Belated Small Change Saturday: Cuddle Bug

It’s funny… it just hit me. Today is 6 months till the wedding. Oh boy!

And I’m so excited and so nervous and sooo looking at the to-do list. ūüôā

But really, I can’t wait. I can’t wait to make this amazing man my husband and be with him for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to have children with him. I can’t wait to be old and wrinkly sitting next to him in rocking chairs reminiscing about our life together. I just plain can’t wait.

 

So on that wonderful note, the small change that I will be focusing on this week is the power of touch… cuddling to be exact.

Having studied child development in school, I knew that touch was important for infants to bond with their parents, but until now I never realized how important it was for adults, and couples specifically.

 

Touch is amazing. Touch is what we need, what we crave, what gives us a renewed sense of humanity every single day. Touch is not an option. And when it comes to a relationship, touch is vital. (Make sure to check out the links shared here, they have some amazing information.)

But I also know that in our day to day lives, touch is not always our number one priority. We don’t always work on making sure we connect with someone through touch. And we don’t always take the time to make sure we connect with our loved ones daily that way. It’s something that gets dropped, lost, crushed, forgotten, and abused. It’s time to take this essential back.

One amazing type of touch is cuddling. Cuddling is one of the most intimate types of touch, without entering into the realm of sexuality. Cuddling is putting your body right up against another’s feeling their breath, their heart beat, while at the same time they can feel yours. It’s a way to communicate your love and connection to someone without saying a single word.

My focus will be on making sure to connect through touch with the man that I will spending my life with. Your goal may include a different, but no less important, relationship that you would like to foster through touch. The focus here is to be aware of how necessary touch is and use it as a way to foster and nurture relationships of all kinds.

 

I wanted to end by sharing a poem that I wrote… here goes.

 

                                       DEAR

Give me your hand dear and I’ll give you mine.

Give me your heart dear and we’ll reach the divine.

Give me your hopes dear and I’ll keep them real close.

Give me your prayers dear and I’ll love you the most.

Look in my eyes dear and you’ll see my own dreams

Hold on to me tight dear, life’s not as it seems

We’ll weather the storm dear, together we’ll stay

As long as you’re near dear, just a touch away

 

Love!

 

 

Small Change Saturday: Green your Clean

Hello Fabulous People! How is everyone?

It’s time for our 3rd installment of Small Change Saturday. Have you been flossing? Have you spent time outdoors? How are you feeling? I would love to know how things are going.

Ready for your next challenge?

This week I want you to Green Your Clean. I am going to share with you some simple recipes and products that will give your home that clean feeling without loading it up with a bunch of yucky toxic chemicals. Plus, it’s safer for you, your kids, your pets, and the Earth.

Now remember, I’m on the same journey you are. I have recently purged my home of my regular go-to cleaners and replaced them with easy to make, easy to use, natural homemade cleaners. I have tested them, and they work. Plus, I want to make your cleaning routine easier, simpler. It’s hard to make a new change stick if there are barriers in the way. I want to give you the tools to succeed. So here goes…

Ingredients:

white vinegar

baking soda

hydrogen peroxide

That’s it- just 3 ingredients to clean your whole house.

I recommend picking your ingredients up in bulk… they’re cheaper that way, and you will find yourself using them for everything!

 

Recipes:

All purpose cleaner- (and I mean all purpose- floors, windows, counters, etc.)

realsimple.com

realsimple.com

1 part vinegar + 1 part water

For really strong cleaning- you can use vinegar undiluted. Don’t worry, the smell will¬†dissipate relatively quickly. ūüôā

 

 

 

 

All purpose scrubber-

Baking soda + water to form a paste

wisegeek.com

wisegeek.com

Got something super yucky? Say really gross soap scum in your bathtub? First use scrubber, then spray with all purpose, then scrub again.

 

 

 

 

Disinfectant

hydrogen peroxide- use anywhere you would use bleach

*only keep hydrogen peroxide in a container that is opaque. Light can break down the peroxide making it uneffective*

equimedic.com

equimedic.com

If you have an item that you need to make sure is completely disinfected (ie cutting board with chicken juice); wash with soap and water, dry, spray vinegar solution and hydrogen peroxide (keep in separate spray bottles), scrub, let dry. The mixture of vinegar and hydrogen peroxide has been shown to be better than chlorinated bleach.

 

Deodorizer- 

baking soda…uh that’s it

Sprinkle in trash cans, on carpets before vacuuming, in your gym shoes, and anywhere else that gets gross. Wait 15-30 min, depending on stench, and shake or vacuum up. Tada! No smell.

 

If you want to get super fancy… or feel the need for extra credit (silly over achiever you!), you can add essential oils to your vinegar mixture or baking soda. Here are some ideas.

Tea Tree Oil

campwander.blogspot.com

campwander.blogspot.com

Lemon

Lavender

Rosemary

Peppermint

Eucalyptus

or a mixture of the above

I’m currently working on creating my own “signature” blend for cleaning and body products. I’ll let you know what I come up with.

So what should you use with your new cleaning products?

There are only a few items that you need to really clean your whole home.

1. A good handheld scrubber

2. A small scrubber (or an old toothbrush works well too)

3. Microfiber cloths and/or old t-shirts cut up into rags

          You can gather the items above, along with your two spray bottles, and         your box of baking soda in a handy carryall like this one.

4. Extendable duster for ceiling fans and cobwebs

5. A floor “mop”– use something like a swiffer that you can attach the microfiber cloths to. You can even use the “wetjet” and just add your vinegar solution to it.

Extra Credit- a steam cleaner. These things are fabulous for floors, curtains, anything. They sanitize with no chemicals. yay!

