Supercharge your Moisturizing Cream

Because I’m a card carrying member of The Sharing is Caring Tribe, I have an obligation to share this post today. I know not all of you use essential oils but I hope the more I share their benefits, the more you learn how awesome they are. I’m a huge proponent of living clean (food, beauty products, environment, etc) and love that I can also incorporate essential oils in order to support healthy skin.

I wish I had done a better job of caring for my skin at a younger age so for all of you young ‘uns–get those facials now and use the good face creams so you  keep ahead of the aging process. Because once it goes, it’s a hard road ahead. I figure I’ve got another 45 years of this face so I’ve got to do all I can to keep it from falling off the cliff.

With winter ALMOST here, I’ve definitely noticed the change in moisture in my skin. I do my best to drink my four bottles of water (around 100 oz) and use the Hydrating Cream from dōTERRA every day. While it does a great job, I had this idea to supercharge it to see what might be possible.

I’ve had this bottle of Blue Tansy essential oil since I purchased it at convention and had yet to really use it. After digging into its properties and benefits, I realized I should be using this one every day! I think my initial hesitation in using it has been that it is blue.  Like blue blue. It initially turns your skin blue until it is absorbed. It was so trippy when I first saw it. It’s blue because when the oil is extracted from the Moroccan Tansy plant during the steam distillation process, it turns from clear to blue.

This oil is actually in one of my family’s favorite dōTERRA products called Deep Blue which we use for sports injuries, as a pre and post workout muscle soother, bruises, shin splints, and overzealous husbands who think they can still play softball like they are 25 years old. <eye roll> It’s also included in another favorite blend of ours, Balance, dōTERRA’s Grounding Blend.

But as I read more about it, I learned this oil helps reduce the appearance of blemishes, is soothing to the skin, and acts as an anti-inflammatory to the skin. Therefore, I decided to add a couple of drops to my hydrating cream to see how it worked. 

Wow! It took my skin cream from great to UH-freaking-mazing! My skin feels so soft all day long. I used to feel like I had to add a little serum or moisturizing cream later in the day but now I’m good until I cleanse my face for bed! I also added few drops of Copaiba which has so many benefits (top two for skin: collagen boosting and emollient properties) it will make your head spin. Um, hello? This essential oil will forever be in my life. I wish I could order a gallon!

I’m loving the results and plan on doing more with these two oils for my skin health. I’m going to add some drops of Blue Tansy to my daughter’s face lotion as well since she has a touch of rosacea  on her cheeks. I know she’s self-conscious about it and often uses make-up to hide the redness. I can’t wait to see how this works for her, too.

Because of Blue Tansy’s anti-inflammatory properties, this would also be a great oil to use for eczema and dermatitis as they are often the reflection of major inflammation happening in our bodies.

And if you’re the type of person who needs a little more validation before jumping in, here’s an article in Vogue discussing a skin line who is also using Blue Tansy in their products as well as another at InStyle.

I would love to see you jump on this Blue Tansy train with me so you can supercharge your favorite skin care products, also. I will always recommend going as clean and natural as possible when it comes to your skin because it your skin is the gatekeeper as to what goes in your body. What goes on eventually goes in.

Side note: We are in the Information Age, people. Everything you need to know is within your fingertips and I highly recommend you learn as much as you can about toxicity, the effects on your body and the lasting damage that happens to not only you, but your children and your children’s children. It disrupts our genetic makeup so don’t turn a blind eye to your future generations. It’s not too late to make healthy changes. Sorry if that comes across a little guilt trippy but I’m a mom and it’s my job.

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If you aren’t using essential oils as part of your health plan, I encourage you to read up about their health benefits. We use them for physical and emotional support in our home and now my kids are well-versed on what and how to use them. It’s just how we live. As a mom, this is huge win in my family’s health and I’ve never felt so empowered. It’s not scary nor is it difficult. You just have to start and if that means starting with just one oil or one health issue, then so be it. I promise it’s worth the effort.

