Celebrate Mom with These 4 Luxuries

And I’m back! I know I haven’t blogged for a few weeks and I’m sorry, my life has been crazy pants! I have two finals and a paper all due within the next 10 days, but I had to take a moment and share these awesome finds. These are all perfect gifts for Mother’s Day… or for yourself ;o)

True Nature Botanicals Body Oil

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There is nothing quite like a truly luxurious body oil. Moisturizing  your skin in the morning becomes a spa ritual. There are a select few body oils that I consider spa ritual-quality, and this body oil has definitely been added to the list. If you have tried other True Nature Botanical’s products, then you are familiar with their signature scent. A little jasmine, a little tuberose, a little neroli – and a lot of beauty. The scent is feminine and light, and perfect for spring and summer.

This body oil uses that same signature scent with some of the highest quality oils you will find in a body oil: camellia (green tea) oil, watermelon seed oil and apricot seed oil. Honestly, this could be used as a facial oil with the quality of oils! It is SO moisturizing too, I need less than a pump for an entire leg. I sometimes go overboard because it smells so divine, and then it is a little greasy on my skin. A little goes a long way though so as long as I only use a bit, my skin is left soft, moisturized and not greasy. I’m highly impressed with this body oil.

AND, with every bottle of their Body Oil, True Nature Botanicals makes a $10 donation to the Breast Cancer Fund. What a great gift :o)

 

True Nature Botanicals Citrus Perfume

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Another True Nature Botanicals find! I’ve been using their Citrus perfume all spring and LOVE it.

While I like citrus, some citrus scents can be almost too citrus-y, if you know what I mean. I like oranges, but I don’t necessarily want to walk around smelling like a giant orange! What I love about TNB’s Citrus perfume is that it encapsulates what I love about citrus, the vibrancy and freshness, but without smelling too orange-y. It has a sweet lemon scent to it, which I think helps with the vibrancy of this. There is even a slight floral quality, which I think is what really helps this stand apart from most ‘citrus’ perfumes. I couldn’t put my finger on what flower it was so cheated and looked at the ingredients. I found ylang ylang, which of course is another favorite scent of mine, so it’s a welcome addition!

And if you haven’t seen these solid perfumes in person, they are beautiful. They come in a metal case that is truly lovely, and even has a bit of weight to it. It also comes with a pick (and a beautiful one at that!) to remove the perfume once it is gone, so you can refill it with another.

The scent stays for quite some time on my skin, I would say a few hours. And because the perfume is in a compact, it’s easy to toss in your purse and take it with you.

If you are interested in TNB skincare (either for yourself or for mom!), right now they are having a Mother’s Day special where if you buy their Advanced Anti-Aging Kit, you can get a solid perfume for free! And if you missed it, I have also reviewed their floral perfume (another favorite of mine).

 

Agraria Petite Essence

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I will start this out by saying this is the most beautiful and unique home fragrance I have ever had the pleasure of using. You may have heard of, or used, home fragrance that has a perfume oil in a small glass container, with wooden reeds that diffuse out the scent. This takes that idea and elevates it to something new. The fragrance (made of essential oils), comes in a beautiful glass vase that even has an adorable little glass stand. And those reeds? Gone. Instead, the diffuser is a handmade flower made from balsa wood. As the diffuser absorbs the scent, it changes colors. How amazing is that?

I choose the Mediterranean Jasmine scent to try, and am so glad I did. This smells like a fresh jasmine vine, growing right in my house. The scent is very strong too. I had it in a bathroom and had to move it to the living room because the scent was taking up the entire bathroom!

I have the petite essence, which is a smaller version of the full size. I have had this in my house for two months now, and it still has more than half of it left. One little bottle will last you quite awhile! Sadly, my nose has become accustomed to the scent now, but when I have friends over and they walk past it, they immediately stop and look around and ask what smells so good. Really. It’s happened more than once.

One thing I will warn you about is that those little flower petals are delicate. I did not realize this when I first received it and in my excitement to put everything together, I accidentally tore a petal :o( It’s a small tear, but I still feel sad for tearing such a beautiful flower. As long as you are gentle with it though and avoid touching the petals, it will be fine.

So if you are looking for a unique present for your mom, I highly recommend this! They are even offering some Mother’s Day specials right now.

Wake to Soak Body Products

And if you want to pamper mom but are on a budget, take a look at Wake to Soak body products. Wake to Soak is a spa that specializes in foot soaks, but they also sell body products. I have their Lavender Whipped Shea, Lavender Shea Soap and Lavender Eye Pillow. I was instantly attracted to Wake and it’s modern yet apothecary vibe. I would love to visit the spa someday!

