Friday, June 27, 2014

DIY Unicorn Jewelry Dish

I'm kinda obsessed with unicorns! Found this idea while browsing on Pinterest one day and knew I had to make it!!

It was super easy and I had a ton of fun recreating it!!

Supplies: Cute plastic unicorns, super glue, gold spray paint, and porcelain dishes! (I got mine at a Japanese store here in Los Angeles, but creme brûlée dishes would work great too!)

Step 1: Spray paint your unicorn! (You can always use any medium sized plastic animals and any colors you want too!) I used gold spray paint with a hint of rose gold on top!

Step 2: Once your unicorn is dry, glue the tail and hind legs and place it on your desired spot on your tray. 

Step 3: Once the unicorn is firmly glued to the tray, place your jewelry whenever your heart desires! ;)

Voila! I'm obsessed!!

Check out another one of my DIY Projects here!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Coconut Oil is the Sh*t!!

I'll say it again, Coconut Oil is the Sh*t! As you've read in my previous posts I'm kinda obsessed with the stuff!!

Here are 52 things you didn't know about the best stuff EVER:

1. Boosts energy.
2. Body scrub. (Just add granulated sugar or salt!)
3. Super conditioner. (Apply to dry hair, leave in as long as possible sand then shampoo as normal.)
4. Anti-frizz serum.
5. Lip mositurizer.
6. Natural sunscreen!! (Read more here!)
7. Cooking and baking.
8. 'Magic Shell' ice cream topping. (Apply as a liquid on top of ice cream and watch it turn hard right before your eyes.)
9. OIL PULLING!! (Click to read more here!)
10. Natural deodorant.
11. Shaving cream.
12. Add to your bubble bath for a moisturizing soak.
13. Make-up remover.
14. Soothes chicken pox, shingles, or other rashes or skin irritations. 
15. Treat athlete's foot, ringworm, or other fungal or yeast infections.
16. Helps with absorption of vitamins.
17. Heals burns and cuts.
18. Improve thyroid function.
19. Adds nutrition and flavor to smoothies.
20. Helps to prevent wrinkles.
21. Base for homemade toothpaste.
22. Massage oil.
23. Diaper rash or cradle wrap.
24. Prevents/reduces stretch marks.
25. Prevent cracking and irritation on nipples during breastfeeding.
26. Helps to increase milk flow when consumed.
27. Base for homemade lotion.
28. Improves digestion.
29. Coat inside of nostrils to prevent nose bleeds.
30. Heals and soothes hemorrhoids.
31. Reduces/eliminates migraines.
32. Vapor rub.
33. Heals bee stings and bug bites.
34. Insect repellant. (Mixed with peppermint, lemon, rosemary and tea tree oil!)
35. 'Goo Gone'. (Mix with baking soda.)
36. Detoxing.
37. Metal polish.
38. Leather moisturizer.
39. Season your cast iron pans.
40. Yeast infection relief.
41. Replace with WD-40.
42. Personal lubricant!! (Don't mix with latex!!)
43. Helps with heartburn, acid reflux, and digestion.
44. Furniture polish! (Mix with lemon juice.)
45. Popcorn topping!
46. Smooths cracked or rough heels.
47. Strengthens cuticles and nails.
48. Base for homemade chocolate candy.
49. Helps overall immune function.
50. Removes gum from hair!!!
51. Libido booster!
52. Treats lice.

If you don't already have some, you're totally missing out!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

WTF is Oil Pulling??

Oil pulling is an age-old remedy, from India, that cleans and detoxifies the teeth and gums.

The practice of oil pulling started in India thousands of years ago, and was first introduced to the United States in the early 1990s by a medical doctor named Dr. F. Karach.
It’s been known to whiten the teeth and is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria.
The oil is swished in the mouth for 20 minutes and the amount of time is crucial. Oil has the ability to remove toxins without harming the teeth or gums.
I've been practicing oil pulling for a few weeks now, and it doesn't get any easier let me tell you. I have a bad gag reflex (insert smirking emoji here), so I can only swish for about 10 min max...and that's ok too! Do what your body tells you!

The many benefits of OP:

1. Whitens teeth.

2. Prevents bad breath.

3. Strengthens teeth, gums, and jaw.

4. Prevents disease.

5. Increases overall health.

6. Relieves headaches.

7. Supports kidney function.

8. Reduces insomnia.

9. General detoxification.

10. Reduces hangovers! WOO!

How to do Oil Pulling?

Swish a couple teaspoons of a vegetable based oil, (coconut, sesame or olive) in the mouth for 20 minutes and then spit it out and rinse well. Make sure to spit it out in the trash and not into the sink to prevent clogging the sink. Oil pulling is best done in the morning, before eating or drinking anything.
Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into the mouth. 
I prefer to use organic coconut oil, it has a sweeter taste than the other oils. I scoop out one tsp as a solid and let it melt in my mouth before swishing. Swish for 20 minutes (or as long as you can take it). The oil will get thicker and milky as it mixed with saliva and will be creamy-white when it is spit out. Spit it directly into the trash can. It will be full of toxins that shouldn't go into the sink. Also, DO NOT INJEST IT! All of the toxins you are getting out of your body will be in the oil, so you don't want it going back in!!! Then brush your teeth and go about your day!!
Our ancestors, as well as indigenous cultures, knew the health benefits that can be gained through the use of plants, cooking and kitchen supplies, and as it turns out, our using oils, such as coconut, sesame, and olive, help to moisturize the body, and as it ends up, our kitchens can also offer cleaner and brighter smiles. ;)

If you want to read more about all the many health benefits, the best resource I’ve found is Oil Pulling Therapy by Bruce Fife.

