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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spa Day!

My fantastic boyfriend and I had a spa day the other day! Thats right, my boy is clean, exfoliated,and moisturized! All with ingredients I had at home, that are safe to eat! Our skin is radiant and soft, plus we bonded and got to stare at each other with green face masks and giggle about how beautiful we are, and so did our 1 year 8month old son.

I got the recipes out of magazine for moms, so Ill share it here with you.
I doubled the recipes for 2 of us, and still have a bunch left over (Which is actually the amount that is shown in the photos.)

There are 5 steps to the full experience: Cleanse, Exfoliate, Steam, Mask, and Moisturize.

The lactic acid in milk helps dissolve the glue that holds dead skin cells together so that fresh new cells can flourish. Oatmeal helps retain moisture, and Olive oil removes makeup and keeps skin from drying out.

1/2 cup cooking oatmeal
2 tablespoons full fat milk or cream
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Grind the oatmeal to a fine dust in a blender or food processor.
Mix in milk and oil.
Apply to damp face with clean hands.
Rub in a circular motion for 2 minutes.
Rinse with warm water.

On left is the Cleanse, and right is the exfoliater.

Rice sloughs off dead skin cells that clog pores and dull skin. The fatty acids in coconut oil make the scrub creamy and lubricates your face. Green Tea is loaded with anti-oxidants, unclogs pores, and fights wrinkles.

1 tablespoon long grain brown rice, raw (I only had white rice but it worked)
1 tablespoon green tea (1-2 tea bags works)
1 teaspoon coconut oil (olive oil works if you dont have it)
(optional) 1-2 drops essential oil for scent

Grind rice and tea together in a coffee grinder or food processor until smooth.
Place in a bowl and mix in the rest of ingredients.
Wet face and apply the scrub, rubbing in with your hands in a circular motion for about 30 seconds.
Dont forget not to be rough on your eye area - then rinse!

Now that excess dirt and dead skin cells are gone you can fully unclog pores with steam. Scent the water for an added aromatherapy bonus.

In a pot boil water, then transfer to a bowl and add the scents if desired.
Put a towel over your head and hold away from water about 14 inches, leaving room for steam to escape.
Steam for about 5 minutes then gently pat your face dry.

I used a bottled avocado and oatmeal mask to make make it easier, but this recipe is fun! Now that your pores are fresh and clean you can refine and moisturize. Honey is a natural antibacterial and helps fight acne and stimulate the skin to firm and tighten it. Egg yolk hydrates, and almond oil nourishes and conditions skin.

2 tablespoons honey
1 egg yolk
8 drops of almond oil

Whisk ingredients together until creamy.
Apply to face and leave on for 15-20 minutes.
Rinse with warm water.

This final step will keep your skin looking and feeling smooth and soft. The Aloe vera draw water to your skin, while the cocoa butter helps keep moisture from evaporating away! The other oils lock in moisture.

1 tablespoon cocoa butter
2 tablespoons jojoba oil
1 tablespoon almond oil
1 tablespoon aloe vera gel

On low heat (preferably in a  double boiler) meltdown cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and almond oil.
Allow the mixture to cool then stir in aloe vera gel.
Apply to face in upward strokes.

YAY! now you are even MORE lovely! Let me know how this all worked for you in the comments, and let me know if you have any questions or need to know about substitutes.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Golden Buddha

If you watch the (best ever) documentary Finding Joe - based on Joseph Campbells theory you'll see that it starts out with a story of inspiration. The Golden Buddha is really some food for thought. The Documentary only tells a vague version of the story in order to make a point, but I looked around and found pieces of it - and actually found that its a true story!

In 1957, a group of Tibetan monks were informed that a highway was being built and the highway would have to go through the location where the shrine for which they were responsible was currently located. The shrine, a huge clay Buddha, would have to be moved. Arrangements were made and the day of shrine moving arrived. The shrine, located under a roof to keep it safe from the elements, was prepared for its journey. A crane began lifting the clay Buddha. The Buddha, as it rose off of its block resting place, began to crack. It was far heavier than all the engineers had estimated. The monk supervising the movement of the Buddha frantically called to the crane operator. Telling him to set the Buddha down. Quickly, the alert crane operator carefully set the Buddha on the ground. As the monks and the engineers examined the Buddha, they found several large cracks. A larger crane would be needed. That crane would not be brought in until the next day. The Buddha would have to spent the night in its current location. To make matters worse, there was a storm building and the next would be a stormy one.

The monks covered the Buddha with water proof tarps on poles to keep it dry overnight. All seemed to be well. During the night, the head monk awoke and decided to check on the Buddha. With a flashlight, the monk carefully checked the condition of the Buddha. As he walked around the huge clay figure shining his light on the cracks, something caught his eye. He returned to the spot on which he had just shined his light. He peered into the crack. What he saw he did not understand. He needed to see more. He went back to his quarters, found a chisel and a hammer and returned to the Buddha. He began carefully chipping at the clay around the crack. As the crack widened, he could not believe his eyes. He ran to wake the other monks and instructed each to bring a hammer and chisel. By lantern light the monks carefully chipped all the clay from the Buddha. After hours of chiseling, the monks stepped back and stared in awe at the sight before them. There, in front of the monks, stood a solid gold Buddha.

When the moving crew arrived later that morning to complete the job of moving the Buddha to its new location, there was much confusion and excitement. Where had the clay Buddha gone? From where had the Golden Buddha come? The monks explained. Historians were called and research was begun to discover the origin of the Golden Buddha.

