Easy Homemade Face Wash

I love stuff I can make at home for skin care. Because A) I know what in it and B) well, to be honest I hate running out of stuff and having to drag my two kids to the store. Or waiting to long before it runs out to reorder it from wherever. 

This facewash is soooooooo simple and so good for your skin. I took it camping and made my face feel fresh even when all grungy and camping. 

What you need:

  • Brewed chammomile tea. 1/2 cup
  • Castile Soap, 1/4 cup
  • Almond Oil, 1/2 tbsp
  • Lavender Essential Oil, 2-4 drops

*Tip: You can usually find all these ingredients at a health food store! And there are many many uses for all these ingredients! 

 

1.Brew the tea. I made a strong cup and let it brew a while. Chammomile is moisturizing, while being an anti imflammatory, helps retore natural pH levels and provides some sun protection even.

 I found this awesome tea EARTH TEA where they help feed starving children of the world through the United Nation World Food Programme. Their tea is also grown right here in Alberta.  I mean you can use whatever tea brand you want, but supporting local farmers AND feeding starving children, I'm in. 

 

2. Put castile soap into a medium bowl. I used the lavender here, but you can use whichever suits you or you have. Lots of recipes I've seen calls for the baby one. I have also heard to avoid the citrus. I'll get to why I used Lavender a little further down. 

3.Add Almond oil. Almond Oil is an antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory. It helps reduce irritation, itching and promote healing of the skin and scars you may have.

4. Add a few drops of Lavender essential oil. Maybe you're really into oils and want to add you own mix and that rocks. I used lavender soap and oil because Lavender is also an antiseptic and anti fungal. Additionally it is a calming scent for nerves and anxiety. Maybe stress is adding to your blemishes and calming those nerves helps with breakouts? Try it out?

5. Add cooled tea to mix and put into containers. I started with this small batch. I got a small bottle and put the rest in a  glass jar. Just make sure to shake before using. It comes out a bit runny so be careful, but it's super super sudsy! 


Enjoy and let me know how it works out!

Love,

Jen

Home Remedies For PMS

I know in the past I've read of ways to help alleviate pms symptoms, a lot of them being things you can do the weeks before, such as reducing caffiene intake, tennis ball fascia release, exercising, and so on. These  help but let's be honest, every month during the time we say over the next month we will and two days after we have forgotten all about it. So, here I am writing about things that can help in the now.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

If you've had a baby, you may know this one from pregnancy to either help with labour or try and drink at the end in hopes of bringing on labour. This tea is a uterine tonic with many benefits, one of which being to relieve menstrual camps. Drinking a couple of mugs a day during the cramping phase helps quite a bit. Ive boughten it at health food stores for between $7 and $9 but recently saw it being sold at Shoppers for under $7!

Magnesium and Multivitamin

Magnesium can help relax muscles and some say that a lack of magnesium is linked to cravings chocolate. I like to think taking it helps curb the craving a bit.  Now dark chocolate is a better source then the sugary milk chocolate most of us reach for, so maybe if you don't like 80% cocoa try a supplement. Keep in mind, to much can cause diarrhea, so start with lower dosage. I take mine before bed. 

I agree a multivitamin isn't something we need everyday usually, but I make sure to take mine during the monthly visit for an extra iron source.

Rescue Remedy

I use this stuff when my kids are cranky from teething, I'm having a rough day and especially when I'm on my Aunt Flow rage. Come one, admit it, we all get it. It really helps calm me down and think a little more clearly. You can buy the drops, gum, candy and so on from Bach. I've used them all and usually by this stuff for new moms in their Welcome Baby basket. It's that good.

 PMS Smoothie

This PMS Smoothie from my personal blog does wonder for bloating and other symptoms. Using the tea mentioned above as a base too!

Yoga Poses

Moving your body in general will help, and of course taking a yoga class would be great. But if you are looking for something to do a bit at home here are a few poses. 

  • Sage Twist

 

  • Camel (More experienced practitioners and/or warmed up)

 

  • Lying Chair Twist 

 

  • and gold old fashioned Child's Pose. This one feels so good for lower back pain, especially if you get your toddler to come along and sit on your back while doing it. 

When all else fails and go easy on yourself, love yourself and when it's really just sucky, give yourself a break have your indulgence (in my case and oreo with nutella) and take a deep breath. 

Love, 

Jen

No Shampoo? No Problem.

