nuts over this yummy scrub!

scrub_2420(via)

Rosmarinus officinalis, or Rosemary is  a wonderful herb to have in your garden, your kitchen and even your bathroom!

Rosemary has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that leave the skin smelling clean with its earthy aroma.  This particular scrub is made with rosemary and pecans, which have more than 19 vitamins and minerals to their name!

You’re going to want to keep this scrub near the sink with a small (think demitasse) spoon nearby.  Use this scrub after gardening or whenever your hands feel dry and need an extra kick of moisture.  This is also good to have in the shower for elbows, feet and knees.  Just be careful if you use a glass container….maybe you should find a cute plastic one for the shower.

ROSEMARY PECAN SUGAR SCRUB (recipe source)

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

1/4 cup pecans (raw)

1/4 cup sea salt

6 T. coconut oil

2 T. fresh rosemary

In a food processor, combine all ingredients.  Pulse until well blended.  Pour mixture into a decorative glass container with lid.

Gently rub spoonful of scrub onto hands (or feet) and rinse with warm water.  Use scrub within one week for best results.

rosemary

lipstick on your forehead will NOT help you makeup your mind…..

Pretty is as pretty does”, is something my grandmother used to say.  We all know that we don’t need makeup to be beautiful……….however…

Come on.  It does help cover up some .. well, imperfections. 

A couple of things to consider when you are trying out some new products…

  1. Don’t use foundation to change your skin color!   The goal is to enhance not alter.
  2. When it comes to cleansing – think gentle!  Pain and cleanliness have nothing to do with each other.
  3. Rinse, rinse, rinse.  Remember that water is only gentle when it’s tepid.
  4. A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is a great disinfectant for blemishes, causing minimal to no irritation to the skin.
  5. Please.  There is NO such thing as a safe tan.  Put on your sunscreen.
  6. Ok, sunburned?  A bottle of vinegar added to a warm bath will soothe your skin and make it feel extra soft.
  7. Exfoliate at least twice a week.  This will get blood flowing into the face.  Try baking soda for a gentle scrub.
  8. Sensitive skin?  Use a Pepto Bismol mask!  Apply straight from the bottle with a cotton swab or cotton ball.  Let dry and rinse with cool water.
  9. Don’t over moisturize.  You may not need it all over your face.  Concentrate on the drier areas.
  10. Massage leftover hair conditioner into your cuticles.

Honor God with the body He gave you!  When you look your best you can bring honor to God.

if you missed beauty school, here’s a make-up session…

Don’t you just love beauty secrets?  I can’t hear you, but I’m just sure you nodded.

Let’s just get right to them.  Some may be new and some you may already know….but please, ladies….SHARE these with a friend or enemy.  It’s time to brighten up this planet and I’m ready to do it, one girl at a time…..

Let’s start in the kitchen: (don’t forget to test these concoctions on the inside of your arm or better yet, on a friend first,  to test for a reaction)

  • AVOCADOS…mash a ripe avocado and gently dab on undereye puffiness and dark circles.  Place a cold damp washcloth over eyes for about 15 minutes.  Rinse off.  You are moisturizing and de-puffing at the same time.
  • CHERRIES…mix a couple of tablespoons of cherry juice with one tablespoon of sea salt.  Massage over dame skin and then rinse.  This is your glowing treatment!
  • EGGS… add an egg to your shampoo to produce volume and add shine! (no, don’t add to the bottle…place in your hand)
  • MILK…add dry milk powder to water to make a paste.  Massage gently onto face and then rinse.  This will make the skin silky smooth, as the milk’s lactic acid takes away dirt and debris.
  • YOGURT…mix one teaspoon of yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon of dry oatmeal.  Massage into lips, rinse and then apply a little olive oil.

NEED A SKIN SOFTENER?  Brew about 10 ginseng tea bags in a large teapot.  Pour into bath.  Ginseng helps soften, tone and refine skin.

GOT A TUBE OF BROKEN LIPSTICK?  Heat it with a hair dryer, then reattach the broken piece and place it overnight in the refrigerator.

NEED A BELT?  No problemo, just use a scarf in contrasting or matching colors.

WRONG COLOR LIPSTICK?  Just mix your own colors by dipping a lip brush into your lipstick tubes.  Mix the colors on wax paper until you get the color you want.

