A Year Of Color : De-Stressing With Lavender

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We all experience stress. Whether you have Chronic Stress, stress out over that big meeting coming up, or stressing over the next blog post you are going to do- it happens. I have always felt stressed but I never really studying stress itself until I was in Esthetics school. We were learning all about stress and the effects it can have on the body (and on your skin) and I realized one of the reasons I got into Skin Care was so I could help people relax and help ease some of the stress they are experiencing.

Stress can cause headaches, upset stomach, changes in sex drive, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, irritability, overeating, and drug use. The list goes on and on. Seriously. Stress affects our bodies more ways than we even realize. If you deal with stress often (like me), you start learning what your body does when you are stressed. For me, my body has lots of fun ways of letting me know I need to chill: The cartilage in my rib cage gets inflamed causing horrible pains. I also get bad sore throats and ulcers on tongue. Yeah, it’s sexy I know. Then, I get more stressed out because my body is in so much pain. It’s a vicious cycle.

Today, I want to share some of the ways you can help de-stress yourself. Lavender is one of the most calming aromas on the planet (check out my aromatherapy post to learn more about how smell works) so I thought I would share some of the best ways to use Lavender to help relax!

Diffusing is a great way to help get a certain aroma all around your house. If you are busy and can’t take the time to just relax, diffusing is a great option for you. Drop a few drops of Lavender into a Diffuser and then you can keep on doing whatever it is you need to be doing. Since the diffuser does the work for you- and they are small enough you can have one at home or work- you can enjoy the aroma where ever you are!

If you have some more time to take to yourself, you could always take a nice bubble bath or do a little self massage. You can find products with Lavender in them pretty much everywhere (watch out for anything synthetic!). My favorite lavender products are from Aveda’s Stress-Fix line. This line includes, lotions, oils, bath salts, and a body cleanser.

These are just some of my favorite ways to de-stress with one of my favorite, most calming oils. Of course, everyone has their own ways to relax. Maybe you like to go see a movie or go fishing or take a hike. Whatever way you love to relax- do it! Please do not forget to love and take care of yourself.

How I Fly For Cheap (And You Can Too!)

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I love flying. Seriously, being on a plane is so cool and airports make me feel glamorous. I’m not even kidding! I love flying! But, as you may know, (if you have ever even glanced at flight price before) flying can be expensive! In my years of flying, I have found a couple tricks to help get the best deal you can. These tips are so easy; anyone can do them! So sit back, relax, and read these tips before you start planning your next trip!

1.) flights.google.com

It is exactly what it sounds like- Google for airlines. Type in your destination and dates of travel, and tons of options will come up from many different airlines. If your dates are flexible, you can click in to the calendar on the search engine and it will show you the pricing for days around your schedule. Prices can even be cheaper depending on the airport you fly out of/in to. If you live near a couple different airports, try checking the pricing for both! Something to keep in mind- flight prices change all the time. You could use flights.google.com today and look again tomorrow and prices could be cheaper. But if you are open to different airlines and love a good deal, this is the tool for you!

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2.) sign up for email alerts

Have a particular airline that you are obsessed with and you do not want to fly with anyone else? Sign up for the email alerts for the airline you love! They will be the first to notify you of any travel deals coming up. This is a convenient option so you do not need to check an airline website everyday to see if anything has changed.

3.) call the airline

This probably doesn’t seem like a valid way to get a cheaper flight. But, you never know what just calling a company can do. A few years ago, I was flying with a particular airline and needed to change my flight. I emailed them and when they responded they told me it would be over $200 to change my flight. I was bummed and thought well, I might as well call them. When I called, I just re-explained my situation and the employee changed my flight for me for free! Point of the story- something magical happens when people hear your voice. So, if all else fails, try calling to see if you can work something out!

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That’s it! I’m sure there are lots of other clever ways people fly cheap- if you have one, let me know! These are just a couple ways that have worked for me so I’m glad to share them with you!

Aromatherapy 101

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I love aromatherapy. Yes, I am one of those people that have tons of essential oils in my house- it has just been a big part of my life for the past several years and I enjoy learning about them as well as educating others. Not a lot of people understand aromatherapy and how it could possibly help anything so I thought I would write a quick little intro post to aromas and why they are such a big deal.

It all starts with the Olfactory System. The system includes parts of the body involved with smell such as your nose and your brain. When you smell anything, sensory neurons send signals directly to your brain where aromas can be decoded. That’s why smell can affect emotion, memory, behavior, and thought. What we smell literally triggers different parts of our brain!

