We have seen and admired all the Superbloom pictures around California this Spring and Joshua Tree is no exception. If you happen to schedule a trip in the Spring, research the best spots to observe this event.
Here in sunny California, the sun is usually out and shining. Even on cloudy and cold days, UV rays can penetrate the skin so we should always take precaution and protect ourselves from the harmful rays. Too much sun exposure can cause premature skin aging, sunburn, and even cancer and using sunscreen can help in preventing these effects.
There are two types of sunscreens on the market, mineral and chemical. Mineral or physical sunscreen works by blocking the sun out and deflects, while the chemical counterpart turns the sun into heat and absorbs. Both types will assist in sun-protection but it’s important to read the ingredients to make sure your sunscreen doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.
Mineral sunscreens use mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide. This type of sunscreen is usually healthier for the body and does a better job and keeping the sun out of the skin. One of the biggest issues with mineral sunscreen is that it doesn’t break down as easily as chemical sunscreen and can result in the sunscreen being streaky, but that is the product doing its job. It stays on thicker to offer better protection for you skin.
Chemical Sunscreens also work to protect against the sun but if they contain oxybenzone, stay away! This chemical is known to be hazardous because of skin penetration, hormone disruption, and allergy problems. Additionally, chemical sunscreens can cause an increase in dark spots on your skin, are also more likely to irritate sensitive skin, and can increase the chance of redness for rosacea-prone skin types.
There is a huge debate about what sunscreen is better for your body but we think natural is always the choice to make, and organic is even better. If you’re still looking for an organic skin screen for your family, we would love for you to try the sunscreen we make at Erbaviva. It’s a natural and mineral based product that is gentle enough for babies and strong enough for adults.
Remember to apply generously 15 - 30 minutes before going out so that the sunscreen can absorb into your skin. Sunscreen should be stored in a cool, dry place and do not use sunscreen that is expired as it can become unstable and will not offer any sun protection. Sunscreen should also be reapplied if you'll be in the sun for several hours and especially if you are exposed to water.
If you do happen to get sunburned, aloe vera helps to cool and soothe the skin. Another remedy is using essential oils. You can mix essential oils like lavender with water and spritz on the skin or apply with a cloth for skin relief. Using body oil instead of moisturizer also keeps the skin extra moisturized so it can heal more quickly.
You should make it a habit of applying sunscreen daily and not only on a beach or hike day. If you have kids, make sure you get them started early on applying sunscreen as they will benefit from it as they get older.
Today, most products are created with convenience in mind and we are slowly replacing well-made products that last with single-use plastic. In an effort to be more environmentally conscious, we have made a list of ways that you can be zero-waste right now! Here are some easy swaps you can implement to make your home more eco-friendly.
1. Ditch paper towels and replace with 100 percent cotton towels
Not only are cotton towels more effective at cleaning, but you will save money in the long-run. Keep a good stack of cotton towels around for cleaning, using as napkins, and whatever else you may need them for.
Make sure to store enough cotton towels; grabbing a cotton cloth has to be as easy and mindless as grabbing a paper towel. You don't want to worry about not having enough. It also has to be just as easy to toss the cotton towel. So have a basket to put the dirty towels in after. If there is no system set, you will probably revert back to using paper towels.
2. Get a reusable water bottle and fill it daily
Instead of buying plastic bottles of water, invest in a reusable bottle. You can also purchase a water filter if needed to refill it at home if you can't use tap water. Reusable bottles can be used at home, the gym, and at work.
3. Use Wool Dryer balls instead of disposable dryer sheets
What are wool dryer balls? They are literally wool balls that you put in the dryer that separate items from each other in the dryer, letting air circulate more efficiently, therefore helping your laundry dry faster. They also fluff and soften your load while reducing static. Each ball can be used for hundreds of loads, unlike dryer sheets.
The more balls you have in the dryer, the less time it will take to dry your load. So it's also an energy saver! You can purchase wool dryer balls or you can look up DIY wool dryer balls and make your own from wool yarn.
Another plus of using wool dryer balls is that you won't be exposed to any toxic chemicals that may come from fabric softener and dryer sheets. And if you would like to add a fresh scent to your laundry, you can add a few drops of essential oils to the wool balls.
4. Try using soap nuts for cleansing instead of store-bought detergent
Instead of using detergent from the store, why not try a natural soap that comes from a fruit called a soap nut?! Soap nuts are the dried husks of the soapberry. The shell contains saponin, which is a natural surfactant that does the cleaning.