WANT A GREAT FACIAL CLEANSER?  Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste.  Smooth over damp skin and rinse with warm water.

GOT REDNESS?  Milk and yogurt applied to the skin will help to reduce the redness.

Some of the cheapest cures and treatments can be the quickest and most effective!  Remember to exercise (without makeup, please!) Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep, so your skin can repair itself and drink plenty of water.  It’s also a good idea to place a humidifier in your bedroom to keep your skin hydrated while you sleep.  And finally, when it comes to grocery shopping, read your labels!!!  Shop the perimeter of the store (where the fresh food hangs out) and smile, smile, SMILE!!

just another bird? I think not…

Creation is a mystery, right?  I mean, as christians, we KNOW that God created all things, but think about it.  There was nothing and BAM!  Heaven and earth!   And that was just the beginning!!  Our little minds say that such an event could not happen, but our faith drives us farther and takes us beyond reason to the beautiful truth of God’s creation.

Check out these birds….Formed in the mind of God, they have such a uniqueness and are a breathtaking example of God’s hand…

1.  Himalaya Monal

2.  Formosan Magpie

3.  Flamecrest

4.  Golden Pheasant

5.  Green Jay

6.  Kingfisher

7.  Lady Amherst’s Pheasant

8.  Bleeding Heart Pigeons

9.  Nicobar Pigeon

10.   Quetzal

11.  Winson’s Bird of Paradise

12.  Peacock

13.  Sup, Polish Chicken

Father God, help me to see the beauty all around me.  Remind me of your love and your grace today and never let me forget how much you love me!

thoughts on heaven…

If God could make the the earth as beautiful as it is today…even with pollution, corruption, sin and selfishness….can you imagine what heaven will look like?

1 Corinthians 2:9  “However, as it is written, no eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

I’m nuts over this oil….

Coconut Oil!!!  Contrary to what you have heard in the past, the saturated fats found in coconut oil are actually good for you!  It’s also one of the earliest oils to be used as a food AND as a pharmaceutical.  Studies on people who live in tropical climates and who have a diet high in coconut oil show that they are healthier and have fewer incidences of heart disease, cancer, digestive complaints and prostate problems.

So why the bad rap, you say?  Well, since it is thought that ‘saturated fats’ are involved in heart disease, coconut oil has been considered a health risk.  However, studies are finding that the evidence is circumstantial and flawed.

For example, coconut oil has a long and highly respected reputation in many cultures throughout the world, not only as a valuable food but also as an effective medicine!

In India:  used in ayurvedic medicine

In Panama: the people drink the cocconut oil by the glass to help overcome sickness

In Jamaica:  used as a health tonic for the heart

In Nigeria: used for all kinds of ilnesses

However, here on the “clayzmama says…” blog I want to talk about beautiful skin and hair!

Coconut oil has been used to make skin and hair soft and smooth with a rich, shiny luster.  I use coconut oil for a skin lotion and hair conditioner.  It also makes a super ointment for dry and wrinkled skin…….and no, I don’t have wrinkles…..but not necessarily because of the coconut.  (holla to my mama!)

Check out the ingredients on your lotion bottle.  Ralph Nader, consumer advocate, wrote the forward in the book penned by Dr. Samuel Epstein and Dr. David Steinman titled,The Safe Shoppers Bible” and says:

“Consumers receive little guidance from product manufacturers, whose advertising and labeling are too often misleading and not objective sources of information. Government also offer little guidance. Indeed, while many local, state, and federal government agencies are entrusted with protection of the public health, most have failed to assure consumers that they are being adequately protected, or that they are being provided with full, if any, label disclosure of Carcinogenic (cancer-causing), neurotoxic (causing damage to the nervous system), orteratogenic (birth defect-causing) chemicals in their household products.”

Bottom line?  You know those classic signs of old age; the brown freckle-like spots on the skin called lipofuscin or more commonly known as liver spots.  It is a sign of free radical deterioration of the fats in our skin.  They don’t ordinarily hurt or even show any signs of discomfort and if we couldn’t see them, we wouldn’t even know they were there.  But they do affect our health and our appearance.  I remember my grandmother had them and (gasp!) I have a few myself!  According to The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, they also form in other tissues throughout the body — the intestines, lungs, kidney, brain and so on.  They represent areas that are damaged by free-radical reactions.  The more you have on your skin, the more you have inside your body and the more damage or ‘aging’ your tissues have undergone.  He also says that once the spots develop, they tend to stick around for life, but you can prevent further oxidation and perhaps even reduce the spots you already have by using the right kinds of oils in your diet and on your skin!

