New Year, New You: How to Use Resolutions to Become a Morning Person

Woman Waking Up

Be honest: would you say you're a morning person? If the answer is a resounding no, you're not alone.
Lots of people dread waking up early or can't function until they have at least two cups of coffee coursing through their veins. While molding yourself into a chipper and cheerful morning person may seem unlikely, it's absolutely possible.

With a new year comes a renewed commitment to health, wellness, and personal goals. Like everything else, you just need to tease out those bad habits and develop a strategy for eliminating them. Here are a few great tips to help you beat the morning blues and attack every day with everything you got.

Alarm Clock

Say No to the Snooze Button

The snooze button is an evil temptress. You tell yourself "just a few more minutes", only to find that an hour has passed, and now you're late for work. While it's best to not use the snooze button at all, it can be difficult to go cold turkey completely. Once again, technology comes to the rescue. Smart alarm apps offer creative ways to snooze, including math problems that must be solved before you can secure that ten extra minutes. If you're not a math person, don't fret. The act of working out a problem can help wake up your brain, even if you don't get the correct answer.

Glass of water

Drink a Glass of Water Upon Waking

It's true that coffee is associated with a quick pick-me-up in the morning, but water is a better choice of beverage. Water rehydrates the body, fuels the brain, and gives you the burst of energy you need to function optimally in the early hours. For an even greater rejuvenating effect, make the first beverage you drink in the morning a chilly glass of ice water.

Good night


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Establish a Sleep Schedule

A consistent sleep schedule gets your body in tune with waking up early each morning. Additionally, your schedule should extend to the weekends as well, meaning if you get up at 7 am for work during the week, you should get up at the same time Saturday and Sunday. If you have problems falling asleep at a reasonable hour, develop a bedtime ritual. Avoid exercise, digital screens, and caffeine at least two hours before bedtime. Make your bedroom a work-free zone, meaning no laptops, no emails, and no texting. Try reading or taking a relaxing bath to get you in the mood for sleep.

Morning Yoga

Exercise Right After Waking Up

Much like math problems help wake up your brain, exercise helps wake up your body. Now, that doesn't mean you should pop out of bed and go run a half-marathon every morning. Something simple and low-key, like yoga or stretching exercises, should be enough to get you up and moving. There are plenty of free videos online featuring quick and easy exercises you can do each day. Fair warning, the first morning of exercise will probably be difficult. Stick to it, and you'll find each day getting easier and easier.

Cup of coffee

Invest in a Wake-Up Alarm

A bit of sunlight is just the thing to get you up in the morning. When your bedroom lacks strategically placed windows, or you're faced with a gloomy morning, a wake-up alarm is the next best thing. Also known as sunrise lamps, these devices gradually illuminate to mimic sunrise. This signals to your body that it's time to wake up, which is a more comforting process than being roused out of sleep by a blaring alarm.

Anyone can be a morning person when properly motivated. Using one or more of the above techniques can change your perspective, and your life. With the right attitude, you'll be greeting mornings with a smile before you even know it.

How To Make a Weight-Loss New Year’s Resolution That Will Actually Stick!

Measuring Tape

We open up a shiny new year by declaring all the things that will be different this year. We'll eat better. We'll exercise more. In reality, though, our resolutions last maybe a week, and then it's back to the same old thing, right? What if there was a trick to making a new habit stick? What if this trick worked even for habits you had tried (and failed) to cultivate many times in the past? News flash: There is such a trick, and it really does work. (Spoiler alert: It's actually not a trick at all. It's science.)

2021

Remember Your Why

Take a bit of time to dig down into why you want to lose weight this year. Get specific. Don't settle for a vague feeling of nostalgia. Instead, write down the personal and health benefits you want to gain by losing weight. Focus on outcomes, such as playing with your grandchildren without getting winded or being able to climb stairs without knee pain from the extra weight on your joints. Post your "why" somewhere you can see it often.

Goals

Set Specific Goals

Now that you know exactly why you want to lose weight write down what that will look like for you when you've accomplished it. Will you be down a certain number of pounds or pants sizes? Will you know you've hit your goal when you can walk a set distance without feeling like you need a nap? Write it down, whatever it is.


