DIY Facial Toner for Healthy, Glowing Skin


Toners.JRA_7872

What the heck are those things?

Total waste of money?

Total waste of time?

And the answer is bududududududududu (drum roll) NO!  Toners are great and super and a really good addition to your skin care routine. And here’s why –

1. Balances the pH level of your skin

2. Removes environmental toxins

3. Shrinks pores

4. Tightens skin

5. Reduces acne

6. Hydrates skin

Wow. all that packed into one little container!

I just started using toners less than a year ago because I had no idea what purpose they held. I used a couple different kinds I bought at various stores, but after doing some (a ton) of research I have concocted my wonderful beautiful toner. *cue wind chime/harp music*                                                                                                                         As you can tell, I love this stuff.

Basic ingredients packed with a whole lot of good stuff for the skin upon your darling little face. And no nasties whatsoever!

Apple Cider
Vinegar
– It helps make skin brighter and tighter— Skin is naturally acidic but when vinegar is used it reduces the skin’s acidity helping to balance everything out.                                                POW.

Witch Hazel– A natural astringent so it helps maintain oil, reduce pores, and brightens skin.                                                                                                                WHAM.

Tea Tree Oil– Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.                                    BULLSEYE.

Lavender Essential Oil– Calming, anti-bacterial, regulates sebum (oil), and reduces scarring.                                                                                                                                ZING.
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Now, lets get to it:


INGREDIENTS                                                                                                                       

2 tbs witch hazel

1 tbs apple cider vinegar (with the mother)

3-4 drops of tea tree oil

3-4 drops of lavender oil

DIRECTIONS-

mix all into a dark glass bottle.

shake each time before use.

use once in morning and once at night after washing !

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Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy

We’ve been hit — by the Heat Wave

We have been looking forward to sun and warm weather for months.

Months I tell you.

Traveling since late February, in Alaska for the summer, we had missed out on the well-known and desired beach weather. Shorts, tanktops, flip flops, dresses.. all lost beneath the heavy winter clothes.

But at last! Montana! It brought sunshine and water and dark nights…. and the lovely heat.

But oh. no.

The heat is great … when you have a working AC unit. It keeps the air flowin’ and the temp down when you’re sitting in a 30 ft travel trailer. Keeps people happy. Keeps everything working together in a beautiful harmony.

Ours, of course, decided to not work. When we needed the AC, the wonderful cool air, the thing decided it’s kaput. We’ve barely used the thing because it’s been cold so how come it’s not working? WHY WHY WHYYYYYYYYYYYY

Irony, friends. It’s a jerk.

So, what do you do when it’s too hot outside? When it’s too hot inside? When you can’t escape the stifling heat?

Fans. fans fans fans.

We tried opening all of the windows, but that really only works when there’s a breeze. So we drove an hour each way into town to buy fans. And even still it’s nearly unbearable.

You can’t sleep, can’t read, can’t think. You can only sit in a hot, uncomfortable, nearly unbearable state and constantly remind yourself how hot you are.

So, I decided to also make some ice cream. Some delicious dairy-free strawberry ice cream with only three ingredients- full fat coconut milk, strawberries, and maple syrup. I can’t wait to surprise James with this wonderful gift of delicious coldness.

And we might buy a small kitty pool. Because that sounds divine.

Glacier National Park

We made it to Montana!  And we are lovin’ it. Well, Glacier National Park that is.

reflection

^^ if you look closely, there are two deer near the water’s edge, they were drinking earlier.

Lemme tell ya, this place is one heck of a beauty. The colors of the water are incredible. We’ve been able to stay for a couple days and have managed to do some hiking, swimming, canoeing, photographing, animal-spying, and eating (yum yum.)

beaver

(beaver bringing some goodies back to the hut)

As far as wildlife checklist goes : deer, beavers, mountain goats, bighorn ram, and a grizzly bear. (!!)

There were a ton of mountain goats in the upper side of the park when you drive up ‘Going-To-The-Sun’ road, that was really neat. The adult goats were all wearing these large, boofy collars for the gps tracking, I cannot imagine how annoying those things are. And they all had one baby – no idea what a young mountain goat is called- and two of them were play fighting which was adorable of course.

deer

Now, the water was pretttttyyyyy cold. We were so so hoping that we could go hiking and just get into a nearby creek or lake whenever we got hot…. but it didn’t turn out quite as we hoped. You really couldn’t stay in it for that long unless of course you’re used to swimming around in 73 degree water which sounds a lot warmer than it actually is. But we still had fun of course. It’s been ages since we’ve seen the warm sun and been in water, so we enjoyed it as much as we possibly could.

A word to the hikers —– the national park trail map and signs aren’t quite up to snuff. The map doesn’t specify the length of the trail, nor is it very specific in what other trails coincide with it. And the signs .. or lack of… aren’t the best at giving directions either. You’ve gotta rely on those inner nature explorer skills (probably just common sense to most.)

Another cool thing is there was a meteor shower one night! And because we were out hiking late, James was able to capture the milky way and meteors over the mountains. (I … however.. was tired and cold and a bit crabby so I slept in the car.)

sunset with goats

Our next journey will be Yellowstone ! Yay! Something we’ve both been looking forward to since we started this great road trip of a lifetime.

The Long and Winding and Bumpy and Construction-Obsessed Road — an ode to Canada

Canada dr

Driving through Canada. The journey back home to the lower 48.

goatIt really is a beautiful drive. Endless mountains, forests, rivers, and fields full of dandelions. Again, we have been blessed with wildlife; bears, elk, mountain goats, buffalo, and I’m sure more as we finish the drive within the next couple of days.