Pure coconut oil is the WOO to the HOO.  It prevents free-radical formation and the damage it causes.  It can also help prevent the skin from developing liver spots and other blemishes caused by aging and overexposure to sunlight.  How?  (Oh, you are a questioning bunch, aren’t you?)  Bruce Fife says that “the surface of the skin consists of a layer of dead cells.  As these dead cells fall off, new cells take their place.  As we age, this process slows down, and dead cells tend to accumulate, giving the skin a rough, flaky texture.  Coconut oil aids in removing dead cells on the outer surface of the skin, making the skin smoother, enabling it to reflect light more evenly, creating a healthier, more youthful appearance.  The skin ‘shines’ because light reflects better off evenly textured skin.”

BUT HOW??  I hear you…..A little oil (a couple of teaspoons) can be applied to your hair at night and washed out in the morning.  You can even put on more oil, cover your head with a shower cap and take a long relaxing bath.  After about an hour, you wash the oil off and style as usual.  I wouldn’t advise sleeping in the oil and shower cap because that is when tragedy strikes, and next thing you know you are standing out on the street at 2:00 in the morning, talking to a reporter in your shower cap.  Let’s not put ourselves in that position, ladies.  Wash it out and style your hair.

Coconut oil is fabulous for dry lips!  Take a small, cleaned out lip balm pot and smoosh (yes, its a word) the solid coconut oil inside.  Apply as you would any lip balm, because the heat of your finger will melt it into smooth yumminess….(yes!  stop questioning me!  It’s a word!)

Got dandruff?  Try virgin coconut oil as an effective natural remedy. Melt some oil and rub it gently into your scalp all over. Leave for a few hours or overnight, laying a towel down on your pillow to protect your bedding. Then shampoo out. You may need to shampoo and rinse twice, paying attention to the ends of your hair, as well as your scalp, to remove all traces of the oil. 

Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.

It’s a superb natural product that should be incorporated into our daily beauty routine!  So why the heck not??

the nasties…

(Here is an article found on the Good Morning America website)  By ANGELA ELLIS

May 13, 2010

We’ve all been there – you see an eye shadow or blush compact in your makeup bag but you’re not quite sure how long you’ve had it. No harm in using it one more time, right? Not so fast.

It turns out that all it takes are a few cells from an unwashed hand or a blistered lip and a mascara wand or lip gloss could become a haven for contagious bacteria.

Hundreds of people use makeup counter testers every day, but unfortunately not everyone uses the disposable applicators provided. Dirty fingers dipped in makeup can spread everything from herpes to pink eye.

“You can find staphylococcus, you can find micrococcus…and if you’re very unlucky…E. coli, which is obviously from fecal matter,” Dermatologist Jeanine Downie said.

That same bacteria might be hiding in your own makeup stash, especially in older products. Antibacterial agents start to break down after about six months.

Former makeup artist Syama Meagher said she still uses products that are months, years and even decades old, like her favorite high school eye shadow from the early ’90s.

“If I put it on my finger or my hand and it looks okay I figure, why can’t I use it?” Meagher said.

GMA” wanted to find out just how unhealthy it is to use makeup past its prime, so we collected a few samples to send to a lab: lip gloss from Meagher, liquid eyeliner from our own Juju Chang and mascara and eyeliner pencil from some “GMA” staffers.

News correspondent Andrea Canning had face powder, which was at least a year old, months-old mascara, concealer and worn down lipstick and sent them off to be tested.

Andrea said “it might not be pretty” and she was right — the results were shocking.  Of the 25 samples tested, 11 came back positive for different types of bacteria such as staphylococcus, commonly found on the skin but still potentially harmful.

“This is a bacterium that can cause pink eye…and also skin lesions and rashes,” microbiologist Connie Morbach said.

We discovered streptococcus, which is usually found in saliva or mucous, and Morbach said is a bacterium that can cause strep throat.