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Focus on Habits

After completing the two steps above, you've got your resolution. Now comes the part where you make it all happen. You already know how to lose weight. Although the details may vary depending on your health and other circumstances, it basically comes down to eating better and moving more. What new habits do you need to incorporate into your life to make weight loss happen for you? Create two category headings: one for food and one for movement. Under each heading, write down one or two habits to start with. One could be about filling up on fruits and veggies, and another could be about doubling your average daily steps. Try to choose new habits that are slightly out of reach but don't feel impossible.

Exercise

Tie It All Together

Once you have your new habits in mind (and down on paper!), figure out how to tie them to habits you already have. For example, you already brush your teeth every morning. If you want to create a new habit of drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning, attach the new habit to the existing habit by placing your water glass next to the toothpaste so you remember to grab it and fill it up. If your new habit is eating two servings of fruit at breakfast and you're a coffee drinker, place a cutting board next to the coffee maker and link chopping fruit with waiting for the coffee to brew. Once your new behaviors start to truly become habits, add a couple more, always piggybacking onto something you already do.

Happy New Year

Give Yourself Grace

The true secret to success in anything is never to give up. New Year's resolutions that really stick are those you don't give up on, even when you have setbacks. When you feel like you've failed at keeping your resolutions, dust yourself off and start again. You've got this!

Essential Winter Skincare Tips

Woman in Parka

I love winter, but my face doesn’t. The dry, cold air does terrible things to my skin and makes me feel like I’m made out of crumbly crepe paper. Over the years, I’ve discovered that a lot of people feel the same way I do. If you’re one of them, I have some good news for you! Through trial and error, I’ve found out how to keep my skin as smooth and soft as possible, even when Jack Frost is wreaking havoc outside.

Here are some of my essential winter skincare tips I can no longer live without. Give them a try this year and see what a difference they make in the way your skin looks and feels.

Water

Drink More Than You Think You Need!

If I were limited to giving just one tip for beautiful winter skin, it would be to drink, drink, and drink some more! Your body needs a lot of hydration in the wintertime. The kicker is that humans tend to feel less thirsty during the cold months than at any other time of the year. That’s because you don’t spend your days actively sweating as you do in the summer. But don’t let that fool you! One of the number one causes of dry, papery winter skin is dehydration.

Your outer layer requires a lot of water to stay supple and smooth. If you notice that you tend to drink a lot less during the winter, make it a habit to bring a water bottle along with you wherever you go. Drink sips throughout the day and make sure you’re getting at least eight glasses full for optimal skin health.


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Applying cream

Add a More Nourishing Moisturizer

In addition to hydrating internally, you should also step up your moisturizer game in the colder months. Winter air outside and furnace-warmed air inside can quickly suck the moisture right out of your skin. To restore proper hydration, add a more substantial, nourishing moisturizer than you use in the summertime. Winter is the time for heavier, more substantial creams that can soak into your skin and provide the healing hydration it needs.

Bundle Up

Anytime you head outside on a cold winter day, you should cover up as much of your skin as possible. This includes wearing scarves, gloves, coats and hats. The longer you leave your skin exposed to the harsh elements, the more likely you are to experience inflammation, hyperpigmentation and the dreaded “cheek chap.” Covering your skin properly can help reduce those things.

Woman in the snow

Buy a Humidifier

Winter is the perfect time to invest in a humidifier. Set it up in your office, bedroom, or wherever you spend most of your time. The added moisture in the air can help keep your skin from drying out and can help soothe sore airways as well.

Wear Sunscreen

You may think sunscreen is not necessary in the winter because it’s not very hot outside. However, snow on the ground can actually reflect the sun’s rays up onto your face and increase your risk of exposure. That’s why it’s surprisingly easy to get sunburned when you’re out skiing or sledding. To protect your face, don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you go out to play in the snow.

Healthy meal

Eat Well

Your skin pulls essential nutrients from the foods you eat. If you’re eating mostly greasy, highly processed foods, you won’t be able to obtain the nutrients required to keep your skin vibrant and healthy.

During the winter and throughout the rest of the year, try to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and other healthy foods. You should also limit sugary and highly processed foods such as fast food, pastries and candy.