It is a non-toxic sustainable option to replace anything that you may need detergent or soap for. You can put them in a muslin bag and toss them in the washer with your load or use it to make an all-purpose cleaner for the house.
It's great for those with sensitive skin and has been used for centuries around the world. Each berry can be used multiple times and because it's a fruit and not a nut, it's safe to use for those with nut allergies.
5. Keep reusable market bags in your car and actually use them
Stores are beginning to stop carrying plastic bags, but we should all try to bring in our own reusable bags to help save trees and pollution that comes from producing paper and plastic bags.
The one big problem about reusable bags is that sometimes we forget to bring them! We would recommend to have enough available and to store the bags in your car. It's easy to forget to grab bags on the way out so if they're already in the car, you won't have to worry about them. Once you unload the groceries, put the bags back in your car. If you prefer to store them in the house, have a spot for the bags so that you can easily remember to grab them and go.
6. Invest in glass left-over containers
It's much safer to store hot food and microwave in glass than plastic because of the toxic chemicals in plastic. It's also more cost effective because plastic containers will absorb food smell and germs and you will end up replacing them. In the end, glass is safer for you and the environment.
7. Purchase cotton bulk-bin bags and buy dried goods in bulk
Buy reusable bulk food bags and buy dried foods like nuts and grains in bulk. Make sure you have an airtight container to store the dried goods in after. You can also purchase reusable produce bags for your fruits and vegetables.
8. Buy toilet paper that is individually wrapped in paper, not plastic
Self-explanatory, choose toilet paper wrapped in paper and not plastic. There is also an option for 100% recycled toilet paper made from recycled paper.
9. Skip using a straw at a restaurant
Another step towards keeping plastic out of landfills is to not use straws at a restaurant. Say no to a straw or don't use it if it's placed on the table. It's one step closer at a more sustainable world.
10. Use cloth handkerchiefs instead of tissue
Keep handkerchiefs around the house to instead of tissues. Use handkerchiefs to wipe off stubborn eye makeup or wipe a nose. You can also carry some handkerchiefs around in case you need them throughout the day.
If you are sick, it may be better to use recycled tissue and dispose of it, as you don't want to be carrying around an infected hanky.
If you start implementing even one of these tips, it will help reduce the carbon footprint that you leave. We challenge you to make as many of these changes as you can because not only will it save you money but you can feel better knowing that you're helping the environment and can be avoiding toxins that you may be exposing yourself to. Leave us any comments below on your progress or any other tips that you may have to go zero-waste. Happy Earth Week!
Coconut oil is a staple within the wellness community and morning oil pulling has become one of the latest age-old practices to resurface. Although it’s difficult to introduce a new morning regimen, after learning about the benefits that oil pulling offers, there was no question it would be the next step on our wellness path.
What is coconut oil pulling?
The name oil "pulling" can be misleading as the process involves "swishing" coconut oil in your mouth for a period of time. It's basically like using a mouthwash. Oil pulling is one of the best things that you can do to clean teeth and gums and improve oral health. The oil is said to cut through plaque and remove toxins without harming the teeth or gums.
It has been shown to cure tooth decay, help with bad breath, whiten teeth naturally, prevent cavities, strengthen your jaw and improve your gums. Good dental hygiene is correlated to good health so oil pulling also offers a wide range of benefits for the rest of your body including helping prevent heart disease, reducing inflammation, boosting your immune system, helping balance hormones, killing candida, balancing blood sugar, burning fat and improving digestion.
Oil pulling is also great for your appearance and has been shown to reduce cellulite, decrease wrinkles, moisturize skin, and help with acne. Oil pulling is one of those holistic health tricks that you can’t believe you’ve never tried because it’s such a game changer and is so easy to execute.
How to oil pull:
Want to step up the healing properties of your pulling?
Add some essential oils!
If you don't want to spend 10 - 20 minutes everyday swishing oil, try doing it every other day. If you have tried coconut oil pulling, feel free to comment below about your experience!
Sleep is an essential part of daily life. It affects both your physical and mental health, helping your body and brain function properly. It affects mood, attention span, hormone balance and the immune system.
Saying that new parents can struggle with getting enough sleep is an understatement. Parents have strategized for centuries on how to get restful nights after baby comes home. Of course, there will always be bumps in the road but here are a few tried and tested tips that can help new parents stay rested and ready for each day.
Try to focus on establishing a regular schedule of feeding, playing and sleeping as soon as possible. Even if the schedule is less than precise at first, soon a pattern will arise. This pattern also helps parents identify possible nap times that can align with baby’s newly formed schedule. Don't try to be too productive when baby naps! Consider sleep a priority over some other household chores that can wait until later.