Since my husband and I got together nearly 11 years ago he's been calling me a hippie. At first because I am a vegetarian and all mushy and gooey about being nice to animals and saving bugs from the house and putting them outside.

As the years have passed I've gotten more and more "hippie" for lack of a better word. But I think my newest adventure takes the cake.

I'm not washing my hair. *Insert whispers and funny stares*

Well, actually I am, but not in the traditional sense. A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post Nature Powered Skin Care, and spoke about my awesome new face stuff that helps maintain my natural oils in my skin instead of stripping them. This is the same reason hairstylist tell you to go as long as you can in between hair washes. When you shampoo your hair you are washing the dirt and product but also stripping your natural oils from your hair. From this your body goes "hey we are missing something up there, start producing oil!!!!" Thus, making your hair greasier and greasier each time you skip a wash day. You've gone into over oil production mode trying to make up for the lack there of on your scalp. This is why I only wash my kids hair when really dirty from say ice cream in it or like once every 1-2 weeks. *insert more whispers and stares*

Sooooooo, No shampoo? No problem. I've researched a little bit about going natural with hair washing and it is so simple it's worth a try. Maybe even once or twice a month as sort of a reset if it's not your thing all the time. No crazy ingredients you need to run to the health food store and cost you a fortune. It's literally baking soda, apple cider vinegar, water and bottles to hold the stuff. 

I used an old conditioner bottle for the "shampoo" mixture and a spray bottle for the "conditioner".

Shampoo:

  • Couple of tablespoons of plain old baking soda. ( my bottle is an old Dove 338 mL so scale to your size)
  • Fill remainder of bottle with water.
  • Shake and put on the scalp. Here try and keep it to the scalp, avoiding putting it on the ends of your hair. Leave a minute or two and rinse. First time I tried this was mixed in a mason jar for cuteness. Yeah that doesn't work well. Use something that you can kind of put specifically on the scalp in areas, such as a squirt bottle or old shampoo bottle.

Conditioner:

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 4 parts water
  • Shake and spray onto all of the hair. Leave for a few minutes and rinse. The vinegar smell DOES rinse away. :)

The hair will not feel sleek and shiny most likely after your normal conditioning regime. I even used a tiny bit of leave in conditioner just on the ends. I imagine eventually over time the natural oils work there way to the ends of the hair and this will not be a necessary step.

I have this awesome Wet brush that I bought like 6 of for in my house. It will brush through any wet hair, even crazy knot filled toddler hair (dry or wet) without pulling and children screaming. As a licensed hairdresser I get them directly from the professional hair distributors for like $12 but they should be under $20 in a salon. Worth it. Buy some.

Style your hair as normal. I did notice it takes a bit longer to dry your hair, but it is crazy soft. The ends are very soft and have none of those dry fly aways. I barely had to straighten my hair. The top is not greasy exactly but not that super clean feeling after stripping it. Again I imagine this goes away after time. I will update with another post after its been a while.

So I did this 5 days ago. My hair felt a little like straw on the ends, but I think I had to much baking soda. I've read you need to adjust to your hair. A bit of trial and error. The next day I washed with normal shampoo and conditioner, because it was my birthday and I just wanted to feel pretty and was worried it would look yucky halfway through the day. I normally wash my hair every second day. Well yesterday would have been a wash day, but I already noticed it wasn't that bad and wasn't itchy. I know you know what itch I mean. The one that makes you wash your hair before you go to the gym itchy.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Jen 


Nature Powered Skin Care

Since about the age of 12 I have had problems with my face. Pimples and so on. I turn 30 in a week and it's been driving me nuts that its carried into my adult life. I've switched to a lot of products and used harsh this and that to cleanse my face.

The thing that's worked the best? I've made the switch to natural everything around my face. I started using Twisted Sisters Skin Nutrition . The Cream Cleanser and Face Fertilizer and I don't think I will use anything else ever. Instead of stripping the oils from my face, it's actually helping keep them, so my face doesn't have to go into overdrive creating more, this making the problem worse.

Secondly I've switched to natural toothpaste. I'm a half and half person. Meaning I have always used some natural face or body products, but about half have been normal drug store options. After learning a little more about acne face mapping, and that switching to a natural toothpaste can help with acne around the mouth (my main issue) I thought I'd give it a try. I found one on Well.ca  along with my next item. Use the coupon code SelfCentered to get $10 off! I got some for my kids too.

