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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

DIY Sugar Scrub

I don't think I've ever posted about how easy it is to make your own sugar scrubs. They are sooo incredibly simple. Use the half and half method. Half oil, half sugar. However, I sometimes like to add a little bit more sugar for a really chunky scrub. My first scrub was given to me by a fellow teacher who used half sugar and half a mixture consisting of equal parts pink baby lotion and baby oil. It smelled amazing, and it was very efficient at sloughing off unnecessary dead skin. My skin glowed! And in the spring and summer, girls need that extra TLC on their skin, especially on our feet! There are so many different recipes you could make, and that's truly the fun part. Here are some throwbacks to over a year ago when I started making stuff and selling it as a part-time gig. I had so much fun coming up with names for my products.

This is Orange You Lovely. I started out with Orange Your Sweet but changed it because I thought it might be a little more original. This has about 10 drops of orange EO, sugar, and coconut oil.

 Busy Bee consisted of honey, sugar, and brown sugar in coconut oil. You could eat the stuff if you wanted to!
Lemon the Sweet Life was a mixture between lavender, lemon, coconut oil, and sugar. Yum. It was my favorite at the time.
Now, I have a little more variety in my repertoire. This is my facial scrub with jojoba, calendula infused olive oil, coconut oil, sugar, Frankincense, and Baby Skin (a blend of Palmarosa, Geranium, Patchouli, Rose, Rosewood, and Elemi.) It smells amazing!

Here's a list of semi-inexpensive, long lasting carriers for your skin that would go great in your scrubs.

Avocado
Coconut
Olive
Jojoba
Carrot Seed
Sweet Almond
Grapeseed
Don't limit yourself to just sugar. Pink Himalayan salt would make a beautiful scrub!

Here are some recipe ideas for different purposes. Just use the half and half recipe (sugar and carrier) and add in the EOs you want. Start out slowly; you can always add more. I wouldn't go more than 20 drops/4 ounces. I don't ever use that much with scrubs, though. I usually use around 10.

Foot Scrub--Cooling
5 drops each of Peppermint and Lavender

Citrus Scrub--Uplifting and Invigorating
4 drops each of Pink Grapefruit, Lemon, and Sweet Orange

Honey Scrub--Cleansing and Gentle
1 tbsp. honey (Use 1 ounce cane sugar and 1 ounce brown sugar) I have put oatmeal in my scrubs before, but make sure you keep it in the refrigerator; the shelf life won't be as long. Oatmeal would be a good addition to this scrub.

Nourishing Skin Scrub--Nourish and Protect
(I like to put about 1 cup of calendula blossoms into 8 ounces of jojoba, olive, or avocado oil to let sit for a week or two.) Calendula is very good for the skin. Add a little coconut oil for a natural antibacterial effect. Then, add nourishing EOs like Frankincense, Palmarosa, Geranium, Roman Chamomile, Patchouli, Rose etc. (Blends might come in handy here if you're wanting to save money. EOs like Rose are extremely expensive.)

Calming Scrub--Relax and Soothe
2 drops Ylang Ylang, 5 drops Roman Chamomile, and 4 drops Sweet Orange
Enjoy being creative with these! This would make a perfect gift for someone.

Monday, May 4, 2015

3 State 3 Mountain Challenge 2015

We were originally going to ride the Bo Bikes Bama in Auburn, but we decided last minute to head Northeast and conquer the 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge. Ok, mine was 2 State 1 Mountain. Hehe.

We left after school and got to the hotel around 7:30. After sharing a Frosty and watching a little Jurassic Park, we got ready to go to sleep. We had an early morning ahead of us. However, the people above us had different plans. They must have been having a party ALL NIGHT LONG. Jumping off the bed? Check. Loud music? Sprints across the room? Check. Check. I mean, it's 2 in the morning, y'all. Go to bed!

Next up was Waffle House. Hello, fresh coffee. 
Right before we put on all our garb.

All suited up and ready to ride

Who needs a selfie stick when you've got my arms?
 Heath did the metric century, and I did the 25 miler. He left at 7, and if you want to know what an army of crazed militants sounds like, you should probably go to a century ride and listen to 1,200 cyclists clipping into their pedals after the gun goes off. It was insane.
Heath in the mass of cyclists.
 After Heath left, I loaded my bike into a UHaul and loaded the school bus that held around 50 others. We waited and waited for what seemed like forever, but I made some new friends. They were from Nashville, Virginia, Georgia, and D.C. Most of us were runners and were there only to support our husbands who were doing the metric or century. We left around 8:15 (central), and about 30 minutes later, we headed out to the first rest stop 5 miles away. It was cold!
The Nickajack. This was so scary and cool and awesome and wow.