Have a partner or friend help with nighttime or pre-nap feedings. As the African proverb says: "It takes a village to raise a child." Taking turns with feedings or rotating nighttime feeding duty gives enough relief to keep parents feeling a bit more refreshed. You are also sharing bonding time with others which is good for baby and the loving people in your life.
Develop a routine that can help signal your body and baby's for bed. We have heard some parents follow the three B's to prepare for bed: bath, book and bottle.
Taking a warm bath can help soothe baby, letting him/her know that bed is nearing. Try using bath products with calming scents; you can also add essential oils to the bath. Lavender, chamomile and bergamot are some aromas that are known to help induce sleep. Remember to use essential oils a few drops at a time and dilute with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba before adding to bath.
Reading a story or talking to baby may help lull baby to sleep and is also beneficial in helping baby to start recognizing words and find comfort in a parent's voice.
Have a bottle ready/get yourself in position for feeding when bedtime nears. You want to be as comfortable as you can when you are nursing, so make use of pillows and comfy ottomans. Using a rocker can help rock baby to sleep and make it easier for you. Have your book, iPad, or other recreational item by your side along with water and snacks!
Developing a nighttime routine will make baby feel secure and signal him/her to drift off.
Create a soothing space for you and baby to relax into. Even newborns can pick up on the energy in a room. Dim the lights, warm up the room, turn on a lullaby or use white noise. Again, you can use aromatherapy by putting a diffuser in the room. Make the environment as cozy as possible for a good rest.
Part of getting on a regular schedule is creating space for self care. Head outside to get some sunshine when baby wakes up in the early morning. After a brisk walk and some stimulation, baby might just be ready for a nap. Also remember to stay hydrated; it's just as important as getting sleep. Drinking fluids help flush toxins out of the body and is vital in keeping the body and internal systems functioning properly. To take care of baby, you have to also take care of self.
It's going to take time getting used to a new schedule and a new baby in the family, but you'll create so many amazing memories, the sleepless nights will soon be forgotten. You can experiment with these and other techniques until you find a routine that works for you and baby. Hopefully then you'll be able to get more shut eye and keep yourself healthy.
We've partnered with another amazing spa, this one located on the East coast. If you're in Boston, you can unwind at G2O Spa + Salon. It originally opened in 1994 as Giuliano Spa for Beauty & Wellness and has undergone several expansions to bring us what is now Boston’s award-winning day spa resort for men, women and couples.
The facility is completely “green,” created and constructed within strict guidelines pertaining to sustainability. There’s a geothermal heating and cooling system that uses no fossil fuel, involves no combustion and therefore eliminates CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Down to the paints, adhesives and glues used in the construction, which were specifically selected for their lack of toxins, to the lights, which were chosen for their low energy consumption, the building was put together with the environment in mind.
New Generation of Salon Services and Amenities
In addition to innovative spa services ranging from Brine Inhalation Therapy to the Bali Paradise Experience, G2O encompasses a new generation of salon services and amenities such as state-of-the-art sunless tanning, a penthouse lounge and terrace, a Skylight Hot Tub (pictured above), a full retail shop and more. Salon services include haircuts, highlighting, color technology, hair repair Keratin treatments and bridal styling, as well as manicures, pedicures, and make-up application. This spa has it all!
Take a trip to G2O’s exclusive Experience Room that combines herbal infused steam with a refreshing ice fog and tropical shower. Their signature body treatment starts with a self-application of hydrating, fruit extract crème, and an herbal salt exfoliation during a therapeutic steam treatment, great for the mind, body and spirit. You can enjoy this in solitude or with friends (40 min $75/person, $65/person for 2 – 8 people).
If you want to pamper yourself from head to toe, walk in to G2O where Founder and CEO Joyce Hampers carries out her mission of improving and making a difference in the lives of every guest who walks through the spa’s doors with cutting-edge products and techniques and world-class service in a comfortable, nurturing environment. G2O also encourages and welcomes groups looking for a spa day, including bridal parties and couples spa retreats.
Browse their services at: www.g2ospasalon.com
If you have been following the weather in Los Angeles, you know that we have had an unusually wet winter, creating the need for additional wellness support. With excess rain comes colder weather which may cause some to experience aches, congestion and a decline in motivation. To combat this uptick in water weather, we are turning to one of the most versatile botanicals in our arsenal, our good friend Eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus is known to invigorate and stimulate your body and can help reduce respiratory problems. It’s a natural decongestant which is why you’ll find Eucalyptus in most store-bought vapor rub products. Eucalyptus is a staple ingredient in our Breathe Collection and Sniffles Chest Balm.
