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Jan 25, 2016

How to Get Better Sleep

Sleep is so very important. Our bodies renew and rejuvenate overnight and they were created to do that through sleeping and that include deep sleep.  Good sleep patterns will improve not only your mood, but your cognitive abilities during the day, your memory, as well as your health and wellness.

So when you wake up night after night after night at around 3 AM and lay awake for another hour or so before falling back to sleep - that can be frustrating.  Trust me - I know.  Been there, done that way way too many times.

But what can we do to improve our sleep and the longevity of that sleep?

Well I have been doing some research.  Here is a summary of things you can try:
  • Establish a bed-time routine. 
    • Use this time to meditate and pray - getting all of the day's worries off your mind and into God's hands.  Also thank Him for the good things about that day.  This will remind you of your blessings and release your troubles.
    • Make a list for your upcoming day of activities - get all those reminders off your mind and in your phone "listing app" or on paper.
    • Include a relaxation playlist of music and be consistent on what time you rest each night. You can start that music as you start your bed-time routine, washing our face, brushing teeth, etc.  Or you can just start the music when you are finally in the bed and ready to wind down and sleep.  Either way can be beneficial.  I do this regularly and it makes a huge difference in getting my mind to calm down from the day's activities. Here is my list: 
  • Make your sleeping environment comfortable.
    • Reduce clutter in your room.
    • Use comfortable sheets and clean them regularly.  I love these super cozy sheets I found that are microfiber and very soft.
  • Supplement mineral/vitamin deficiencies.
    • Incorporate a higher magnesium intake (since an alarming majority of Americans are deficient in this important mineral) - through supplements or better yet through application to your skin. 
    • Here is a recipe for Magnesium Oil you can make at home.
    • Take some "sleepy dust" just before dozing off.  Salt and honey combination can assist with your body closing down for the night - here is a recipe for the amounts of sugar and salt to use and how much to take at bed-time.  But I prefer to use raw honey and sea salt.
  • Be mindful of the "resting zone."
    • Don't use electronics when you awaken in the middle of the night.  Just don't.
    • Don't turn on bright lights.
    • Don't start back over your list of things to do - if they come to mind - write them down and then forget them.  But try to do this before dozing the first time.
Some of these ideas were found in articles by nutritionist bloggers like Dr. Axe and Wellness Mama. They are the most prominent ideas/tips I have found and I am incorporating them into my personal routine to get into a more consistent and more continuous sleep pattern. 

Let me know what you have found to be helpful in getting a "good night's sleep."

Leave your comments below.

*Disclosure regarding discounted products received in part as a review.

Nov 6, 2014

First natural hair care and now natural makeup

You remember my big claims for soap nuts.  If not you need to read about them.  I still use them in this natural hair care journey I am on.... but now, I am mixing them with Shikakai and Amla and I like that combination EVEN BETTER!

Going "no-poo" has been quite the journey.  And I will share more about the ups and downs and the trials and ERRORS in another post.

But now I have started to branch out into replacing more and more products that I use on a daily basis.  Especially those products that I apply to my face and body.  With that I am venturing out into some DIY recipes for foundation and makeup.  I like some that I am experimenting with but I didn't want to have to purchase the "extra" natural chemicals that I needed for the 'sunscreen' factor.

So that led me to the big new find:  Joppa Minerals.  I just found out about them and researched their ingredients and I am impressed.  And with all their COLORS, I decided to purchase some samples to get me started and try out a few.

I can't wait for them to come in.  I am totally psyched too because they are $10 dollars cheaper than the SAME size in the Bare Escentuals brand (which I have heard bad things about).  So with them being a safer more natural product AND TEN DOLLARS CHEAPER for a full size- How can I go wrong!?

As soon as I can try out my samples, I will post my reviews.

To visit JOPPA MINERALS Click Here.

Till next time, my DIY friends......

Jul 18, 2014

Soap Nuts - Shout from the house top - I LOVE SOAP NUTS

As i continue on my no-poo journey, I am making some headway - Ha get it!? head-way... anywho, I digress.  I wasn't yet crazy with how my hair "felt" after the rosemary/borax wash combo.  And I will probably still do a rinse with the rosemary 'tea' but I won't have that as my first choice of wash anymore with the Borax.   But i will know if I need to switch to something - it's a possibility.

So after I wasn't crazy with the results, I continued to read and read and search about no-poo and low-poo methods online.  I found tons of stuff and testimonials and alternative "no-poo" recipes and options.  I was especially hooked on all the information they have on a Facebook page, for No Poo / Low Poo .  Here is where I learned more about my new found love "Soap Nuts" and their links that lead me to more and more information, which convinced me to buy them and try them......

I love my soap nuts.

And they really aren't nuts, (and btw, neither am I) even though my husband might tell you differently right now as he watches my obsession play out with all my endless research and hours on the internet.

They are soap berries.  All natural dried berries from trees that are found in both the eastern and western hemispheres, but are native to India and Nepal.

And here is the link where i found a great recipe....from Wellness Mama's blogsite.

