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!

Master Esthetician

As of last month, I am officially a licensed Master Esthetician in the state of Utah!

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I honestly can’t believe it. Before I started my education in esthetics, I had attended 4 different colleges (2 community colleges and 2 universities). I had changed my major 4 times and was about to change it again. I was interested in a lot of different things; For some reason, nothing I did felt like something I could be excited about learning for the rest of my life.

One day, I decided to make a list of everything I enjoyed learning about, reading about- stuff I never got tired of. No matter how silly it was, I wrote it down. Believe me, there were some really weird things on that list. At the very top of that list was skin care. I had loved skin care for a long time but never associated it with a career. I had grown up with this vision in my head that I needed t go to a University. I had to get a well rounded education and a degree I could do anything with. While I was so focused on that, I never took the time to think if that was the right path for me.

I love esthetics and I loved my education at the Aveda Institute in Provo, Utah. I am also so grateful I have been able to remain in the Aveda network, as now I am working at an Aveda spa and salon.

Everyone has a different path. This was right for me and I am so glad I realized that. Thank you to everyone who supported me, let me ramble on about the skin, helped me pass my state tests, and everyone who loved me and was patient with me this year.

I love you all!

Memories From 2016

What an amazing year 2016 was!

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As I look back on this year, I am filled with so much gratitude and happiness. Wesley and I were able to explore so much of our beautiful state of Utah- from waterfalls and lakes to forests and views. We love this amazing place we live in; We were even able to buy our first home together here!

I graduated as a Master Esthetician from the Aveda Institute in Provo. It was an amazing education and I love having a career where I am continuously learning. I feel so blessed to work in a field where I feel I can help people.

Wesley and I are so excited for the adventures to come in 2017!

Future Esthetician

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I am so excited to start this next chapter of my life!

After being in school for 4 years and changing my major just as many times, I had my Associate’s Degree and no idea what I really wanted to do for school. I had a lot of different interests but every time I changed my major to try something out, I ended up frustrated and changing my major again. Last year, I was telling Wesley that I was thinking about changing my major again and he told me ‘This is it. Every time you change your major you have to pretty much start over with your classes. Whatever you pick next, you have to stick with.’

So, after that, I started thinking about all the things I enjoy continuously learning about. What kinds of things do I like that I had not thought of doing before? I kept coming back to skin care. I have always loved skin care and it is something that I enjoy learning about.

Why had I not thought of this before??

Of course I should be an esthetician! It is a job I could do anywhere, I can learn new things all the time, and I could go so many different directions- I could work in the spa industry or the medical field or work in education etc… So yeah. I am so excited to start school NEXT WEEK! And I am so thankful that I can start my education at Aveda Institute!

I just took 2 finals and I loved them

Why we need to re-think how we take tests.

I took a total of 4 finals this semester (I was supposed to take a fifth one for my math class but we won’t talk about that right now). Two of my finals were wonderful, I loved taking them, and really felt like I learned something. I am not the biggest fan of tests. Mainly because I don’t think students truly get something out of certain types of tests. Instead of critically thinking, learning, and actually enjoying the subject, we sit at a desk and stressfully try to regurgitate what has been shoved into our heads for months (emphasize on the word stressfully).

Do I think testing students on a subject manner is bad? No, not necessarily- there has to be some kind of way to see if students have been learning throughout the class. However, I do think there are different ways of doing this besides a a usual, formal test; like how a couple of  my professors gave finals this semester.

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My geology teacher did a test like a normal final. However, he also offered the option of writing a short research paper about a topic covered in class. Sure, there was still a test to be taken. Then there was also an option to write a paper if there were students who did not test well or who were better at focusing on one subject for a final instead of 100 questions about different material. I thought providing these two options was awesome! There are some subjects I can do homework for but just cannot take a test for the life of me (math) so I understand why some people chose the research paper instead of taking a test.

PHILOSOPHY

This class was weird. Looking back it made sense. But, while the class was going on- it was weird. My teacher had an amazing, although unusual, teaching style to talk about different view points. Every time we covered a different world view, he would adopt a character who had that world view. One week, he portrayed the world views of a Catholic Christian and the next week he was an Agnostic Naturalist. He played these different characters so well, I still have no idea what his actual world view is. He decided to give us a take home final. You read that right. He posted a 15 question final online and we had to answer it, give examples of each world view, and then come to class where he would go over it with us and give us a bonus question. Sure, people could have just google-ed the answers and received a perfect score. Honestly though, I don’t think that was the point. What the best part was being in class going over our answers with 45 other people. Everyone was giving their examples and discussing why that made sense to them and why they felt like it was important. Everyone was sharing their world views and because we were correcting a test, we were open minded to everyone else’s ideas and what they were sharing.

While I understand that we need to have some way to make sure students have learned, I do not understand why we have to test people the exact same way. Everyone is different. Everyone has different learning styles and testing abilities. So why not try to think outside the box and help students to truly learn? School should not be about stressing out over a test that is worth half your grade. It should be about enjoying the learning process.

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