The Lavender Whipped Shea is a very moisturizing body butter that smells strongly of lavender. I love lavender, so the more lavender – the better! The only ingredients are: organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, organic lavender essential oil and organic cornstarch. I love that short ingredient list and that it is all organic. Shea butter has a unique, somewhat nutty, smell, but the lavender and coconut oil balance it out nicely. It really is whipped too, which makes it a ease to scoop a bit and apply. I’ve been using this at my desk at home on my hands. It’s a bit greasy because of the shea butter, but I don’t mind because my skin loves it.

The Lavender Shea Soap is also organic, and includes organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, organic palm oil and organic shea butter. It produces an abundance of light, frothy lather and doesn’t dry my skin out at all. The scent is not very strong compared to the Whipped Shea, but that’s ok with me since the soap is being rinsed down drain anyway.

And my favorite of the three, the Lavender Eye Pillow. The eye pillow is filled with flax seed and lavender flowers, and can be frozen or heated. I like to leave mine in the freezer and use in the morning to depuff my eyes. It doesn’t mention this in the description, but the pillow is attached to an elastic band so you can wrap it around your head and not hold it –  a big plus! And since it is filled with lavender flowers, you get a whiff of lavender goodness (even when cold!) while relaxing.

 

That is it for my Mother’s Day gift ideas! What are you planning for Mother’s Day? Have you tried any of these products?

Disclosure: These products were provided to me to try. Opinions and the choice to review are 100% my own! I was not financially compensated for writing this blog post. This post contains affiliate links.

How is Your Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep hygiene. I’ve only recently discovered that phrase, and I really like it. It perfectly sums up having good practices for getting enough sleep. And if you didn’t know – March is National Sleep Awareness Month so it is perfect timing for talking about sleep hygiene and ways to help you get more and better sleep!

If you didn’t know, getting adequate sleep is actually really important for overall health. Not only does lack of sleep cause the more commonly known side effects like being sleepy during the day, but it is also associated with weight gain and even depression. Take my word for it – getting enough sleep is really important. What is enough? Experts say 7-8 hours per night.

So what can you do? Well, here are some tips to help you fall asleep and stay asleep:

Avoid Tea, Coffee & Soda at Night

Beebalm and other flowers float in a cup of herbal tea made with catnip, motherwort, beebalm, lavender, and lemon balm.

While many people know that caffeine is a stimulant, they may not know that the evening soda could be the cause of why they can’t fall asleep. Even those who say they are not sensitive to caffeine may still actually be sensitive to it when it comes to sleep. If you have troubles sleeping and are drinking soda, coffee or caffeinated tea in the afternoon or evening, try going without it after 3pm for a few days to see if it helps. Leave caffeine for the morning and try decaf at night :o)

Exercise – But Not Too Late

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It goes without saying that exercise is really really good for you. But exercising too late can actually perk your body up, making it difficult to fall asleep. Something relaxing like a nightly stroll is ok, but leave vigorous exercise (think sweating or breathing heavy) to early evening or late afternoon. Or, if you are able to, try waking up early and starting your day with some exercise. It’s a great way to start the day!

Read – But Not in Bed

Eyeglasses on Open Book

Reading can be very relaxing, or it could be energizing. If you like thrilling and exciting books and find you can’t stop turning the page, avoid reading at night. The same goes for watching exciting TV shows or movies – if it sucks you in to where you are staying up late to watch more, leave it for the weekend. Try to read something relaxing, or even a bit boring if you need to fall asleep. Also, if you are reading in bed but have trouble falling asleep, it could be your have trained your brain that the bed is not for sleep. Instead of reading (or watching TV) in bed, try reading in a comfortable chair, the couch, or perhaps in a bath. Which leads me to…

Relax with a Bath

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – baths are a great way to relax and unwind. Try adding some bath salts to help soothe your muscles. I recently tried Amala’s Detoxify Bath Crystals and really liked the sage and sandalwood scent, it was very relaxing. I also like to add epsom salt too, which is great for tense or injured muscles. To kick it up another notch, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, I like lavender :o) Which leads me to…

Use Lavender (or Your Favorite Scent)

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Speaking of lavender (and Amala!), aromatherapy is a great tool to help you sleep. Lavender is my go-to, but really, it is up to you and what your favorite scent is. Even a favorite scented hand lotion can be a calming way to relax for the evening. I have Amala’s Lavender Mist and I love to spritz it on my pillow before bed. It’s not super strong so I get a nice whiff of lavender and then it fades so I can focus on sleeping without too strong of a fragrance. If you want something a bit stronger, try Farmaesthetic’s Dreaming Oil – a drop on your wrist is all you need.