For example- Lavender can help people feel relaxed. That’s because when we smell it, the certain molecular compounds in the plant trigger the parts of our brain that tell us to chill out. It’s Science (not just hippie voodoo I promise!)

Now that we have the basic science out of the way, let me share with you a couple basic aromas that can help you get more warmed up to this idea.

Lemon and Orange- pretty much any citrus aroma is very uplifting. They can help you to feel motivated, encouraged, and just put you in a better mood.

Lavender- a very calming aroma. Usually people use it to help feel more peaceful and restful. It is also very commonly used and can be pretty easily obtained.

Frankincense- really grounding. This aroma can help you feel more balanced and provides some benefits for your skin!

Tea Tree- a purifying aroma. Tea Tree is really versatile. It not only helps cleanse the air- but can help with your skin and nails. This is one of my favorites to help with skin break outs on guests.

If you have any questions about aromatherapy or essential oils, please feel free to ask away! Like I said before, I love helping people out- it’s what I do!

San Francisco : Your Day Guide

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I love San Francisco- easily one of my favorite cities to see. Sure, the traffic is always crazy, but the list of things to do is endless. Everything I go, there are some things I have to do and then I love finding new places to adventure as well.

The first thing I always have to do is get a sourdough bread bowl filled with delicious clam chowder. Most people go to Boudin to eat this meal which means it is always crowded. If you walked down the block a little bit more, you will come to a place called Tarantino’s that over looks the wharf. They have such good food and and big windows with beautiful views.

After that, I love walking over to Ghirardelli Square. The walk from the wharf to the square goes along the water and then up through one of the city’s many parks. Since it is all on a hill, you get a lovely view of the water. There is usually a line at the Ghirardelli shop so make sure you are prepared to wait a little bit; it usually does go by pretty quickly. The shop has many different sundaes to choose from. I recommend the warm brownie sundae- vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, a fresh brownie, topped with whipped cream and a cherry… Yeah. It is one of the most amazing things you will ever taste.

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Of course, as a tourist in San Francisco, you probably want a cool picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are a lot of cool places you can go. One of my favorites is by a historical Site called Fort Point. When you get on the road to the old fort, there are several places you can stop to get a good view (and picture) of the world-famous bridge. After you get your picture, you can continue on to Fort Point. If you are a history buff, you will love walking around and learning all about this cool building under the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you have time, some other cool places to check out are the Sutro baths and Muir Woods. San Francisco is an amazing city and whether you are there for 1 day or 1 month, you will not run out of things to interest you. If you have ever been to San Fran, I would love to hear about your favorite things to do!

It’s not OK right now (and that’s OK)

I know- it’s been awhile since I blogged. Honestly, I have been trying to stay so busy that I don’t even have moments to myself. I am trying to keep busy so I don’t start missing my husband.

My husband joined the United States Army. It feels so strange typing that. I never thought I would be in this position. I remember- throughout my entire life- I would see as men and women left their spouses for deployment and I would think ‘Oh my gosh. I could never ever do that. I couldn’t be away from my husband for that long.’ And now, I am going to be one of those women. It’s weird.

It seems like my personal mantra the past few weeks has been “It’s all okay.” That’s what my friends keep telling me, what my family keeps reminding me, and what I am constantly telling myself. It’s all okay. Everything will be fine.

The other day I was talking to a woman who’s husband had been in the military for several years. I told her how I was feeling about everything and I ended my rambling sentence with my statement of “But, it’s all okay.” This woman looked at me as if she was trying to decide if she should say what she was thinking. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way or let this freak you out- but, it’s not okay. It’s going to be really hard and you’re probably going to cry a lot. He’s your husband and he is going to be gone for months at a time. It’s okay if something like that makes you sad.”
This has been the most helpful thing anyone has said to me about my husband joining the Army.
Of course I won’t be fine. The love of my life is leaving. I won’t be able to see him and I will barely be able to talk to him. It’s going to suck. It’s probably going to be the worst thing I have ever had to deal with. And that’s fine. It’s okay for me to be sad about this. It’s okay if I don’t have it all together. It’s okay if I can’t handle it right now. I’m still going to work, I’m still going to hang out with my friends, I’m still going to visit my family, and I’m still going to continue living my life and being as happy as possible.
It’s not gonna be okay right now and that’s okay. Because some days will be harder than others. Some days all I’m going to eat is ice cream. Some days will be great and I will go on drives and on hikes an do whatever I want to do.
It’s not gonna be okay right now and that’s okay. Because I am allowed to have feelings and emotions. I don’t have to be happy all the time. If I need to cry, I’m going to cry and then move on with my day.
It’s not gonna be okay right now and that’s okay. Because I know this isn’t going to last forever. I know that I love my husband more than anything and he loves me. I know that he wants to help our country and help others
One of my favorite quotes is something along the lines of “Everything will be alright in the end and if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.” I’m okay with not being okay sometimes because I know it won’t always be hard and the days won’t always be bad. But, in the end, it will be great.
It won’t always be okay. And that’s fine with me. Because it will be someday.
fine.

