfriend a very sweet and thoughtful gift for christmas which perfectly encompassed the love language of "Quality Time". 
She gave him a wonderful card with a "Choose Your Fate" heading. Below there was two columns: one with a romantic day together and the other an adventurous day together and he got to choose which date he wanted. 

Receiving Gifts:
How to Communicate:

Thoughtfulness and awareness of what your partner may be in want or need of. Make their wants a priority. 
What To Avoid:
Your partner will feel neglected when special occasions are forgotten or the gift was effortless like a gift card.
Actions To Take:
Give thoughtfully, small gifts can make a world of difference. Express gratitude when your partner reciprocates.
Gift Ideas:
Here is an example of what I made for one of my old boyfriends. He had been going through quite a hard time over the months leading up to his birthday so for his 20th birthday I wrote him 20 notes about fond memories, things I liked about him and positivity characteristics he had and example explaining why I thought of him like that.
It was very cheap to make the only supplies you'll need are:
A bottle or jar (<$3)
Creative paper (<$3)
String ($1)
Then you simply write the notes, roll it up nice, tie it with string, you made need to add some glue so it stays, then put it in the bottle.

Not only is this a thoughtful gift but it is also words of affirmation… Two birds with one stone. 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Introduction to Simple & Self

I was recently watching a documentary called "The Human Experiment" which discusses the toxic chemicals that effect our body found in many every-day products. From beauty products to the furnishings of our homes there is relatively no way to tell whether harmful chemicals have been used in the creation of these products due to loop holes in legislation.

I love informational documentaries like this one and others (like "Hungry For Change") however they always end on such a negative note.

"There is chemicals in all our products that are causing irreversible harm to you and your kids and there's not much you can do about it at this point… Anyway thanks for watching!"

It's awesome that the awareness of these issues are getting out however it can leave you feeling hopeless. Well, with this blog I hope to turn that around for us… Yes! US! I'm on this journey too trying everything you'll find on this blog.

We're going to turn our world in to a positive, healthy and happy place through food, exercise and wellness tips and tricks. Everything from diets to relationships to balance to positive thinking and back.

We'll discuss everything these documentaries are talking about and more with solutions to these issues instead of a hopeless ending.

Everything in my blog is from my experiences or my experiments, I am not a professional but on the road to becoming one. I am a university student and a musician looking to lead a healthier lifestyle. I have definitely had turbulence in my life over these last few years but it is never the wrong time to steer my life in to the wind of positivity.

I'm very excited to experience and document these changes in real time with you! I hope you will join in the discussion in the comment section below to voice your opinions and tell of your experiences regarding "Simple & Self".