Lastly I bought a natural foundation. I've used a few natural makeup products before and didn't seem to make a difference, but I'll keep with my three combo because whatever it is, it's working. Plus, this one I also found on Well.ca and it's made here in Canada! Pure Anada Brand.

So if you're like me with your face still making you crazy over half your life, or maybe looking for more natural options (And some Canadian made too!) Check out some of these new products I'm in love with!


Why Do I Want To Compete

It’s funny how I can’t recall one person asking me why I wanted to run a half marathon when I was training for it. Or I have never thought to ask friends why they want to compete in Crossfit competitions or Super Spartan races. But I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I want to compete in this bikini competition. Is it because it’s basically being judged on your look? Maybe a contemplation for another day, before I get to far into it? I originally planned to write this post after the competition, but today seemed like a good day.

I first decided I wanted to compete in September last year. Original thought process was “that would be cool to do one day”. And it went on the bucket list. But ya see;  the thing with me is sometimes I become fixated on things and I have a  hard time letting go of them. This became one of those things that stuck.

So why compete? Why not? Why be ordinary? Why not do the things that we think are impossible? Why not dare to be extraordinary?  We don’t all have to be extraordinary by selling our worldly goods and moving to India or jumping out of airplanes. If you do those things and they make you happy, then amazing. But for me, smaller odder goals are my thing. That new song about being the life of the party and take your shot, it might be scary…. Exactly. Maybe it’s the scary that attracts me to doing things like this.

I did it to push myself. Doing the uncomfortable makes us grow, makes us learn about ourselves. I never want to look back on life and say I wish I tried this, or I’m too old for this now or whatever lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about not doing the things we never did. Bring myself to that “edge” as my yoga teacher calls it. Nothing wrong with pushing yourself to the limit. As long as you don’t stay there I suppose.

To self observe, to learn about myself. I remember telling a friend I wanted to compete when I first started thinking about it and was told to make sure I don’t take it out on my kids. I was a little offended at the time, but the more and more I’ve read about people not handling the process, well I understood it more. Lowered calories/carbs, excessive training, meticulous food intake, no alcohol, dehydrating practices or heck even the excessive peeing from crazy water intake would have an effect on anyone. The things I’ve learned about myself are incredible to see. Again, probably another blog post.

To prove something. To break the mold of the “typical” bikini competitor. We see them typically as young, childless cardio bunnies, who eat only chicken and broccoli. Well I saw them that way I guess. I wanted to do it another way.

  • As a vegetarian. I have been a veggie for 19 years and get asked ALL THE TIME, “how do you get protein?” Let me tell you something, all veggies are sick of this question. Especially athletic ones.
  • As a mom. I have two children, 1.5 and 3.5 years old. Being a role model is important to me for my girls. Not role modeling ab out having a lean body. Being a role moel for ssetting goals and sticking to them. Persevering through tough times and being humble when they are good.
  • As natural as possible. Non GMO soy products, no funky heart racing preworkouts, no fat burning pills, and aside from the occasional Quest bars that had sucralose in them, no artificial sweeteners.
  • As a “if it fits your macros” counter. Again another blog post, but google macro counting, it’s pretty cool. I basically ate oreos my whole prep until the last few weeks. Not a lot of them, but better then the none most get. Ha ha. This kind of has a second point to it. I wanted to make sure I maintained a healthy relationship with food. Not look at a carb and cry how it will make me fat, or have an accidental slip on my diet and starting thinking of ways to negate it. I’ve read over and over again how competitors have many eating disorders.

Prove to me? Prove to you? Not sure exactly. Just to see if I could do it differently. Following the road to competing but on my own path, on my own journey.

And finally for the athleticism of it. I enjoy working out. I love weight lifting. Maybe not cardio so much to be honest ha ha ha, but I have become one of those people that loves fitness. It’s exciting, and I will try any type of it once at least. Even if it includes doing deadlifts 3 days a week……… Don’t lie to me, aint nobody like deadlifts.

So on the eve of the eve of my competition I’ve had a nice reflection of why I have done all this. Tomorrow I get my tan and go for my weigh in for Saturday. It’s been one incredible journey. No matter what happens Saturday, first place, last place or flat on my face, I’ve done it my way, learned a lot along the way and am ending with self respect, self love and a whole lot of pride.

(Don't mind the black and white, my suit color is a surprise until show day. You're welcome to guess the color!)

bikini

bikini