The Homestead Crater : What To Expect

We finally went to The Homestead Crater!

This is something I have wanted to do since I moved to Utah a few years ago and I am so glad we finally got to go. The Homestead Crater is located at The Homestead Resort in Midway Utah- a cute little community nestled in the mountains. From the outside, the crater looks like a hill or a small volcano. A small tunnel takes you to the center where you can swim in some amazing hot springs.

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Since I had never been before, I did not know what to expect and was shocked by some of the different things at the resort and the crater. Here are some things to keep in mind before you go!

– You must make reservations ahead of time. The hot springs are a popular place and reservations are required in advance to check them out. These reservations are at a specific time so make sure you get to the resort at your scheduled reservation time

–  Since you have a specific time to be there, you only have a certain amount of time to enjoy the hot springs. Your reservation is for about an hour including changing time. This means they allow about 40 minutes for actually being in the hot springs.

– You must wear a life vest. Unless you are going there to scuba dive (yeah- you can go scuba diving if you are certified or taking the certification lessons there), you have to wear a life vest the entire time you are in the hot springs. You can rent snorkeling equipment for an additional cost which is cool. However, don’t think you can go swimming around under water while you’re here.

– You will not be the only ones there. Unless you bring a large enough group to block out the entire hour or you go during a time that is not busy at all- there will be other people there. AND there is not an age limit for the crater so there may be lots of little kids there with you. If you are looking for some alone time or quiet time, this may not be the place for you.

I thought going to the crater was a cool experience and I am glad we got to do it. However, I am not sure if it is something I would do again any time soon. There were a few too many rules to fully enjoy the hot springs in the Crater. I can’t wait to go to more hot springs here in Utah!

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Your Guide For A Basic Skin Care Routine

For those of you who do not know, I am a Master Esthetician. I graduated Esthetics school back in December of 2016 with 1200 hours and I have absolutely loved it! Not only do I enjoy what I do now, but I loved being in school and getting to learn so much about skin care. With that being said, I also love educating others and helping them to feel more confident in their skin so I thought I would put together a basic step-by-step to help you with your skin care goals!

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Cleanser- There are 2 basic types of cleansers: Cream and Gel/Foaming. Cream cleansers are best for dry or aging skin. Gel and Foaming cleansers are going to work well for oily and acne prone skin. It is important to wash your face at night and in the morning, especially if you wear makeup, work out frequently, or have a job where your skin gets dirty. Pretty much- just wash your face.

Toner- Toners help to refresh and cool the skin. Again, there are 2 main types: Hydrating and Astringent. You want to go with a hydrating toner if you have dryer skin or combination skin. An astringent toner will help out more if you have oily skin as it will help take excess oil from the skin.

Moisturizer- The dryer your skin, the thicker and creamier you want your moisturizer to be. Consistencies range from thin lotions for oily skin to rich butters for very dry/ aging skin. You want to use some type of moisturizer even if your skin is oily. Hydration may help to balance out your skin and help even out oil production.

Exfoliation- It is important to exfoliate 1-2 times per week (depending on the type of exfoliation you are doing. If you get chemical peels done- this will be less frequent). You can use a chemical or mechanical exfoliation. Chemical simply means that the ingredients in the product slough off dead skin cells without any abrasive items like beads or salts. Mechanical is when a product uses beads, sugar, salts, or anything else abrasive to exfoliate. Exfoliation helps to get rid of dead skin cells to keep the skin brighter, firmer, and helps manage break outs by keeping the skin clean.

From here you can start adding in any serums, eye creams, or specialty products you want! These few steps are just the foundation to help you get started with taking care of your skin. Let me know if you have any questions!