These simple skincare tips are refreshingly easy to follow. Give them a try this winter and take note of the results!

3 Gifts I Will MAKE Instead of BUY

Presents

OK, it’s time for a reality check, and I’m not going to sugar-coat it. The holidays are knocking at your front door, and if you don’t have your gift list nailed down, it’s time to put your game face on. This year has been a crazy one to put it lightly, and if you’re like me, you’re probably feeling a little more sentimental than usual. In the past, I’ve bought most of my gifts online, but this year I decided that my friends and loved ones deserve a little bit more thought. So here are three gifts I will make this year instead of buy. Feel free to use these ideas to make gifts for your own family and friends.

Knit Blankets

1. Blankets

Warm, cozy blankets are some of the best gifts I’ve ever received, which is why I’m going to make a few for my loved ones this year. If you decide to make blankets, be careful. It’s easy to overestimate how many you can make in the days and weeks leading up to the holidays. The last thing you want to do is overburden yourself with so many blankets that you’re stressed out trying to get them done in time.

If you know about how long it takes you to make a blanket, create a schedule for yourself. Figure out how many blankets you can reasonably make by the time the holidays are here. And by “reasonably,” I mean, at a pace that you can sustain while still taking time to clean your house and watch your favorite Hallmark movies.

If your blanket-making skills won’t win you any awards, don’t try to tackle a bunch of King-size quilts. Instead, go easy on yourself and make a few simple lap blankets or throws as gifts. If possible, ask for pictures of your gift recipient’s living rooms or bedrooms in advance so you can create throws and blankets that match their home décor and color themes. Of course, if you’re going for the surprise factor, this isn’t an option. In that case, choose neutral colors that are likely to complement any color palette.


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Homemade Tree Ornament

2. Christmas Ornaments

Christmas ornaments make great handmade gifts because they provide memories and cheer year after year. They’re also extremely affordable, which is great news if you’ve already overextended your holiday budget (no judgment here!)

Call me old-fashioned, but I adore making classic cross-stitched ornaments featuring adorable little Christmas characters or scenes. But if you don’t have the time or patterns to make ornaments like these, try making dried citrus ornaments, wooden bead ornaments, or even wood slice ornaments. I’ve found so many online tutorials that make homemade ornaments a cinch to make. So once you decide what type you prefer, go online and figure out how to DIY it!

Stovetop potpourri

3. Stove Top Potpourri Kits

OK, this gift isn’t one that can be used year after year, but it’s one of my favorite gifts to make (and receive). Stove top potpourri kits are so simple, festive and cheery. To make them, just get a few small jelly jars and fill them with holiday-scented items that can be warmed in a pot on the stove to create a heavenly aroma. Here are my favorite ingredient ideas:

  • Small peppermint sticks (make sure they contain real peppermint oil)
  • Pine sprigs
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Dried lemon peel
  • Whole cloves
  • Whole nutmeg
  • Anise pods
  • Cranberries

Mix and match ingredients to create your own custom scents. Place the ingredients in your jar, put the lid on, and tie a festive bow around the neck. Consider including instructions or a label so your gift recipient knows what it is. This gift idea can fill a home with warm, comforting holiday aromas. Plus, it’s just so adorable! Figure out which gift idea you want to try this year and get ready to help create the most sentimental Christmas yet.

Do Calming Teas Really Work?

Cup of Tea on railing

If your doctor ever tells you to drink calming tea to deal with stress or help you fall asleep, he or she is a genius. First, let’s talk science. Then I’ll tell you about my personal experiences (spoiler alert: some herbs are AMAZING).

Scientists have discovered that many types of herbal tea are effective at reducing anxiety. Plenty of studies prove it. For example, green tea leaves lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. This benefit comes from special plant nutrients called catechins, tiny stress fighters. They’re like your own personal Secret Service, keeping anxiety far away from you.

Cup of tea

Valerian Root Tea at Night

First, I tried a cup of valerian root tea in the evening. I wanted something to help me unwind after a particularly stressful day trying to get my kids to apologize to each other over a broken toy.

I took a few sips and … the effects were unbelievable. I’ve never felt so genuinely relaxed and sleepy in my life. It was like that feeling you get from curling up in front of a warm fire. I slept like a baby all night long. In the morning, I woke up feeling completely refreshed.

