New series for 2019 – Week One

In this new, fifty two week series, I will address one of four categories of wellness every week. “Me time” will focus primarily on self care. “Healthy Habits” will focus on diet, exercise, and health trends. “Uplugged” will find ways/ideas to spend time away from electronics, screens, and discover the world around us. And “Sparkle” will bring all the positive vibes we can muster into your world and help you shine wherever you are. I hope you will join me every Friday for tips, recipes, ideas, crafts, life hacks, and all the fun things I can find to share with you!

So let’s get started with “Me Time.” This is going to be the most difficult for most of us, I imagine, as we are used to taking care of everyone except ourselves. This is one of my personal challenges for the year, so I hope you will join me for the journey. It only takes 21 days to build or break a habit, right? We can do this!

This week celebrates new beginnings with one of the most anticipated nights of the year … New Year’s Eve. Whether you stay home, join friends and family, or go “all out” for this night, there is one thing that we all want (and probably NEED right now) and that is soft, beautiful, glowing skin. My skin deserves a little pampering after all the “neglect” it suffered over the Christmas season, but who wants to go back to a store right now… not me!!! So let’s wander to the kitchen and see what we can whip up. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients, use what you have, and add/improvise as you wish. Use the highest quality ingredients that you can and support your local shops, artists, and farms as much as possible.

I stumbled upon a recipe for “Cleopatra’s Bath” which sent me down a serious rabbit hole …. LOL. In summary, Cleopatra was known for her gorgeous skin and supposedly milk baths were a frequent ritual. Milk contains lactic acid which helps to gently remove dead skin cells. This was a real “ah-ha” moment for me. The other ingredients in the recipe help remove toxins from the body, soften and brighten the skin, with scents to relax and rejuvenate your soul. Looks like she might have had this milk bath thing perfected, aye?

Another really great recipe I discovered, which will appeal to all my vegetarians out there, is Honey Coconut Milk bath from Home in High Heels. Combine a full can/13.5oz of coconut milk with 1 cup/8oz of (local) honey. It is recommended to drizzle the honey into the milk while mixing. (optional addition of your favorite scents or use it just as it is, because it does smell pretty wonderful) Add it to your bath water. 🛁Luxuriate🛁Store any unused milk bath in the refrigerator, but don’t wait too long to use it up.

For those who wish to start pampering on a smaller scale, use these bath recipes for a hand or foot soak. I have to admit I was initially unwilling to jump in a tub full of milk, so I started with a foot soak. My feet looked and felt amazing afterwards …. could hardly believe it. In fact, it has worked so well that I stopped going to salons for pedicures. My feet used to have quite a few calluses and cracked, dried skin on the heels, but the milk bath recipe has pretty much put an end to that. Now, this isn’t some miracle cure … it didn’t do it all on the first soak, but it did offer noticeable improvement. I soaked once a week for several weeks in a row and now try to remember to soak once a month (or when I feel dry skin on my heels) to maintain. I’m embarrassed to admit it has been several months since my last soak, but thrilled to share that my feet still look great, even without applying lotion or going to the salon. Enough about my feet! Let’s move on ….

An even smaller and simpler idea for pampering is a lip scrub. Mix a small amount of honey and granulated sugar together to form a “gloppy” paste, not too firm, not too runny. I made a “trial” portion using about 1 teaspoon of honey and added 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, maybe a smidge more, blend well, apply to lips, rub very gently to exfoliate, and rinse with lukewarm water. Honey is super moisturizing and this little scrub is wonderful! Use caution not to scrub too hard, you don’t want to have peeling lips for that midnight kiss!!💋

Now that we have pampered our bodies, let’s pamper our minds, shall we? Resolutions seem to have become a thing of the past, sort of. Trends seem to be shifting towards list making, journal writing, and self challenges. The internet is FULL of ideas, templates, pre-made notepads/books, etc., so find something that you like and try to stick with it. I have found it best to start simple and grow. I recently had to do some soul-searching and make decisions for professional growth. I made pro-con lists, 5 year goals, 10 year goals, education goals, personal aspirations, etc etc. I got completely overwhelmed and felt miserable. I was sharing this with one of my co-workers when she stopped me in my tracks and gave me the BEST piece of advice. She told me to make one more list. She told me to make a list of all the wonderful things about me, all the positive attributes I have and bring to the profession. She said often times in our list making, we forget to list the good things, the things we are best at, the things we have all ready accomplished, our successes. She told me to go home, make that list, and, from now on, start with this list. What awesome wisdom from an amazing woman! I share this with you so that as you begin this next year, you remember to start with all your amazing attributes, accomplishments, successes, and build/grow from there.

Goodness, looks like I had more to say than I thought I would! Hope you enjoyed this and will come back next Friday for “Healthy Habits.”

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2019!

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