I followed it precisely and haven't frozen any of it yet from my batch made Tuesday night - but have washed twice with the results and may wash again this weekend to use it up.   Next time I plan to modify it a little in order to use less "berries" by simply adding boiling water to a "thermos," let it "brew" overnight, allowing it to steep and come to room temp.  This may give me enough for only 1 wash, potentially, so I don't have to let it spoil.  If that doesn't work - I will start to freeze portions of my batch so I don't have to add a preservative.

Basic Recipe Soap Nuts "no poo" hair wash:

5 Soap "nuts" / berries... placed into a muslin bag and tied up.

Use distilled water...

 3 cups total of distilled water.  But start with 2 cups....

Boil in your pot: the muslin bag in 2 cups water.
Then lower heat and cover to simmer for 30 minutes before adding that 3rd cup.
Let steep after adding last cup till liquid is room temp.

And that's it!  You should end up with a brownish liquid.

When I use it to wash my hair, I use about a cup's worth of this tan/brown liquid and apply it to dry hair and start at my roots but let it run down the length.  Then I massage it into my scalp and clamp my hair up on top my head and let it sit for 10 minutes before I rinse in my shower.  During this time, I oil cleanse my face. 

And beware - do not get this in your eyes.  It will feel like pepper spray from what I have read.

Keep on keeping on your hair journey - DIY friends.... It gets better!!!

Jul 6, 2014

No-poo continues....

Okay we are about a month in with this NO-POO thing!  For the last few weeks I have been removing sulfates and commercially common shampoos from the regimen and in-turn almost having to remove the use of "cones" found in most of the products and processes applied to my hair.

The cones did their job but they also would continue to build up and require sulfates to remove them.  So I am trying to eliminate them, for the most part, also from my regimen.

"Cones" are in everything from the conditioners I used to the leave-in detanglers, to the heat protectant serums. EVERYTHING that I loved most when using my hair products has some form of "cone" in it.  So this experiment/change for me, is drastic and I am still trying the experiment to judge for myself my own satisfaction with the results.

So at about a month trying no-poo, what do I think?

I think there is A.L.O.T of information out there of attempts and trials and grand results of going no-poo.  From the extreme water-only washing to the co-washing (conditioners only) and natural ingredient shampoo bars to making concoctions of my latest find using none-other than BORAX.

So I am going to try Borax diluted with water as my next attempt at no-poo.  

My Original Borax and Rosemary Hair Wash Recipe 7/6/2014 = 
Boil 1/2 gallon of water and add 1 1/2 tablespoons (roughly) of dried rosemary herb. Let that come to a full boil for about 20 minutes.  Strain the herb (after doing this recipe I realized I should have let the rosemary steep longer to get a more intense color for helping with the grey hair and that might help the scent to be stronger in the after effects; oh well- so next time...) and in a glass bowl while the water is still warm add a cup of Borax.  Let the Borax dissolve by stirring.  Then use a funnel to poor the solution into a gallon size jug.  Add distilled water to complete the gallon for proportion (pretty close).  Refrigerate the solution.
Up until now I have been happy with my results of using the natural only ingredient conditioning cleanser I found from the folks at Renpure.  But I wanted to try to get this strategy a bit more 'economical' with all the reviews I have read about less washing and using simple products.  I don't use the ACV rinse as much anymore because I have been using the natural conditioning cleanser, but I may have to add ACV to the routine with the Borax (there are mixed reviews on that). However, the biggest change for me as I continue this will be the delays in washing my hair.  I have only went a couple days or so (without washing my hair) during the transition period and now I am on day 3 from my last hair/scalp wash (which was following my root touch up with permanent color -- I know -- don't judge). And my scalp is still clean, not flaky and to my surprise - NOT OILY AT ALL.  And that last wash was using a Renpure product with Argon oil.

All my life I have had to shampoo by the next day and at the most by day 2 after washing because of the oil buildup on my scalp being unbearable.  So this is the best part for me. That and the fact I haven't had to deal with dandruff since this started.  That was an infrequent issue for me anyway, but still something I had to deal with every couple weeks or so when i would get flakes and build up on my scalp.

Another recent find I like -- but remember a LITTLE goes a LONG WAY with this product -- is grapeseed oil.  I don't recommend it for cooking - from my research finds, but for hair and skin it has the reputation of being AMAZING.  and it is cheap!  I am liking the results so far.

My hair is down to my waist, so my ends are dry and challenged after so much over-abundance and abuse of the "cones" that I'm no longer making available to them. Every dimethicone known to man as been caked on my ends at some point... so I try to baby the ends of my hair with oils - but again - A LITTLE goes a LONG WAY peeps. (Place a few drops in your hand, rub your palms together till you just see a sheen coating, then rub your palms through the ends of your hair first and working your way up.  Don't apply this oil to your scalp unless you are doing  a scalp treatment for dander or dryness.

I have made my concoction as you see in the recipe above with the Borax and rosemary herb. (I saw the rosemary as an ingredient in someone's hair rinse.)  I am going to try them together as my next round for scalp washing.  And I do plan to follow with an ACV rinse (this time I have added coconut water) and see how I like those results.

If you care, follow my posts and keep up with my findings.  I will let you know what I think soon.

Are you co-washing, doing an alternate version of no-poo, or going fully no-poo?

Are you considering the no-poo challenge?

Share your experiences in the comments...
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