Woman having tea in bed

Green Tea at Breakfast

Next, I decided to try drinking some green tea during the day. I’ve read studies saying that green tea helps you stay alert but also less stressed at work. For breakfast, I made myself whole-grain toast with plain cream cheese and a few sliced strawberries. As I read the news, I sipped on my green tea.

How did my work-from-home day go? First, I felt WAY less stress than normal. I even felt energized enough to throw a load of clothes in the washer while I was working. Usually, thinking of everything I have to do stresses me out in the morning, but green tea changed that. It empowered me, like I was checking things off my list one by one. My attitude and outlook were more positive, as if the whole world was brighter.


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Turmeric Tea for Avoiding a Meltdown

I love my sisters, I really do. But family members know exactly which buttons to push sometimes. Long story short, we had a smallish argument (we smoothed everything out later on Zoom and now we’re best friends again). I was crying and angry and … well, you know the drill.

That’s when I decided to try brewing an exotic turmeric tea I’d read about. It uses fresh turmeric, ginger, honey, cinnamon and peppercorns, together with some coconut milk and coconut oil. The whole kitchen smelled heavenly, and the tea tasted spicy, creamy and delicious.

It turns out that turmeric has the ability to release “happy hormones” in your brain: dopamine and serotonin. They help to fight sadness and alleviate stress. As I sat there, sipping my turmeric and honey tea, smelling the spices and feeling the warmth of the mug, my heart started beating more slowly. I felt … much better.

Turmeric Tea

Other Great Herbs and Spices for Fighting Stress

Calming herbs can help you get rid of anxiety and feel happier. They’re an amazing way of treating yourself to a moment for relaxation.

Herbal teas

Now it’s your turn. What calming teas work best for you? Are you a believer in lavender, chamomile, ashwagandha root, passionflower, lemon balm or another popular soothing variety? Share your experiences below!

The Dangers of Different Types of Hair Removal

Shaved legs

Bodily hair growth is a natural part of maturing, but not every person is happy with growth areas. People turn to hair removal to conform to beauty trends, but not every process is safe or effective. Hair is a protective and often necessary element of the human body; it limits bacterial access to the skin, which reduces potential infections.

While removing hair is fashionable and beautiful, you need to consider the risks of the processes you choose to use. Remember that while smooth skin is appealing, you must limit harmful procedures to keep your skin healthy.

There are several methods that people use to get rid of excessive hair growth. The option you choose depends on the permanence you wish to experience, but remember that typically the more permanent the solution, the greater the risk.

Laser Hair removal

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is the most permanent option for eliminating hair growth. The process uses rapid pulses of laser light to destroy the hair follicle. While the procedure is useful, it can severely damage your skin if something goes wrong.

If you wish to use laser hair removal, do your homework. Find a professional with several years of experience and resounding referrals and reviews.

Waxing Strip

Waxing

Despite the pain, many people still wax their legs and private area for that picturesque bikini bod. While waxing does extend the amount of time between procedures, you do risk injury to your skin and sensitive parts. If you apply the wax when it is too hot, you risk burns, and if you use it too broadly to private areas, you risk injury. While many women and men have experience waxing their legs, arms and chest, consider going to an experienced professional for bikini waxes.


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Hair removal creams

Hair Removal Creams

For the right person, hair removal creams are an excellent option. Unfortunately, success depends on the individual. Many people do not find success with these creams, and some even end up with chemical burns or skin irritations. If you want to try your luck with this affordable hair removal method, the FDA recommends using only a small amount on a tiny patch of skin to ensure you do not have any adverse reactions.

Tweezers

Tweezing

While not used for large areas of the body, people use tweezers to remove excess hair growth in the eyebrow region and other small spaces. Tweezing is useful because it pulls the root of the hair, which means limited regrowth. However, since you remove the hair root, there is no guarantee that the hair will regrow, leading to bald spots or patches.

Razor

Shaving

Shaving is not the most favorite hair removal option because it does not lead to long-term smooth skin. When you shave, you only remove the hair up to the skin, which means stubble is already appearing after a day. However, despite the short term gains, shaving is the least dangerous to your skin. While some people have a sensitivity to razors, they can use formulated lotions or creams to limit their irritation.