Eucalyptus is also known to help with pain and inflammation. Do you have any relatives that claim the wet weather causes aches? Our Breathe Body Oil might be the answer they are looking for. You can rub it anywhere on the body and it will also leave your body feeling super moisturized.
You can also create your own eucalyptus oil blend by adding a few drops of essential oils to a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated on their own and should be diluted when applied to the skin. A little goes a long way!
Eucalyptus is said to be antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory, making it a go-to for any health ailment you’ll meet this season and something we have on-hand all year long.
In addition to using eucalyptus in topical treatments, you can use eucalyptus leaves to make tea if you're under the weather or just to reap its benefits.
You can purchase dry organic eucalyptus leaves at the market and steep 1 cup of boiling water with 1/2 teaspoon of dried leaves for 10 minutes. Then just strain and enjoy! If you like your tea sweeter, you can add honey to flavor.
Eucalyptus is also a powerhouse when used in aromatherapy and offers motivational mood shifts. When inhaled, its cooling and uplifting aroma helps dispel the things that are weighing us down, and inspires us to forge ahead.
We know when it rains, it can often be easier to stay cuddled in bed than to get up and face the day and eucalyptus can be used to pep us up. In addition to using the essential oil topically, you can add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a warm bath and breathe deeply or add to a diffuser to spruce up the room!
Keep Bugs at Bay
Lastly, now that we have had all of this rain, we have water puddles that can attract mosquitos! Eucalyptus is one of the most common ingredients in natural bug sprays. We want to keep ourselves and our kiddos healthy and our buzz spray works to fend off these pesky bugs without toxic chemicals that can be damaging to our health. Putting eucalyptus in a diffuser as mentioned above will also help keep bugs at bay!
To make your own pest spray, add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to water in a spray bottle, shake well, and spritz away! You can also use it in the garden to keep insects away from your plants.
The health-benefits of Eucalyptus are well-known and have been especially useful during this wet winter in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for a few products with Eucalyptus that will help with healing this season and beyond, we encourage you to browse our site and get familiar with the selection of organic products that we offer.
Preheat over to 350 ° F and line cupcake pan with paper liners.
Whisk together soy or almond milk and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Beat until frothy. Whisk in vanilla and lemon zest.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in another bowl.
Combine margarine or shortening with sugar and beat on medium-low speed for about a minute. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated, then half of the milk mixture and beat until smooth. Repeat with remaining flour and milk mixture.
Spoon batter into the liners about ¾ full. Bake for 20 – 24 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool on cooling rack before frosting.
Add lemon juice and mix until incorporated. Add confectioners’ sugar a cup at a time and beat on medium speed until frosting is thick and smooth, about 3 – 4 minutes.
Frost the cupcakes!
True, lasting beauty radiates from within. A daily beauty ritual of self-care can help us stay in touch with our inner power, femininity and brilliance. When we are able to see that beauty stems from the joy inside of us, we can start to truly appreciate and celebrate our bodies. We should embrace every curve and pamper every inch to exude confidence from the inside out.
Shaping/Firming Photo Shoot
When we decided to do a photo shoot for our Shaping and Firming products we wanted to embody this concept of empowerment. The human body is beautiful and we all have the freedom to embrace sensuality, strength and radiance. Los Angeles photographer, mom and blogger Jamie Arrigo, and Yogi, blogger and model Jackie Smyth, came together to bring us these amazing photos that fully encompass real, honest beauty.
Part of daily self-care is being mindful about what we put in and on our bodies. In addition to maintaining a balanced diet of nutrients and drinking plenty of water, we have to be aware of what products we apply onto our skin. Skin care products and cosmetics can contain toxic chemicals that can be absorbed by the skin. We should consciously choose natural and organic products to consume and to use.
Those living the organic life have experienced the human body's amazing ability to heal itself. When we utilize the power of nature, the body works its own magic and we simply inspire positive results.
The shaping and firming line is full of purposeful botanical ingredients and essential oils that are known to enliven and rejuvenate skin. These products feed the skin nutrients that inspire the body's natural ability to detoxify, shape and firm.
Therapeutic grade pink pepper, ginger and sandalwood in the shaping formula stimulate circulation and tone while frankincense and helichrysum contained in the firming line encourage cell regeneration and promote skin elasticity.
