I lived in New York City a few years ago and before then, my family would visit quite often for work or to see family. Every time my parents would visit, I'd request a pashmina scarf in a specific color that you can pick up from almost any corner street vendor. Because of this, I have a nice size scarf collection (I am still missing colors but usually don't notice until I have an outfit on and realize I don't have a scarf to match). I also love some nice tartan (or plaid) scarves, and blanket scarves are amaaaazing.
When I went to Scotland, I brought along my blanket scarf in case I needed it. It is one of the best pieces I have ever packed for a trip. I had it in my carry on and ended up using it as a blanket during my flight to keep me warm on the cold plane. Before leaving on the trip, a family friend living in Scotland told us that we'd only need a light sweater or cardigan to keep warm. We even checked the weather online before leaving. Problem is, we spent time in a hot Italy before heading up North. By the time we got into Scotland the temperature dropped and it was unseasonably cold. I wore my blanket scarf like my life depended on it. Since it is so big, it offered protection around my neck from the wind and gave me an extra layer under my jacket (much needed when I was up in the Highlands taking pictures in the rain).
As you can see above these scarves are really versatile and so comfortable! They can add an extra bit of oomph to your outfit, and definitely provide that extra needed warmth during the cooler months. To celebrate the new year, I am giving away one of these adorable blanket scarves that can be seen on bloggers everywhere! Enter below
It usually tough to find a good body cream that doesn't feel sticky, ultra oily, or make me break out. I find that natural ingredients, and products without fragrances work best for my skin, and it can be a bit challenging to find such a product without spending an obnoxious amount of money (it's body cream!!!! It should not make a person go broke). Along with the exfoliating Salt Scrub I make for myself, I make this Body Butter as well. It literally goes on like butter. It melts into your skin and you don't need to use much for complete coverage. I put it on before bed and wake up to super silky skin.
I have 8 oz. containers that I use and I usually make a batch big enough to fill a few containers at once. I'm very careful not to get my fingers into anything and I don't make too much since there are no preservatives used. I purchase my Unrefined Cocoa Butter here, Unrefined Virgin Shea Butter here, Coconut and Olive Oil from Costco, and I added a few drops of Almond Extract.
Melt half a cup of the Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil in a double boiler*. Whisk together until melted. When ingredients are melted together, place bowl in fridge (place something under bowl so you don't melt anything in your fridge). When the contents of the bowl has cooled off and started to solidify, remove from fridge, add a few drops (I wouldn't go over a teaspoon) of an essential oil or fragrance you like (not necessary), and use a hand mixer to whip until you have a butter like consistency (like the picture above). Don't hesitate to put back in the fridge if the mixture isn't thick enough yet. Fill your containers before butter firms. If you keep your Body Butter in a cool place, it will remain firm , and if you keep it in a warmer place it may melt slightly.
* A double boiler is helpful when you don't want to burn what you are melting and it also gives you more control. Place 1-2 inches of water in a pot and place a bowl (big enough to sit on the edges of the pot) inside it. Bring the water to a boil while melting ingredients in the bowl.
Have you ever used a Biore pore strip? This mask will have the same effect (not as harsh on your skin) on your entire face. It is really simple to do and you already have everything you need in your house right now. I started doing these a few years ago and it's a nice mask to have in your back pocket whenever you need to freshen up.
Grab a Kleenex and separate the layers (usually there will be two). Carefully rip one layer in half, the other layer you can probably keep in one piece. Get some egg whites (about a tsp. You don't need much, a little goes a long way) and a small brush.
Start with one of the pieces you tore in half. place it on your forehead so it covers as much skin as possible. Dip your brush in the egg whites and start to paint over the Kleenex on your forehead. The egg whites will act like a glue to hold the Kleenex onto your skin. Don't paint over your eyebrows or hairline.
Continue to do this over the rest of your face. Move the Kleenex around so everything is covered and be sure to poke holes so you can breath! I tend to leave my mouth covered and just don't paint over my lips. If you know you'll be speaking, make sure to tear out a space.
It will take about 10-15 minutes for the egg whites to dry. If you want to speed up the process, feel free to blast some cool air with your blow dryer.