While the appeal for a smooth body is understandable, it is vital to investigate hair removal methods. You need to weigh the pros and cons of each procedure against the potential long-term gains. If you enjoyed this blog, keep reading The Calorie Myths.

Top 5 Recent Skin Care Technology Revolutions

Woman in towel

We all know it’s impossible to stay young forever. But what I’ve discovered is that it is possible to keep your skin looking youthful longer than you ever thought possible. From laser technology to lymphatic draining that reduces facial puffiness, here are the top five recent skin care technology revolutions I can’t wait to share with you.

Laser Skin Therapy

1. Laser Skin Therapy

Lasers and skin don’t sound like they go together, right? That’s exactly what I thought until I decided to give laser skin therapy a try. Though it sounds painful, it’s much gentler than you’re probably thinking. Laser skin resurfacing is a growing trend in the beauty industry because it’s so effective. It helps get rid of skin irregularities, acne scars and facial wrinkles.

The practice uses intense pulses of laser light to remove everything from age spots to unwanted skin textures. It takes anywhere between five and 21 days to completely heal from the procedure, but trust me when I say the recovery time is worth the transformation you’ll experience.

Pore suction device

2. Pore Suction Devices

My kids gifted me one of those magnifying mirrors one year. While I appreciated the thoughtfulness, I was a little frightened when I saw the pores on my nose and cheeks for the first time up close. I decided to invest in a pore suction device, and it’s one of the best decisions I have made for my skin health.

Pore suction devices use gentle suction to remove hardened oil, impurities and debris from your pores. Give yourself time to find the ideal setting for your skin. If you set the suction up too high too soon, you may end up with embarrassing red marks on your face that resemble hickies.


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3. LED Therapy Masks

The first time you see an LED therapy mask, you might mistakenly think it’s Halloween. The mask looks like something you’d see in a horror movie. But though its appearance is a little scary, it’s an amazing device that uses LED light to stimulate collagen production. With regular use, this mask can reduce inflammation in your face and promote circulation. The blue light also helps reduce bacteria that can lead to acne.

Skin rollers

4. Lymphatic Drainage Devices

Lymphatic drainage devices, or face rollers as they are often called, can help reduce puffiness in your face and may also tone and soothe your skin. They are designed to kick your lymph system into gear and reduce the inflammation that can often occur around the eyes, jawline and cheeks when your lymphatic system doesn’t flow optimally.

One of the things I like most about facial roller devices is that they are affordable and don’t require any power to use. You just roll them gently across your face in a downward motion for best results. I like to chill my rollers before use because they seem to be more effective that way, but you don’t have to chill yours if you don’t want to.

Woman's Eyes

5. Facial Toning Devices

Facial toning devices use microcurrent technology to stimulate the muscles around your brows, cheeks and jawline. As a result of this stimulation, you’ll look like you’ve just had a facelift. This is the perfect solution if you have droopy brows or if the skin around your jawline or cheeks tends to sag. Results can last up to 24 hours after each session. Don’t worry, this device feels nothing like an electric fence. The electrical current it uses is quite mild.

Now that you know about some of my favorite skin care technology revolutions, give them a try. Let me know which methods you prefer to use on your face, and why. Make sure you give each method at least a couple of weeks to work, since it takes time for these beauty tools to work their magic.

5 Hacks To Get Rid of Belly Bloat Quickly

I HATE trying to slip on that amazing pair of jeans I bought for girls’ nights out (the ones that make my butt look AWESOME) and not be able to close the zipper because of bloat. I know those jeans fit, but my tummy won’t cooperate! Sound familiar? If so, try these 5 secrets to getting rid of a bloated belly quickly.

1. Shake Your Booty

I know that going for a jog doesn’t sound very appetizing when your stomach feels bloated, but physical activity is one of the best ways to help get things moving inside. Even light exercise is fine, such as talking a walk, stretching or dancing for 5–10 minutes.

2. Massage Your Tummy

A fun way to calm a bloated belly and encourage your bowels to do their thing is with a gentle abdominal massage. It’s really easy.

