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!

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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Top 5: Utah County

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If you have come to visit me and Wesley while we have lived in Utah, chances are we took you to at least 1 of these places. This list is definitely not all there is to do in Utah County (that would require writing an entire book) but this is a small list of places we love taking our family and friends when they come to visit; we got hiking trails, driving trails, food places, etc… So, here is where Wesley and I will probably take you when you come to visit.

Sundance Resort

This is a beautiful mountain escape located up Provo Canyon. Robert Redford bought the land in the 1960’s and wanted to preserve the beauty of this new property. He envisioned “the balance of art, nature and community”. That’s what Sundance is and you don’t even have to book a room at the resort to experience this. Not only are there delicious dining options and an incredible spa, there’s a ski lift that is open all year round- for skiing in the Winter and beautiful views in the Summer. There are also numerous trails to walk around the resort and the surrounding forest.

When we bring people up here, we usually like to walk through the General Store, located right by a ski lift. We then like to get hot chocolate from next door and then walk around the grounds, taking lots of pictures!

 Bridal Veil Falls

This picturesque waterfall is in Provo Canyon; in fact, you drive right by it on your way to Sundance Resort. When you get to the falls, you can either drive up a ways and park right in front of the falls to enjoy the view. Or, you can park at Nunn’s Park and walk along a nice trail to the waterfall. Either way, you will get a beautiful view of Bridal Veil. If you want a little more adventure, you can actually follow a steeper, switch back trail to go up the waterfall! It does give some amazing views of the canyon.

Thanksgiving Point

The best part about Thanksgiving Point is you have so many options of fun things to do! You can just spend an afternoon at the gardens, or you can spend a day or two experiencing everything you can!

You have your choice of 2 museums: The Museum of Natural Curiosity and the Museum of Ancient Life. There are also beautiful gardens that expand for 55 acres! You can even go to Farm Country and check out all the different animals. With an amazing local movie theatre and lots of places to eat, this is a place you can check out over and over again.

Alpine Loop

This is one of my most favorite places in the world. Alpine Loop is a scenic byway that cuts from American Fork Canyon to Provo Canyon and actually goes right by Sundance Resort! The road cuts alongside mountain edges, follows rivers, and takes you through magical Aspen Groves. Wesley loves this because it’s a fun drive with his Subaru. I love it because I see something new and different about the scenery every time we go. We both love it because we can either drive straight through, or stop and have ourselves a little adventure on one of the various trails.

We love bringing people on this drive and walking around to take pictures. It really gives our friends and family a nice chance to see the beauty of Utah- away from the noise of the city.

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Station 22

By the time we are done taking our friends on one of these adventures, we are ready to eat! We have soooo many favorite restaurants in Utah (hmm… that’s a good blog post idea…) but we decided to pick one that was different from other places we had been and not something you can really find anywhere else.

Station 22 is the perfect place for delicious comfort food. Not only do you have your choice of burgers and salads- the menu also includes chicken and waffles, mac & cheese, fish and chips, and delicious appetizers. They even have huge wall of craft sodas- colas, creams sodas, root beers, birch beers, sarsaparillas- and much, much more! You get to eat all this food and drink your yummy soda and the cutest, eclectic cafe. I’m getting hungry just writing this!

There you go! Those are some of mine and Wesley’s favorite places to take our friend and family! I hope you got some fun ideas for your next adventure!

*The picture of Thanksgiving Point is not my picture*

California: April 2016

For Wesley’s birthday, I surprised him with a trip to California. We are both from Orange County and his parents still live in Laguna so we were able to see family, friends, and have a great time for his birthday.

We went to Huntington Beach Pier, cruised down PCH, and we went to Glen Ivy Spa and Hot Springs– it was so relaxing and so fun! We both miss California, but, we are glad to be back home just the 2 of us.

*** couple tips for you!

1.) sign up for email updates from different airline companies. When they have deals on fares, they will email about it so you can know the best time to buy tickets!

2.) Don’t want to check a bag? Save space by packing items that can be worn multiple times in different ways or by packing mostly neutral colors.

3.) Trying to save money on food while on Vacation? Pick a couple places that you know for sure you want to eat at/spend your money at. Then, for other meals just go to a local grocery store and pick up cereal or sandwich items that you can keep in a hotel fridge.

Have fun!

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