When everything is dry, peel the Kleenex off. You'll want to wash the egg whites off your face. Let me know how the mask works out for you in the comments!
As much as I complain about my hair, I have to acknowledge that I have really, really good hair! Having finally admitted that, I do a lot of styling to it with hot tools, colour it, and I like to keep it long, so keeping it looking healthy can be a bit of a challenge. I also don’t like to spend much money on hair products, because when you do have long thick hair, those products add up quickly (dime size amount of product?! Definitely doesn’t cut it). I recently had my hair colour stripped which did a lot more damage to my hair than it had in the past. I have spent the last few weeks using an obnoxious amount of conditioner and washing my hair as little as possible to get it back to its soft and silky state (neither of which has really worked very well). I knew I had to try something new, so I made my first attempt at a homemade hair mask.
I use Coconut Oil for EVERYTHING and I absolutely love it so knowing it was going to be an ingredient in my hair mask gave me confidence that it would actually work. I mixed up the ingredients, bent my head over the sink, and slowly worked the mixture into my hair until it was totally covered and massaged in, wrapped my hair and waited for an hour. The trick for me is not how my hair looks or feels immediately after, but how it looks and feels the next day. I usually wake up with crazy dreads at the nape of my neck, and my ends manage to look like they’ve been fried overnight. Generally, I look like a mess. When I woke up to shiny, very clean looking hair, no huge tangles, and smooth ends, I knew I found a winner! I will definitely be adding this hair mask in at least once a week to keep my hair looking and feeling great.
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1-2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1-2 Plastic bags (to put over your hair to prevent dripping)
If you have shoulder length hair or shorter, you only need to use 1 of each of the ingredients. My hair reaches about 2 inches above my belly button (and I have a lot of it). I used 2 eggs and approximately 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil and Coconut Oil (I don’t measure and a little more won’t hurt).
Melt your Coconut Oil in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
Add your Olive Oil and Egg(s). Please make sure your Coconut Oil isn’t too hot, you don’t want to start cooking your egg.
Whisk together well and slowly work into your hair. If you pour large amounts, most of it will just skip your hair and land in your sink so take your time and work it in.
Wrap your hair. I use 2 plastic bags (the first to cover is a bag I bring home my fresh veggies in from the grocery store. They are the perfect size. The second is just to make sure I don’t drip anywhere) and twist the extra plastic and tuck the end in on my forehead. My hair really wasn’t dripping at all and your probably won’t unless you have too much oil in it.
Keep mixture in your hair for a minimum of 1 hour.
Rinse well with cool or warm water. DO NOT use hot water; you don’t want to cook the egg in your hair. The mixture rinses out pretty well on its own. I used a small amount of shampoo to help wash the remaining mixture out and then shampooed and conditioned as usual.
Comment below with your results!
I used to work in a little store that would mix scrubs, bath salts and lotions for each individual customer. Since then, I’ve found that the scrubs I mix for myself are much better than anything I could buy in a store (and much more cost effective).
When it comes to salt vs. sugar, the decision is entirely up to you. I personally like salt scrubs better as salt is a little coarser and softens my skin a bit more. Salt also tends to dry your skin a little more so if you are prone to oily skin, you may prefer this option. If you have sensitive skin, sugar might be the better choice. I have changed measurements and ingredients over the years to find what works the best for my skin, so please feel free to do the same. If I’m using a scented lotion, the body wash I add will be unscented. If both the lotion and body wash are unscented, I may add a few drops of lemon juice, vanilla extract, almond extract, or my own perfume. Keep in mind, the ingredients you add will color your scrub.
The measurements below can be doubled and tripled for whatever container you’d like to fill.
Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix together
4 Tbsp Salt (Salt, Coarse Salt, Sea Salt, Sugar)
½ Tbsp Lotion (Lotion, Cream)
½ Tbsp Soap (Body Wash, Grated Bar Soap)
1 Tsp Oil (Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Baby Oil)
Very simple mix. A thicker cream will make your scrub thicker. This isn’t like baking where measurements need to be exact. Have fun!