The journey back through Canada is going a lot quicker than the first drive. It may be because we know what to expect or that long drives day after day isn’t quite as horrible as it was before.

elk in jasper

We decided to go another route and pass through Jasper National Park which was such a beauty. We, unfortunately, only stayed one night because we were both too exhausted from the previous ten hour drive to do any hiking, but that did not distract us from the seemingly unending beauty. Both of us wished to stay another day, but it just didn’t work out in our plan. If you have the option of visiting Jasper, I would definitely recommend it. There’s also a really cute town outside of it, reminded me of a college town.

It’s funny because now that we’re moving more down south, the sun is starting to set sooner and sooner. In Alaska we could stay out all night and there would always be some little light. But now… what is this darkness!? It’s great at night though, one can get back into that normal sleep time and not have to hang heavy blankets from the windows. Canada is beautiful but I am excited to get back into the ‘USofA’! Because America rocks, dude.

Honey Face Wash

2014-01-26-GoldenAmberHoneyEarthDrReeseHalter

So I began my natural journey with washing my face with honey in the morning.

“like wut” you may say? honey? that liquid gold that bees make for our consumption?

“why yes,” I answer. That liquid gold indeed.

Honey has been used for cennntturriiieessss. Pretty sure Cleopatra used honey to wash her face, and who doesn’t want to look like Cleopatra? Honey is chock-full of good stuff for our skin. Drinks it up like it’s.. ya know.. honey. It is naturally anti-bacterial, regulates skin’s PH level, and it’s full of nutrients and antioxidants.

HOWEVER— do not be fooled into thinking all honey is equal. for it is not. Those cute bear shaped honey containers are so processed that everything good in it has been killed. So even though it may look adorable, and you may take pleasure in squeezing it every morning, you’re really not doing your skin any favors. The best is raw, unfiltered honey. I get mine at Costco because it’s a huge thing for only like ten bucks or something. I have read that Manuka honey is ultra-awesome, but apparently it’s super pricey (and any raw, unfiltered honey works just as well.)

Anywho, I love it. My skin looks better, it feels SO soft afterwards, and I feel like I’m really pampering myself every morning. Here’s what I do ::

Need-

  • honey (obvi) about 1 tsp
  • washcloth
  • hot and & cold water
  • something to keep your hair back
  • *** I also add in a drop of Melaleuca oil (tea tree) because I’m prone to breakouts ***

Directions-

  • Dampen face with warm wash cloth to open your pores. Having a little water on your face makes the honey glide on easier too.
  • Massage honey onto face with fingers in small, circular motions.
  • Leave on for at least 30 seconds, but 10-15 minutes is best.
  • Run the washcloth under really hot water (but don’t burn yourself now.)
  • Then place over your face to kind of steam it for about thirty seconds or until the washcloth isn’t hot anymore.
  • Rinse face with cold water to close pores and pat dry.

ET VIOLA! you’re beautiful and have baby soft skin. (and you also smelled like honey for a bit)

My Venture into the ‘Au Naturale’ Beauty Side

I’ve never really been one to wear a lot of makeup. Coverup and mascara. boom, out the door. Maybe some eyeliner or eyeshadow if I’m feeling sassy. But never a full face (except for my wedding of course.)

I just never really wanted to have that plastered geisha look. I didn’t want to look like I tried too hard, and I didn’t want people to think I was pretty only when I was disguised in makeup. Covering up a pimple and dark circles made me more confident, but I know if I began to rely on some beauty makeup mask everyday that it would only worsen my self esteem.

I have almost always been interested in skin care though. Battling puberty, finding salvation in ProActiv for years… and then having it turn on me when I needed it the most… a girl needed to do something. I’ve never had perfect skin, maybe a glimpse of it while I was using ProActiv, but after it stopped working I was shifted back in time to my depressed, crying-in-bed 13 year old skin self. I have tried pretty much everything besides medication. Elimination diets, research up the wazoo, various skin care products including pretty expensive ones, vitamins, detoxing, the works. Being raised in a healthy home, I have always eaten well so that wasn’t an issue. I didn’t exercise a ton, but I did exercise enough to stay fit so that wasn’t an issue either. I’m also very good at keeping up with facial hygiene, so check that off of the list as well. SO WHAT ELSE IS A GIRL TO DO?

bring it on back to the naturals, baby. the good ol’ DIY’s.

After learning more about what crap companies put in our makeup and skin care, I was ready to make the switch (slowly of course.)

I am still making the switch, and my skin is beyond perfect. I have my good days but then suddenly out of the blue my skin decides it’s tired of my confidence and turns it back 180 degrees. (like right now as I’m writing this post)

But I do feel a lot better about what I’m putting on my face. Because you know a huge percentage of what you put onto your skin is absorbed and pumped into your bloodstream. yucky.

If you want to see how “clean” or “dirty” your products out, I highly recommend looking it up on EWG’s Skin Deep website. It’s pretty crazy the toxic chemicals America allows it’s people to slather onto their face and body. I could go on about how the modern skin care companies are a scam and the things they say and sell really aren’t helping anything in the long run, and how many ingredients other countries have banned and we’ve banned hardly any. But thats a really long discussion. So maybe another time.

You are beautiful. even on bad days. You were created with love and what can be more beautiful than that.