After much research, the pieces of the story were put together. The Golden Buddha was the cherished responsibility of a group of monks several centuries earlier. These monks received word that the Burmese army was headed their way. Concerned that the invading army would loot the shrine for its Golden Buddha, the monks covered their Buddha with 8 to 12 inches of clay. When they were finished the Golden Buddha appeared to be a Buddha of clay. The invading army would surely have no interest. The monks were correct. The invading army had no interest in the Buddha. They did, however, kill all the monks before they moved on. The Golden Buddha was lost in history until 1957.

The Moral, as I learned it at SWIHA:
There is a Golden Buddha inside each of us. Hidden away and covered with layers and layers of clay. We start out life as a true Golden Buddha. Overtime through survival, protection, and trial we cover ourselves in clay to protect ourselves from the outside world and keep our self from being hurt. One day you do something amazing and a little shimmer of gold will shine through - and you think "Woah thats beautiful. I need more of that!" So you should spend your time revealing more and more of your own gold!

Here are more moral summations I found while tracking pieces of the story on the internet:
The Golden Buddha story gives us tools we can use every day - the flashlight, the chisel and the hammer. The flashlight represents the power of our individual vision. The hammer represents the power of our individual level of responsibility. The hammer represents the power of our individual sense of team that will get each of us on our road to success. The team we each have available to us are those individuals whom we know are committed to us unconditionally - our true friends and family.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Minimize pores

This is kind of a lazy post to get the ball rolling again, but there are a lot of things you can do to make your face look clearer and cleaner.

The following (although rather vague) information was taken from:

  • Tomato has toning agents in it. If tomato juice has been applied on the skin regularly with a cotton ball and left for 20 minutes, helps in reducing the size of the pores. It shrinks the pores and makes them appear visibly smaller. You can add tomato juice to calamine powder or sandalwood powder, which are good to tone up the skin, which helps in even reducing the size of the pores. These packs help skin to reduce the sebum production and it helps in decreasing the size of the pores.
  • Mashed papaya applied on the skin helps in toning the pores. You can directly apply a mashes papaya on your skin or can put it over a gauge. You need to wash it off with lukewarm water.
  • White portion of the egg has skin toning and complexion enhancing ingredients. Whipped egg yolk applied on the skin with a few drops of lemon juice, improves the tone of the skin and reduces the pore size. This pack is extremely good for Middle Ages women.
  • Honey is equally good to tone up the pores and reduce the oiliness from the skin. It can be applied in any of the facemask or can be directly applied on the skin with a little lemon juice and sugar to it. You can massage it on face and leave it for few minutes. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Honey added to milk powder too helps if applied on the skin.
  • A paste made of salt and butter is helpful in reducing pore size if applied on them.
  • Regularly use toner on your skin with a cotton ball. To some extent it helps in temporary reducing the size of the pores.
  • Oatmeal and gram flour are good toning substance. You can add a little lemon juice, rose water and curd to them and apply on the skin. Wash this pack off when it dries. It tones the pores and enhances the complexion.
  • If you have breakouts on your skin then avoid using lemon juice or any such thing on your skin without a doctor's knowledge. Calamine powder and sandalwood powder are safe to be applied on the pimples or acnes.
  • Always remove make up while going to bed. Never sleep with your make up on. Let the skin breath. Heavy make up left on the skin for long hours too increase the size of the pores.
  • If you do wax your face, you have more chances to get open pores so always be careful while doing it. Always make sure that you apply a soothing face pack based on calamine or sandalwood on your face after waxing it to close the pores.
  • You can rub an ice cube on your skin wrapped in a cotton cloth on your face to temporary reduce the size of the pores. Ice shrinks the size of the pores and it's a good way to make the pores appear smaller if you are going somewhere out as it even decreases the oil production on the skin for sometime.

If you are looking to make a face mask consider the following ingredients:
Oranges, Lemons, Pineapple: brightens and exfoliates the skin and purifies the pores. Provides a dose of pure vitamin C. Pineapple is the strongest- It is a potent source of enzymes that soften the skin and is a natural astringent.
Yogurt: softens, hydrates, and has many enzymes that exfoliate the skin; cleanser; bleach.
Coconut Milk: the lactic acid smoothes out the skin.
Rose Water: gently balances and tones.
Olive oil: known for its great effects on the skin. The best for dry skin.
Avocado: moisturizes and is a good source of vitamin E and natural oils.
Milk: contains lactic acid which nourishes without stripping the skin of essential oils; refines pores; soothes all skin types; cools sunburn.
Aloe gel: an ageless remedy for burns.
Honey: a natural, gently astringent yet extremely moisturizing; refines pores; tightens skin; retards wrinkles; anti-blemish.
Chamomile: tones all types of complexions.
Oatmeal: soothes; heals; relieves itching.
Cucumber: reduces under-eye puffiness; reduces wrinkles.
Egg: conditions; whites best for normal and oily skin; yolks for dry to normal skin
Nuts: used in scrubs to refine pores and combat wrinkles, blackheads and dryness.
Tomato: unclogs pores.
Vinegar: refines pores; cleans; softens; aids blemishes, itchy skin, and sunburn.
Witch Hazel: reduces eye puffiness; deodorant.

Those were taken from: - and there is also a list of some recipes on this site!