Love! (and cleanliness!)

majid39.wordpress.com

majid39.wordpress.com

My Homemade Skincare Regimen

I have a love/hate relationship with all-natural homemade products. Half of me wants to do what’s right for the planet and my body, the other really just wants to run over to target and get a huge a** bottle of something chemically laden cause it’s easy and everyone else is doing it. But then I’m all, “self, that’s selfish (haha pun!) you should want to do what’s best for the earth. And you don’t want to give your money to some huge¬†conglomerate that’s just going to squander your money and make profits off worker’s from other countries”. “But self, it’s so much easier!!”…¬†You see, it’s complicated.

But deep down, I really want to go “all-natural” and I really don’t want to have to depend on someone else to do the research on what’s best for my body and the planet. So, here we are. ūüôā

And I wanted to share with you my latest “switch” to homemade products…

My skincare routine.

Now, I have extremely sensitive, reactive, acne-prone skin. After basically attacking it all throughout highschool (and reaping the uh, benefits), I have learned to be extremely gentle on my skin.

That said, I also need the stuff to work. My skin breaks out like nobody’s business, so I need solutions to fight the oil and bacteria, yet be gentle enough so that my skin doesn’t react to harsh treatments. Most of these products are great for all types of skin, but I will give you a few options if you are on the drier side of the skin spectrum.

There are 3 ways I take care of my skin. Cleanse, Treat, and Moisturize. Now you may be thinking, but Amy, if you have oily skin, why the heck would you want to moisturize? In fact, I thought that too. Up until recently I ran away from anything that might add moisture to my skin. But, what I found out was that the more you take away, the more your body is going to ramp up it’s oil production. So if you moisturize well, your body will slow down it’s oil production. Get it? Plus, moisturizing will keep the wrinkles at bay so… ūüôā

Without further ado, my routine.

Morning

Cleanse: Honey Cinnamon “Scrub”

Mix 1 cup RAW honey with enough cinnamon till it makes a light paste… emphasis on light- cinnamon is strong!

This amazing scrub is enough to get any dry skin off from overnight while still being absolutely¬†luscious. And it smells heavenly. I try to do it first thing in the shower and leave it on till the end to rinse. On the weekends, I’ll take a bath and leave it on for a good 20-30 minutes while I soak.

If you have extra dry skin: DO NOT ADD THE CINNAMON. It can be somewhat drying and¬†irritate¬†any super dry patches you may have. The honey is extremely¬†moisturizing though, so just use it plain. Or add sugar to the honey for a light scrub. Remember, not too much. You want more honey than scrubber. We don’t want to tear at your skin.

Benefits of Honey. Benefits of Cinnamon.

Treat: Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Mix 1 part ACV to 2 parts water (filtered or distilled is best)

That’s it. Put it in a squeezy bottle (you know the ones you can get for traveling) and just put a bit on a cotton ball on swipe on your face.

This is great for all skin types. Apple Cider Vinegar is amazing because it works to balance your skin’s ph levels so it’s not too oily or dry.

More benefits of ACV.

Moisturize: Aloe Vera

Straight up aloe vera ¬†on a cotton ball. That’s it.

Make sure though to get 100% aloe vera. Which can be easier said than done. Personally I like Aubrey Organics, but just make sure to read the ingredients. Also, it’s a great sign if the packaging tells you to refrigerate after opening (bonus for a cooling effect and tighter pores!) meaning that it’s not full of preservatives.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

Evening

Cleanse: Baking Soda Paste

I keep a plastic container of baking soda in the bathroom. I just pore some out into my palm, add a bit of water and wash with my face like normal.

Baking soda is another way I exfoliate my skin. If you have dry skin, I recommend NOT using baking soda, at least not every day. Maybe once per week? Also, the more water you add, the less abrasive the baking soda, so feel free to add quite a bit, till it’s really not a paste anymore. Or, you can add some to honey (as done in a.m.).

Benefit of Baking Soda

Treat: Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree oil is amazing for acne, plus about a million other ailments. Make sure to purchase 100% pure tea tree oil, which then can be diluted due to your sensitivity. There are two options for dilution- oil or water. If you dilute in water make sure to use distilled. The concentration you use is up to you, but I would recommend starting out with about 5 drops per 1/2 cup, and go from there. I don’t recommend putting pure tea tree oil on your face- it will be much too strong and can burn. Once diluted, put in a sprayer bottle and you can spray onto a cotton ball or directly onto your face. If you use a carrier oil (more information below), you can use the same ratio as above; but put in a squeeze bottle instead.

If you have very dry skin- do not use tea tree oil. There are many essential oils that you can use instead, including but not limited to chamomile, lavender, rose, and sandalwood.

Benefits of tea tree oil.

Moisturize: Olive Oil

Olive oil is amazing for all skin types. It’s properties are very similar to the oil (sebum) that our bodies produce already, plus it’s full of vitamin E and A which help keep your skin fabulous. Make sure to use organic olive oil to keep away from any yucky chemicals.

Olive oil can used plain, but I use mine mixed with tea tree oil. I use olive oil as my carrier oil. Make sure to mix this combination before use. I squirt some out on a cotton ball and go to town. Do not wipe off afterwards though. Your skin will drink the olive oil in, and you will love the results in the morning.

Benefits of olive oil.

 

That’s it. That’s what I use on my face. It may seem a bit complicated at first, but it become habit very quickly. I would recommend buying small amounts of the ingredients first so that if you decide you don’t like something, you’re not out a huge chunk from your wallet.

 

BONUS: I buy all my containers from here. Their website is fabulous and the prices rock!

 

Let me know what y’all think if you try anything, or if you make your own homemade skincare. I always love hearing of different “recipes”.

 

Love!