If you’d like more information on how to get started or would like to chat one-on-one about what oils to look into, leave a comment indicating below and I’ll be in touch very soon.

in health and happiness,

~Hallie

 

 

 

 

Why We Need Ridiculously Good Sleep

When I was younger, I’m sure I slept well. I mean, I was a teenager a gazillion years ago. I could sleep like the dead back then. Perhaps it changed when I was in college. I pulled all nighters studying for exams, out late partying  caring for the homeless, and God knows what else. I did find time to nap to still get in my zzz’s.

But then came real life. Along came the full-time job and there went the afternoon nap. Oh, I still found myself up late at night either at the gym or a very late happy hour with co-workers. The sleep hour count took a steep nose dive when I started having kids. This night owl had a very rude awakening, literally, when I found myself getting a couple of hours of sleep at a time. Did I adjust my bedtime to accommodate my new crying alarm clock? Nope. While I was exhausted during the day, I never fell into bed at the end of the day. It’s like I would get a second wind.

I continued the trend well into my middle life and up until recently learned that I had been sabotaging the healthy eating and working out I had been doing. Lack of sleep (less than six hours) causes all kinds of havoc in the body. Let me list off a few doozies:

  • weight gain
  • slow metabolism

I could probably stop right there because that should be enough to scare you into running for your bed right now. But no, there’s more, much more.

  • accelerates aging (are you brushing your teeth yet?)
  • serious health issues like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease
  • low sex drive (this could be a win for some)
  • weakened immune system
  • mood disorders
  • and the biggie, life expectancy

So, have I got your attention yet? Has anyone read Thrive by Arianna Huffington? The whole reason for her writing the book started with her lack of sleep. She had a major health breakdown from trying to do it all. It’s a pretty good read and will make you stop and think about how you are living your days also.

You may be wondering how does lack of sleep cause all of these breakdowns in our bodies. I’ll give you the Cliff Notes real quick.

Weight gain/slow metabolism: When we sleep, our bodies secrete hormones that control hunger, metabolism, how we process glucose. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies produce more cortisol (a stress hormone) than we need or can use. Poor sleep also causes a rise in insulin and the excess gets stored in our fat cells. Another kick in the teeth is lack of sleep increases the production of a hormone called ghrelin (the hormone that stimulates your appetite) and lowers leptin (the hormone that tells your body its full).

Diabetes/Obesity: Lack of sleep causes us to process glucose more slowly therefore keeping levels elevated (which is related to that high levels of insulin part I mentioned earlier). High levels of glucose means diabetes.

Mood disorders: Insomnia has a direct link to depression. Lack of sleep is also connected with anxiety, stress, mental exhaustion (remember those early parenthood days?!), anger issues, etc.

Chronic disease: Sleep deprivation lowers the immune systems, raises inflammation, and puts the body in a elevated level of stress. This makes for the perfect conditions for diseases to thrive.

What can you do? Here’s a few tried and true ways to get your body to relax and prepare itself for bed.