I can't remember which aid station this was. I think this was the first. Not sure, though.
Right before we got to the first aid station, we got to ride across the new Nickajack bridge. It was really fun. The first aid station reminded me of a colony of ants on top of a donut. It was madness. Bikes were everywhere. People in ninja suits were everywhere. The metric and 25 miler intersected at this stop. The metric riders wheeled in in packs of 20 or more, and they would just keep coming in. It was awesome to watch. The food was nice. I grabbed a pb&j and a banana half. Tasty. :)

 Let me just say that cycling down a mountain with traffic is very intimidating. I run in the dark with traffic, sure, but there's something different about being on a bike. I don't feel planted and secure on a bike. And you're going so much faster. Sure, there were times climbing that mountain where I wanted to ditch my bike because I could run faster than I was going. Still, you're not on your feet. Plus, when a team of 15 cyclists are zooming around you going 20-25 miles an hour, it's scary. "Do they trust me not to move over a quarter inch?" I mean, I could rub elbows with these people. 

At mile 15 there was another aid station, but I zoomed right past it because I didn't even see it. I am definitely not used to stopping during a race. (Heath likes to correct me that rides are not "races.")

The world of cycling is another culture. It's so entirely different and unique than running. Sure, we runners run around in our neon and act like we're all jacked up on Red Bull with our glitzy watches and sparkly shoes. Cycling, on the other hand, is extraordinarily dainty, and you have to have all the right garb and gear. I'm sure the next steps up are polo and jousting. It takes an entire moon cycle to get ready for one of these things, and I'm pretty sure I was the only one out of all of those people who wasn't wearing a jersey. I mean, if we're going to be stopping at aid stations, why do I need pockets in my shirt for gels? I don't know. Is it imperative that I have a shirt that zips? It's all very glamorous with all those people wearing their matching outfits that are...ahem...quite on the tight side if you must know. But it's all good. It's all part of the culture. Heath seems to love it. My behind? Not so much. 

Another thing about the cycling culture...it's pretty much completely male dominated. Like whoa. Men everywhere. Men overload. And you can't listen to music or ride in the dark. And you could get a flat tire and be lost and stranded in a sketchy neighborhood! Gulp.

These were the best. hamburgers. ever. And they were amazingly huge. 
 This was Heath's second race. I admire his enthusiasm so much. He loves this sport, and I love how it makes him happy. I love how he wanted me to tag along on this one.

On the way home, we stopped at McDonald's to get a Mocha Frappe like we always do. The lady at the window said, "Oh, how precious! Y'all are wearing matching shirts! That's adorable." Heath coughed and smiled. Well, the lady just kept going on and on about it until he finally felt the need to jump in and explain. She still said, "Well, I still think it's cute. Not many couples do that." We laughed the whole way home about that.
Ready to head home.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

DIY Antifungal Foot Spray

I thought this post might seem more pleasant if I called it something other than athlete's foot spray, but y'all, sometimes it flares up! What's a girl to do? If you're going to be in sweaty workout socks for hours (or if your feet need a little TLC), this might be perfect for you to whip up. 

I made mine at a 3% dilution, so that means 15-18 drops per ounce. I used a 2 ounce PET plastic spray bottle. 

Ingredients
1 ounce Water
.5 ounce Lavender hydrosol (optional)
.5 ounce Witch hazel
1 tsp Aloe vera gel
5 drops German chamomile EO
5 drops Lavender EO
20 drops Tea tree EO
5 drops Patchouli EO
2 tsp. Peppermint Lavender bath salts (recipe below)

Peppermint Lavender Bath Salts
3 drops Peppermint EO 
3 drops Lavender EO 
1 part Epsom salts (2 ounces)
1 part Baking soda (2 ounces)

Pour everything into your bottle and shake before use. 

German chamomile, tea tree, lavender, and patchouli are supposed to be great antifungals. Patchouli deodorizes, and it and lavender nourish the skin. German chamomile is supposed to aid with wound healing, so if you have blisters or any other issue with your feet, it will help clear them up. The aloe vera is nourishing whereas the salts help deodorize, calm, and cool. Witch hazel is a great antiseptic. Lavender hydrosol is just like water with the benefits of the EO, just gentler. 