Meditate

reflected orchid and candle

If you can’t fall asleep because you can’t seem to stop thinking, try meditating. It will be hard at first but will be time well spent! It will teach you how to quiet your mind, so you can fall asleep. Read my previous post on meditating if you don’t know where to start.

Or, if meditation isn’t your thing, try deep breathing or full body relaxation exercises. Here are 3 breathing exercises. If you aren’t familiar with full body relaxation, it’s really easy. Lay down, and then focus on relaxing each part of your body. Start with your toes and work all the way up to your head. Some people find it helpful to tense the muscles and then relax, but I usually just focus on relaxing without tensing or flexing the muscle first. By the time you get to the top of your head, you will find your entire body fully relaxed.

Try Natural Herbs

Gaia-Valerian-Root

If you don’t want or like to take prescription medicine, try natural supplements. Valerian root by Gaia Herbs is my go-to, but chamomile also works well (and a cup of chamomile tea is a great way to relax at night). For valerian root, I would recommend the pills over liquid. I don’t mind the taste of valerian but I know others find it pretty nasty (my boyfriend said it tastes like feet!).

If You Wake Up – Get Up

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If you are someone that doesn’t have trouble falling asleep, but find yourself wide awake at 3 in the morning, try getting up rather than laying awake in bed for hours. This goes back to training your brain that bed is for sleep only. Try to fall back asleep for about 15-20 minutes (using some meditation, deep breathing exercises, or lavender) but if you can’t seem to, get up and read a book or magazine. With reading, remember to not read anything exciting that will wake you up and make you want to read more! Try something a little dry, which subject of course is totally up to you as what I consider dry may be your favorite thing to read! Be sure to read in lower lighting, so stay away from bright computer and/or iPad screens. A small lamp with just enough light to read but not enough to be super bright is a good idea. After reading for awhile, you will naturally start to feel sleepy again, so then go back to bed and fall asleep.

 

That’s it for my tips!

What do you do to help you fall asleep?

 

Disclosure: Some of these products were provided to me to try. Opinions and the choice to review are 100% my own! I was not financially compensated for writing this blog post. This post contains affiliate links.

Beautiful & Fabulous: Alima’s New Velvet Lipsticks

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If you haven't heard, Alima Pure came out with a line of lipsticks called Velvet Lipstick! It was a few months ago actually, so I might be a little late in reviewing them - but better late than never! I picked up a few when Alima was having a sale … [Continue reading]

Fragrance for a Cause ~ Pour Le Monde

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It's no secret that I love natural fragrance. It's one of my favorite products in the natural beauty world. What I love even more than natural fragrance though is natural fragrance that gives back! Pour Le Monde provides three perfumes made with 100% … [Continue reading]

It’s Almost Spring Giveaway!

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It might be warm here in Arizona but I know a lot of you are covered in snow. So what better way to bring some cheer and welcome in spring than with a giveaway! It may not quite be spring, but it's almost spring - and that's a good enough reason for … [Continue reading]

3 Lavender Loves

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I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love lavender. The scent is so relaxing and soothing, I could smell it all day every day. Because I love lavender so much, I tend to accumulate lavender-scented products. The best part about lavender is … [Continue reading]

Spa Night Favorites for Dry Skin

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It may be warming up here in Phoenix, but it's still dry dry dry. My latest spa night at home was all about bringing back the moisture. If you haven't taken the time for a spa night at home - you need to! It's the perfect way to unwind and relax and … [Continue reading]

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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Valentine's Day is in just a few short weeks! Here are some gift ideas for that special someone. And if you are single, then here are some ideas to buy yourself something nice ;o) Chocolates You can't go wrong with chocolates. These Dark … [Continue reading]

Natural Alternatives to Drugstore Medicines

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Switching to eco-beauty and eco-cleaning products can be easy compared to finding natural options when you have a pounding headache. But fear not! Over the years I have found some really great all-natural options for various medicines and personal … [Continue reading]

6 Ways to Shimmer and Glow

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Skin can start to look dull and dry in the winter - but you can't start 2015 with dull skin! Here are some great ways to get your skin back to looking naturally healthy, glowing and fabulous: Exfoliate For some reason, I tend to see and hear about … [Continue reading]