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I love keeping a journal. I think there are so many benefits to writing things down. Writing in a journal is not only something to pass on to the next generation; writing can help keep your stress levels down and help you keep a more positive and creative outlook on life.

With the many benefits that come from journaling, more and more people are turning to writing down their thoughts. However, it can be hard sticking to it. I have been journaling my entire life but sometimes I would go months or even years without physically writing something down. It’s just something that can be hard to do when life gets so crazy!

I realized that the way to stick with journaling is to find the method that works best for you. There are so many ways you can write down what happens with your day- just find what speaks to you the most. Throughout your life, you may even change how you journal. So try different things and just have fun with writing! Here are some ideas to get you started:

1.) Jar Journaling – I actually tried this for a year while I was away at school and it was just perfect for me at that time in my life. All you do is get a big empty jar (or whatever container you want) and just put stuff in it. Sometimes, I would write down a journal entry on a piece of paper, fold it up, and put it in the jar. Other times, I would put in a wristband from an event or a movie ticket stub. This is a simple way to remember the things you do!

2.) Daily Journaling – You can purchase different kinds of daily journals. Some may ask you to write one line about something that happened that day. Others may ask a question for that day that you can answer. Barnes and Noble has as awesome selection of daily journals that give you some type of guideline to help you along in starting to write.

3.) Traditional – If you prefer keeping things simple and original then go out and but a journal or notebook and just write in that. Find one that appeals to you the most- it can help you to write more if you like what you are writing in. It also helps to set attainable goals for yourself. Try just journaling once a week or once a month to help you get into the habit.

4.) Electronic Documentation – Maybe you are not much of a write. Maybe you prefer typing and being on the computer. Awesome! Writing your thoughts down electronically is so easy nowadays. Whether you decide to have a personal blog or just use a word document, storing your thoughts online is a great alternative to traditional journaling.

Wednesday Inspiration

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Do you have those days (or weeks or months) where it just seems like your entire world is unraveling? That everything you have worked so hard to build is being torn down? Maybe I am being a little dramatic. It’s just- recently I was given news that is changing my entire life. Before you get too excited- or nervous- I’m not pregnant. So, don’t worry about that.

Anyway, here I am, having freak outs every single day because my life is changing majorly. Then, I thought of something:

I CAN DO IT

I know that it doesn’t seem like that hard of a concept to realize. But, when you are right in the middle of a hard time, it can be hard to remember that you can come out of it.

Whenever you are having one of those days (or weeks or months) when it feels like it’s too hard and it will never end- just remember: You CAN do it! You can climb that mountain, you can walk that tightrope over the precipice, and you can get through anything! Even better- you WILL get through it.

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I love this holiday! It is tied with Halloween for my favorite. Sometimes, you get to spend the entire day with your loved one for Valentine’s Day- other times, you may only get a couple hours to grab some breakfast or a drink before needing to do other things.
So, I wanted to give a few different ideas for the whole day that you can use together or just one idea for whatever you may have time for!

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8:30 AM – Treat yourself to donuts. Chances are your local donut places also has milk, chocolate milk, or coffee. Start your day with a yummy, sugary treat. If all you have is the morning together on Valentine’s Day, then this is a fun thing to do because you get some time to yourself while eating a delicious (although fattening) breakfast.

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1:00 PM – If you get to leave work early and you and your honey love relaxing together, why not get a couple’s massage? These tend to book out quickly for Valentine’s Day (I know this firsthand because I work in a spa). But, if you book your appointment in advance and try a few different places, you should be just fine! Couple’s massages are so intimate and relaxing and several places offer lots of specials to make this special date even more special.

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5:30 PM – Watch the sunset. Whether you have a picnic in the last light of the day, or catch the last bit of light and then go stargazing- watching the sunset is very romantic. This date idea also doesn’t cost anything! So go find a tall building or a mountain top this Valentine’s Day.

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8:00 PM – Now you have had a long day of either needing to be at work, taking care of kids, or spending a lovely day with your sweetheart. No matter how your day has been, you’re probably ready for a drink. I am not sure what this may mean to you- to me, it means soda or hot chocolate. There is this adorable place by where we live called Pop N’ Sweets. They have candy, chocolate, and soda from all over the world! They even have a cute little hot chocolate bar. When Wesley and I went, I got dark hot chocolate and he got… ButterBeer! I know… I know… way cool.

Whether you have an early breakfast, a nightcap, or all of the above with your love- I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!