Start by placing one of your hands on the right side of your belly, near your hip bone. Slowly move upwards, rubbing softly using a circular motion. Once you reach the top of your tummy, follow this movement straight across to the other side. Then move your hand down the left side of your stomach.

In other words, you’re massaging your tummy in a square pattern while making little circles with your hands. Repeat this several times. You don’t need to press hard for it to work.


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3. Enjoy a Warm Bubble Bath

Believe it or not, bloating is often caused by stress. Anxiety can mess with your hormones and cause digestive problems that lead to a bloated tummy. My favorite solution? Pampering myself with a warm bath and some scented oils (or Epsom salt).

This is great for relieving bloating for several reasons. The warm water soothes sore muscles and helps with abdominal pain. It’s also incredibly relaxing, especially with aromatic oils or candles. If bloating is a regular occurrence, try to schedule some private bubble bath “you” time once a week.

4. Drink Some Tea

Several herbal teas are wonderful for alleviating gas, bloating and abdominal pain. Here are a few of my favorite teas for times when you have a bloating emergency:

  • Star anise

  • Peppermint

  • Ginger

  • Lemon balm

  • Chamomile

  • Fennel

Peppermint tea may even help people who have irritable bowel syndrome to feel better. Studies show that peppermint oil helps to relax the gut in IBS patients.

5. Get More Fiber

“Fiber?! But I’m too young!” you say. Actually, all of need to get plenty of fiber in our diets. Bloating can happen to 18-year-old women with perfect curves as well as working moms with two kids and … slightly less perfect curves.

Most people don’t need fiber capsules; you can get what you need from a healthy diet. Add these fiber superstars to your meals or enjoy them as healthy snacks:

  • Whole grains: Oatmeal, quinoa and popcorn

  • Fresh fruits: Pears, strawberries, apples, raspberries and bananas

  • Veggies: Carrots, spinach, beets, kale and artichokes

  • Legumes: Lentils, black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans

  • Nuts and seeds: Chia seeds, almonds

Your body depends on plant fiber to keep its digestive system working properly. Smooth, regular trips to the bathroom are one of the best ways to enjoy a flat tummy and prevent bloating. Great nutrition is, not surprisingly, the key to fitting into those jeans every time.

5 Tips for Fuller, Smoother and Shinier Hair

Full hair

In a recent study, a whopping 98% of women said that gorgeous hair makes them feel more confident. I feel that way, too, but using 1,000 different treatments isn’t easy as a busy mom. Fortunately, according to science, you can keep your hair shiny, healthy and breathtaking with these five hair secrets:

Girl with long hair

1. Brush Your Hair

Brushing hair isn’t just something teen girls do at slumber parties. This relaxing activity should be a regular part of your beauty routine (or as close to one as a mom with kids can get). The action of brushing is vital for hydrating hair strands since it spreads natural oils from your follicles all the way to your tips.

Girl with shiny hair

2. Make a Nourishing Hair Mask

What’s not to love about treating your hair to completely natural ingredients? Here is my favorite DIY hair mask recipe:

2 Minute Ritual

The SoCal Hair Mask Extraordinaire:

This is ideal for damaged or dull hair. It combines energizing omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant-rich olive oil. For extra shine, replace avocado with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon honey

First, get your hair wet. Take some of the mixture in your fingertips and gently apply to your hair from bottom to top. Let the hair mask do its magic for 30 minutes before showering.

Girl with wet hair

3. Treat Wet Hair With Care

Whenever you apply haircare products, do it gently, even if you’re in a hurry. Start with your roots and work outward. Let your fingertips glide effortlessly through the strands without tugging. Also, be gentle when toweling off. Don’t tie your hair tightly with towels.

Woman with long hair

4. Look for Naturally Healthy Haircare Ingredients

What you put on your hair makes a big difference for how brilliant, strong and full it looks. Here are my faves:

  • Honey extract: Honey can soothe irritated hair follicles, flakiness and itchiness. It’s a great ingredient for natural dandruff care.
  • Coconut oil: This luxurious oil penetrates deep into the scalp and hair strands, hydrating your hair and protecting it from sun damage.
  • Avocado oil: Like whole avocado, this rich oil is a wonderful conditioner for shine, giving your hair plenty of vitamins B and E.
  • Seaweed extracts: These exotic stars control oiliness and stimulate healthy hair growth.