The USDA organic certification also means that these products are over 95% organic, so pure that they are edible. The oils can be used for massage or a moisturizer, created with a base of hydrating and beneficial avocado and olive oils. Add the salts to a bath to open up pores and soak up the benefits or combine with the oils to create an exfoliating scrub.
Visit our Personal Care | Spa tab to read more about each individual product.
We would love to hear how you inspire your body's natural ability to rejuvenate! Feel free to comment below!
Visiting a great spa does wonders for the mind and body. Whether pampering yourself in your hometown, or vacationing in a new city, setting time aside for a spa day is a must! Over the years we have partnered with some of the most beautiful spas in the country.
SenSpa opened in 2006 in San Francisco, CA. Walking in, you’ll be captivated by the color and its modern décor.
What Makes It Unique?
Not only does SenSpa offer spa treatments but it’s also a wellness center. They approach things holistically, focusing on guiding every guest to their optimal state of well-being, nourishing the body, mind and spirit. For example, there are services designed specifically by individual therapists that include binaural brainwave massage and healing for cancer patients.
Focus on Wellness Education
To add to their integrated approach, SenSpa strives to help build a community around wellness education. Early last year they opened up a group lounge where they hold well-being workshops.
They also opened an organic café partnering with local bay area favorites The Plant, Flour Craft Bakery, Blue Bottle Coffee and Matanzas Creek; so you can choose to extend your spa day with a snack, meal and/or a glass of wine.
If you’re feeling under the weather, try one of Senspa’s powerful healing treatments like the Island Indulgence (one of the top services) in which you can experience the scents, sounds and mana (energy) of the islands. Your body is gently rocked like ocean waves with rhythmic and kneading movements that are both soothing and energizing. Macadamia, coconut and jasmine oils connect you to the healing powers of the aina (mother earth). Combining elements of Hawaiian lomi lomi and using medium to deep pressure, this treatment purifies the body, mind and spirit. Your indulgence includes a body scrub, tropical body oil massage, and a scalp and foot treatment. You will feel refreshed and renewed – like a great day at the beach (90 minutes, $230).
Whenever you’re feeling imbalanced, indulge yourself at SenSpa.
Visit their website at www.senspa.com
For more amazing recipes like this one and tips on healthy living, head to Wallace and James.
Soak 1 cup of barley for one hour.
Heat over to 350 degrees. Chop hazelnuts in half and roast for 12 minutes.
Add pre-soaked barley to a pot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer and cover and cook for 25 minutes or until tender and water is absorbed. Remove from heat.
Add vinegar, parsley, garlic, olive oil and lime juice to a bowl. Whisk together and add salt to taste.
To serve: Toss barley with lime dressing. Add arugula, cucumber and hazelnuts. Mix together. Top with feta.
Using botanicals when decorating is aesthetically pleasing and adds an element of earthiness to the room. The atmosphere feels grounded and jovial at the same time. Botanicals add a pop of color and in some cases aromatic accents. Whether you are prepping for a New Years party or just revamping your home here are tips on adding a simple touch of elegant life to any room.
There are many ways to press plants and flowers. One simple way is by pressing the botanical between two sheets of tissue paper and closing it inside of a large book. Once your botanical is carefully set inside, place the book on a hard flat surface and stack additional books on top to add weight. Let the leaf or flower dry for 3-5 days depending on the size. When the leaf is fully dry you are ready to put it into a frame. Floating frames present botanicals really beautifully. Use double sided tape to secure the leaf where you want it, slide the frame closed, and display.
You can use pressed plants or dried flowers to add accents to table settings, bookcases, or shelves. Depending on the look you are trying to achieve you can either use the flat pressed method above or air dry flowers to preserve their original form. Air drying works best for roses, chrysanthemums, hydrangeas and fuller flowers. To air dry flowers or botanicals hang them upside-down on a chair or door knob using a string or rubber band. You can also tape flowers and plants upside down on the wall. Botanicals will dry in 1-2 weeks. Dry roses, geraniums and fragrant flowers retain a beautiful aromatic profile for approx. 8 weeks.
Life in Every Room
Add greenery to every room! From lucky bamboos, to succulents, to orchids, having a living element in every room truly changes the mood and increases the flow of energy. There are many options - wall vases, air plants, mason jars, stone vases, wood vases and endless combinations of natural materials that create beautiful, simple, modern displays. Succulents are always an amazing choice because of their durability and aesthetic. They require minimal water and the monochromatic colors blend well with most decor.
We hope you enjoy enlivening your rooms in 2017! Lets us know your favorite way to bring natural elements into home decor.
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