I spray this directly onto my feet if I have a flare up. I also spray it into my shoes, especially my running shoes and Toms. I am in love with it. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

M.Y. Hero 5K Race Report 2015

April 18, 2015
Heath had left early that morning to go ride in his first century ride at the Old Howard in Marion, AL. He did an amazing job and wasn't even sore the next day!
Anyway, I was by myself that Saturday morning, and I, if you don't know, have an almost 2 year old. Not only that, I had to make some last minute changes on the spreadsheet for our time guy, Marvin. (Marvin, you were the bees' knees, man.) So, I'm hydrating, trying to eat something, trying to get Isaac ready, trying to modify the spreadsheet, trying to get the stroller ready, trying to think of some toys to bring. Should I bring him a coat? Hat? Coffee? Where's my Garmin? Phone? Sippy Cups?
Where are my SHOES?
Yes. That was my morning.
So, I got there later than what I had originally planned. (Sorry, y'all.) I registered probably thirty or more people, I sang, and then I ran. It was all a blur. Somewhere along the way, I had gotten Isaac strapped into his stroller, and as I recall, I don't think he liked that I had taken away his tractor during the process. Once we hit the pavement, however, he didn't remember the tractor, or if he did, he didn't let me know about it.
I started at, of course, my typical "I'm going to fly through this thing" pace. Yeah right, y'all. Yeah right. I should've known better. I mean, I've got a 30 pound child in a 50 pound stroller. What was I thinking? 7:30?
Give me a break.
I breezed through mile one. (Of course I did. It's all down hill.) Then I headed to the health department to make the loop. The gravel slowed us down as it always does. My pace dropped, and I don't think it ever revived itself...because then, I had to go up the dreadful courthouse hill. Both hands on the wheel so to speak, I trudged through and made it to the top where I turned a corner. I was in serious pain. This is always where it starts to hurt. You're trying to recover from the hill, but you know it's a 5k, and seconds are minutes. So, I tried to pick up my pace.
I got to the elementary school where I scowl every time because I have to circle it. I managed to get around it and then went up a small yet annoying hill. I was then less than a mile away, but I was hurting, and I was mad, and I was annoyed, and I was just...ugh. Hating myself.
Next was a small hill to get back onto the highway. My pace had slowed significantly. I could see the end. I could see the finish line. I pushed, and I trudged. I finally made it with a time of 26:36.
My time was pretty much the same as it was last time I ran the course back in October, but Isaac's getting bigger. I can't imagine running the course without him.
As always, the volunteers are absolutely incredible. They never cease to make me laugh, and I always feel that I have to explain why I look like a scared gazelle running from a cheetah. (Ok. I just wish I looked like a gazelle. Let's use wild boar instead.)
The after food was fabulous, as always, except this time we had chocolate milk, bagels, muffins, orange juice, fruit, granola bars, and more. It was even better this year.
Our packets were the best this year! We got plastic totes, water bottles, and a pedometer! I've never gotten that kind of stuff in a packet before. Check out our cool medals this year.
The door prizes were beyond spectacular. We had probably 30 or more door prizes. I'm not even lying. We even gave away a mini iPad and two FitBit Flexes.
I backed the truck right up to the registration table where I was working and let Isaac and Connor have a blast.
I say it every year; this race is organized and put on better than some half marathons I've run. It has the small-town community feel, but it has all the glitz and glam that your huge city races boast. This is the best 5k to run if you want to get a cool shirt, good food, cool race packets, awesome bling, and PR bragging rights. Plus, all proceeds go to fund WCHS student scholarships that honor the late Spc. Martin Young from Double Springs.
The 5k Committee
Please come out and race with us next year!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Saravena Takeya Glass Bottle Giveaway Plus Free Shipping!

Don't forget about the Takeya Flip Straw Giveaway that ends on April 30th! You have 10 days left to either comment on this post, on the Facebook link, or on the Twitter link. Share, retweet, or screenshot on Instagram, and you'll get in twice. Make sure you tag me when you share, so I'll see it. I'm giving away a blue bottle, the one on the far left below. Don't want to wait for the giveaway? Buy one today and get free shipping. The code is listed below! 