Avoid hair products that use dangerous chemicals such as parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate. Trust me, it’s completely possible to stick to your budget and still focus on good, natural shampoo ingredients.

Woman drying her hair

5. Make Time for Your Scalp

You need to pamper your scalp! The hair follicles in your scalp are the moms of your hair strands. And when mom is happy, everybody is happy. At least once a month, make time for yourself. Draw up a bubble bath and start with a relaxing scalp massage using natural oils.

I prefer using olive oil (I like to close my eyes and imagine I’m in Italy), but you can also choose jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe vera gel or shea butter. These ingredients replenish your scalp’s natural oils, repair damage and hydrate your hair.

Woman walking in garden

Those are my five hair hacks to give busy moms vivacious and vibrant hair. Do you have other tips? I would love to hear about them. Leave your secrets in a comment below!

The Best All-Natural Face Masks Made From Things You Already Have in Your Pantry

Woman with skin care mask

There’s no question that a good face mask can do wonders for rejuvenating tired skin and making you look more youthful. But purchasing commercial face masks can get expensive, which is why many people reserve them for special occasions. The great news is that you can enjoy a luxurious face mask whenever you want, without breaking the bank. Here are some of the best all-natural face mask options you can make with things you already have in your pantry!

Egg white Face Mask

Egg White Mask

Egg whites are so versatile and are good for much more than making cookies. In fact, the humble egg white is highly nourishing for your face and makes a great face mask. They are high in protein, which your skin needs to stay tight and firm. You can add some oatmeal to your egg white mask to restore moisture to your pores and help the egg whites stick.

This mask is exceptionally easy to make. All you do is separate an egg white from the yolk. You can reserve the yolk for a recipe or throw it away. Whisk the egg white until it is nice and bubbly, then add enough oats to the mixture to help make it a little stickier. Then, slather the mixture onto your face and leave it there for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and add a quality facial moisturizer as needed.


NEW cinnamon burns stomach fat

Only use it if you have more than 15 pounds to lose.

>> NEW “Cinnamon Trick” for Rapid Fat Loss


Coffee Face Mask

Coffee can help you feel awake and enlivened in the morning, and that’s exactly what a coffee face mask will do for you, too. It has wonderful benefits for the skin and can help combat redness and inflammation. To create a face mask with this energizing substance, mix about a quarter-cup of ground beans with a dash of milk and lemon juice until it forms a thick paste.

Smooth the paste onto your face and leave it there for between 10 and 15 minutes. Make sure you avoid your eyes, since the lemon juice will sting them. Rinse the mixture off with warm water and pay attention to how much better your skin feels!

Bananas

Banana Face Mask

The thought of smearing mashed bananas onto your face might make you cringe, but don’t knock it until you try it! Bananas are rich in potassium, and they are also a good source of manganese, vitamin C and biotin. These are all great nutrients for the health of your skin.

To create this mask, mash up one banana and add in a teaspoon or so of honey and a dash of lemon juice. Once the mixture is thick enough to stick to your face, apply as you would a regular mask. Leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Avocado Face Mask

Avocado Face Mask

Avocados contain healthy fats that can help make your skin more supple and soft. They also contain plenty of skin-friendly vitamins. To create a mask using this impressive fruit, mash up half an avocado and add a pit of honey and hot water to the mixture until a soft paste forms. Smooth the paste onto your face and leave it there for 10 minutes before washing away. Use this mask a few times a week for maximum skin-tightening and moisturizing benefits.

Woman looking in the mirror

Brown Sugar and Honey Scrub

This exceptional face mask functions as a scrub as well and will leave your lips and face baby-soft. To make it, mix ½ tbsp. honey with 1 tsp. of lemon and ½ tbsp. of brown sugar in a bowl. Gently rub onto the lips and skin using your middle and ring fingers in a circular motion. Allow to sit on your skin for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.

Woman peeling face mask

These masks are so simple and easy to make. And the best part is that you don’t need to purchase any expensive ingredients, because you already have what you need right there in your kitchen!