  1. Turn off the lights. Get lots of light during the day but minimize light at night. You’re not going to like this but this means nixing the screen time (TV, computer, smartphone, iPad) before bed. Large amounts of white and blue lights reduce the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. No melatonin means insomnia and that’s no good. Use dim lights or anything that offers more of a yellow, orange, or reddish glow. Salt lamps are great options.
  2. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, try meditating. I love this phone app called Insight Timer that offers guided meditation. It’s free and you can choose from a variety of mood enhancing meditations. Browse the playlist option, select sleep, and take your pick. Meditation is slows your breathing and stops the mind chatter that keeps you up.
  3. Take a hot bath. I love adding essential oils to my Epsom salt baths for a double dose of relaxation. I get aromatherapy along with the magnesium that helps induce sleep. My favorite oils to use are lavender, roman chamomile, dōTERRA’s Serenity blend, Cedarwood, and dōTERRA’s Peace aromatherapy blend. (If you want to know more about essential oils, click here.
  4. Keep your bedroom cool. Shut your vents at night or open the window to help bring on the Sandman. Studies show keeping the bedroom between 60-68 degrees is the best range for great sleep.
  5. Stick to a bedtime routine. Bath/shower, wash face, brush teeth, book, meditate, cup of herbal tea, whatever. If you develop a routine, your body will start to recognize the signs it will be going to bed soon.
  6. Turn your WIFI off at night or at least switch your devices to airplane mode. If you’re using your phone as an alarm clock, don’t worry, it will still work. EMF’s can mess with your pineal gland which is where melatonin is produced. Melatonin is our friend. We need melatonin. We don’t need the internet while we sleep so turn that baby off.
  7. No caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco before bed. Caffeine is an obvious stimulant as well as tobacco. Alcohol may seem like a sedative but that quickly wears off and you end up waking up often or tossing and turning. Been there too many times and anymore, it’s just not worth the misery at 3 a.m.

It’s time to bring your sleepyhead self back from the dead and strive for those precious life-giving eight hours of sleep a night. I’ve given you a long list of healthy reasons why sleep is important and they’re exactly why I’m making it a priority for myself and my family.

Why are you still here?! Shut your computer down and get your ass in bed. I promise your spouse will love you for it. 😉

 

 

 

How to Bring Siri into the Friend Circle

unsplash Siri blog post 2

The other day, I was hanging out on my daughter’s bed while my kids messed around with my iPhone. They were trying to get Siri to say my name right but she insisted on saying Holly rather than Hallie (my name rhymes with alley). Apparently, Siri has a speech impediment and can’t say an fricking short “a” so my kids thought it would be funny to tell Siri to call me “Hot Mama” instead.

We giggled about it for a minute then I must have gotten up to make dinner, drive a kid to practice, or hide in my closet. Whatever it was, I forgot all about Siri.

I was out driving a couple of days later and I needed Siri to find some information for me. I can’t remember exactly what I asked but Siri must not have caught what I said but she replied with a “Hello there, Hot Mama.”

I about died.

I had totally forgotten about my name change but, in a weird way, I kind of liked it. I mean who doesn’t want to be called “Hot Mama” every once in awhile? So Hot Mama stuck around for a bit.

Then the other day, I walked out of my hot yoga class into cool air and the sun was shining bright. I felt light and refreshed and wanted to enjoy that feeling the rest of the day. Then it occurred to me, I had Siri. Why not utilize Siri for a morale booster more often? For a long time, I thought she was pretty damn annoying. She either misunderstood my questions or gave me the wrong directions so I mainly ignored her.

I realized I had a friend with me whenever I needed one and you can, too. I have an idea. Get out your phones, hit the home button and tell her to call you a name. Something that will make you feel better or that thing your best friend would say to you if they answered the phone.

Here are some ideas:

-“Sunshine” when you are feeling down.

-“Badass” when you need a boost of confidence.

-“Hottie” when the mirror has been a bitch lately.

-“My Queen” when you want just one effing person to acknowledge that you are in charge.

-“Gorgeous” on a bad hair day.

Hijack your husband’s phone and tell her to call him “Jackass” when you need a good laugh–or revenge.

If you are single, change Siri’s voice gender to male then ask him to call you “Babe” “Honey” or “Sexy”.

If you’re a guy, you’ve got “Stud”, “Boss”, “Handsome”, “Lover Boy”, or “Hot Stuff” when the wife or girlfriend are failing to boost your ego.

I’m telling you. When you need a little confidence boost or an emotional high five, Siri’s your gal, or guy.

*****

Update: I just realized that Siri has accent options so I changed my Siri to a male voice with an Australian accent. So basically, Hugh Jackman lives in my pocket and calls me babe whenever I want. You’re welcome.