Saravena is more than just tea! They have books on healthy living, accessories, and more. Check them out and find something sweet for Mom!

Check out my review for this incredible water bottle!



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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Skirt Sports Friends and Family 20% off Discount!

I'm so excited to announce that I'm partnering up with Skirt Sports as one of their 2015 ambassadors! I am in love with my Lotta Breeze Capri I purchased back in February. It's extremely comfortable, and I love the media port in the shorts. It makes those sticky, sweaty armbands a distant memory. I have never found one of those that held up and felt comfortable, anyway. I have worn my skirt running and cycling, and I love it! It's so stretchy.
Lotta Breeze Capri
I'm also excited to announce that you guys get a 20% off discount, and you can use it anytime this year! 
SSAMB20SE 
Take advantage! They have more than just skirts; they carry tops, accessories, bras, shorts, leggings, socks, and more. I love my Zensah compression sleeves I ordered from Skirt Sports. Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

Thursday, April 9, 2015

DIY Foaming Hand Soap


1. Take a foaming hand soap dispenser (I got mine from Aromatics International), and fill it about 2/3 of the way up with liquid castile soap. I made my own liquid castile soap almost a year ago, so that's what I used. (I still have so much of this left! It's crazy!) You can also buy some liquid castile soap from Aromatics International.

Next, fill up the remainder with aloe vera gel, but be sure not to get too close to the top! Leave room! :-) Once the pump goes into the bottle, it might overflow! (This totally happened to me the first time around.)

Don't go this far up with your aloe vera! You'll have a mess to clean up.


Next, add in your desired essential oils.


This particular recipe is 3 drops Mind Alive and 3 drops Lime.



That's not apple juice; that's my castile soap. :)


How much essential oil should you use? This is around 2 ounces. A 1% dilution is 5-6 drops/ounce. A 2% dilution is 10-12/ounce. Since this is around 2 ounces, it's safe to go by these guidelines, but I don't like mine to be over-the-top strong, so I used a .5% dilution, especially if you're using possible skin irritants (1,8 cineole is a chemical component that can cause skin irritation, and it can be found in EOs like Rosemary which is in products like Thieves.) or very floral smells that tend to be very overpowering. Neroli can also be very strong. (This comes from the same plant as Orange and Petigrain.)
In this bottle, I used about 3 drops of Mind Alive from Native American Nutritionals and 3 drops of Lime. The Mind Alive contains Melissa, Jasmine absolute, Neroli, Cedarwood, and Ylang Ylang Extra. This is very floral (Neroli, Jasmine abs., and Ylang Ylang are VERY strong), so you don't need much. I absolutely love floral/citrus combinations. The scent gets on your hand towels and makes them smell incredible. It makes your whole kitchen smell good, not to mention your hands!
If you're concerned about using plastic products to make your DIY projects, you have every right to be. Make sure your plastic is PET plastic. It doesn't leach chemicals into the contents. Here is a statement from Aromatics International on their PET plastic products:
"PET is an inert plastic and does not leach harmful materials into its contents. PET has been safely used for 20 years and has undergone rigorous testing under FDA guidelines to ensure its safety as a food and beverage container suitable for storage and reuse. We selected PET packaging because it is safe, recyclable, and convenient."

Ready for some recipes?

Citrus Hand Soap (Uplifting and Immunity Recipe)
2 drops Lemon
2 drops Grapefruit
2 drops Orange
Lemon Lime Hand Soap (Uplifting and Immunity Recipe)
3 drops Lime
3 drops Lemon
Calming Hand Soap (Skin Nourishing and Immunity Recipe)
2 drops Lavender
2 drops Orange
2 drops Frankincense
Floral Hand Soap (Skin Nourishing Recipe)
2 drops Geranium
1 drops Ylang Ylang
1 drop Palmarosa
Floral Citrus Hand Soap (Skin Nourishing Recipe)
1 drop Ylang Ylang
2 drops Roman Chamomile
2 drops Tangerine
Sparkling Clean Hand Soap (Immunity Recipe)
2 drop Eucalyptus
2 drop Peppermint
Copycat Thieves Hand Soap (Immunity Recipe)
5 drops Thieves (Young Living) or Native American Nutritionals's Immune Strength
OR
1 drop each of Cinnamon Bark, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus radiata, Rosemary, and Lemon 
What is your favorite combination?