Contaminated Makeup Can Cause Breakouts, Boils and Even Abscesses

The other bacteria we detected, micrococcus and bacillus, come from household dust and dirty surfaces. But the worst bacteria we found are called gram negative rods.

“These are organisms that originate in our intestinal system, but also can be found in decayed food,” Morbach said.

The amount of bacteria discovered in just one tiny swab was also startling.

“They are actually 100 times more concentrated than what you visually can see on the plate,” Morbach said.

The bacteria can not only make you sick, it can also wreak havoc on your skin.

“When you’re using contaminated makeup…you can get mild breakouts, all the way to boils and even abscesses on your face,” Downie said.

When these women found out exactly what was in their makeup their reactions varied from “gross” to “scary” — but all of them agreed they should either clean the makeup or throw them out.

Tips to Help Keep Your Makeup Clean:

Sharpen your eye and lip pencils to remove the bacteria on the outer layers. Also use diluted bleach and makeup remover to clean your sharpener.

Wipe down your lipstick, or shave off the top of it with a blade especially if you have shared it with someone else.

Keep the lids and caps tightly closed. If you lost them, throw it out.

Use disposable applicators or wash your brushes every few weeks.

get your glow on…

Glowing, healthy skin doesn’t just happen, but is the result of a healthy, balanced life and diet choices. You have also heard, ‘You are what you eat’,  which means that I have been a fat-laden, salt craving, sugar addictive gal over the years.  In fact, I believe that most of my health problems and complaints have been made by poor food choices that I made.  It’s taken quite a while, but I’ve finally realized that my relationship between food and health is very significant.  My diet has played a major role with migraines.  Eating “trigger” foods has sent me to the hospital on one or more occasions because of a full blown migraine from eating nuts or chocolate.

My point is this:  Our body we have now is the only one we’ve got and we need to learn to take care of it in a healthy way, through diet, exercise and removing common chemicals that are being used every single day.

Let’s start here…

1.  Drink plenty of clean filtered water, at least 6-8 glasses a day, though you might need more during hot weather and on days that you exercise.

2.  Include lots of fiber in your diet.  This will keep your intestinal tract regular and eliminate the waste products from your body.  Eeew.

3.  Make sure your diet contains plenty of antioxidants to slow down your aging.  Think fresh fruits and vegetables.

4.  Food combine!  Eat protein and carbohydrates at seperate meals and you might prevent unnecessary fermentation in the color, and increase nutrient absorption into the blood.

5.  Eat essential fatty acids (good fats) such as whole grains, seeds, nuts, soybeans, dark leafy green vegetables, cold pressed oils, and wild salmon.

6.  When you wake in the morning, start out with a glass of warm water with fresh squeezed lemon.  I struggle with this one, but MAKE myself do it.

7.  Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol, which drain moisture from your body.

8.  Cut down on table salt.  Too much sodium leads to skin puffiness, and sweeling.  Try a salt-free substitute or fresh herbs.

9.  Reduce your intake of red meat, dairy, refined foods, fried foods and all products that contain hydrogenated oils or fats.

10.  Apply honey three times a week to your face and leave on for 30 minutes.  Rinse off with warm water and you will be amazed by how your skin is softer, younger and nourished!

For the new year, try to eat more “living foods” and less “dead foods“.  And yes, I know that the chicken is dead…. but I’m talking about foods that have been altered in every imaginable way to make them last as long as possible and be as addictive as possible.  Think….cakes and cookies and God forbid, the Twinkie!  There we have a considerable amount of sugar and man- made fats that involve taking various oils and heating them to dangerously high temperatures.  There are chemicals, preservatives, food additives and bleaching agents that place a HUGE strain on our liver, eventually being stored as fat.

Living foods, on the other hand, are fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, all existing in a raw or close to raw state.  Living foods look robust and alive.  They are what can be plucked, harvested and squeezed and they are the ones that will help your body arm itself against cancer, heart disease, degenerative diseases and obesity.

In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites a choice.  In Deuteronomy 30:19, He said, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”  There it is!  A choice!  Living foods or dead foods?  I think I know which one I should do and am fully commited to making 2012 a year of better choices.

DEAD?

   OR ALIVE???    Make the healthy choice!