(Another use for coconut oil can be found here!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

24 Benefits of Castor Oil!

cas·tor oil
noun: castor oil
  1. A pale yellow oil obtained from castor beans, used as a purgative and a lubricant and in manufacturing oil-based products.

    If you been following my blog then you know I absolutely love oils! (If you haven't, you can read more about oils here!) Well, here's another magical oil I've come across over the years!! The castor oil I use can be found here, but any organic, cold pressed will work!!

    1. For insomnia and sleeplessness: rub a little over your eyelids before going to bed. Will bring a feeling of deep relaxation for a peaceful slumber.

2. Eyelash treatment: can condition eyelashes making them thicker and healthier; simply massage a drop (a little goes a long way) of castor oil on your lashes carefully each night, avoid getting into eyes. Wash off in the morning with a mild facial wash.

 3. Eyelash treatment #2: fill a container with ¼ castor oil, ½ coconut oil, and ¼ avocado oil. Mix and apply a light layer to lashes every night before bed. After a month you will notice stronger, longer lashes. (Will be doing a DIY Eyelash Enhancer soon! ;))

4. Eyebrow growth: applying castor oil to your eyebrows will help them grow long and thick. Apply before going to bed to leave on overnight.

5. Makeup remover: apply to a cotton ball or a q-tip, either 100% or half castor oil and half olive oil, to swipe off make-up easily.

6. Stretch marks: massage into stretch marks and over time old marks should fade.

7. Reduce cellulite: blend castor oil with grapefruit, lemon, cedar and lavender essential oils and rub the mixture into your skin with a dry brush before showering.

8. Scars and burns: use to treat cuts and scrapes and prevent scarring, new and old. Soak a soft absorbent cloth with castor oil and lay it on the scar, for very serious scars do this for two hours (if you have the time).

9. Deep condition hair: massage castor oil into dry have until saturated. Put on a shower cap and sleep with the oil in your hair, when washing out in the morning apply the shampoo before wetting hair.  

10. Healthy hair and scalp: massage castor oil into the scalp and roots of the hair, regular massage can lead to faster and newer hair growth as well as prevent dry scalp.

11. Darken hair: using castor oil will make your hair just the slightest bit darker by applying oil on your scalp.

12. Grow hair: leave on for thirty minutes and then wash off to grow long, thick, shiny hair and prevent hair loss. You can also add olive oil or coconut oil to the mixture.

13. Hair loss: rub castor oil onto your scalp and at the roots of your hair, known to regenerate new hair growth within months.

14. Add shine and reduce frizz: put a teaspoon worth onto a comb and brush it through dry hair. This is especially helpful during dry winter months.

15. Treat acne: before bedtime, open pores with a warm wash cloth then massage a small amount of castor oil into your skin and leave overnight.

16. Deep treatment for acne: fill your bathroom sink or bowl with hot water, drape a towel over your head and allow the steam to penetrate your pores for 15 to 20 minutes. Apply a small amount of castor oil to skin and leave overnight.

17. Moisturize skin: massage castor in circular motions after washing your face, will hydrate without clogging your pores. Can also use to moisturize your lips.

18. Moisturize feet: you can slather castor oil onto dry heals and feet to help moisturize them.  

19. Fast acting laxative: mix castor oil with orange juice or other juice directly before consuming and do not use at bedtime, as it works faster than other laxatives.

20. Intestinal cleanse: when ingested castor oil acts as a laxative that cleans out not only the lower but also the upper intestine, the expelling of this waste can allow a person to drop a few superficial pounds in a hurry and can help kick off a healthy diet and weight loss plan. Measure 2 oz. of castor oil (measure carefully as ingesting too much can induce vomiting and severe stomach cramps) and mix with 8 oz of fresh fruit juice (100% fruit juice, not juice cocktail or from concentrate). Drink the mixture and allow five hours to take effect, repeat once daily for up to five days only to clean out your intestinal tract. Decrease usage to once a month for digestive maintenance.

21. Mole and wart removal: cleanse location of mole and dry, put castor oil on the mole with a cotton swab and cover with band-aid. Repeat this procedure twice a day (in the morning and before bedtime) for one month. Or you can also apply a hot towel onto the mole for a minute, apply the castor oil and then reapply the hot towel for another minute. You can try doing this for about ten minutes two to three times a day.

22. Wrinkles and under eyes: rub in a small amount around your eyes and onto face before bed. Done daily this will prevent wrinkles and keep skin youthful and plump. Castor oil is an ingredient in several anti-ageing, under eye, and wrinkle creams. (See #5! Take off your make-up and prevent wrinkles! AWESOME!)

23. Liver detox: apply to abdomen and place heating pad or hot towel on top for two hours, one to seven times a week. The castor oil stimulates both phases of liver detoxification and helps liver function.

24. Pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification: the main component of castor oil produces significant pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects and is easily transmitted through the skins surface and into lymphatic circulation supporting detoxification pathways in the body.  To do this make a castor oil pack! Fold a flannel two to three times over your abdomen, especially covering the upper right side. Saturate the flannel with castor oil, put in a glass dish and place in the oven until warm to the touch. Lie on top of one towel (to prevent staining) and place the flannel on abdomen. Cover it with plastic and another towel and place a hot water bottle or a heating pad on top. Keep covered with a sheet and blanket to stay warm. Leave the pack in place for 45 to 60 minutes. 

Some other tips...

-To remove castor oil from skin use a solution of 1 tsp or baking soda with 1 pint of water
-When sleeping with castor oil on face or hair best to wrap up hair or sleep on a towel as stains from castor oil are almost impossible to remove.
-When placing castor oil onto face try mixing 1 part castor oil with 2 parts grapeseed oil or coconut oil for cleansing and moisture.
-When applying castor oil to hair: castor oil is very thick and viscous so if you have fine or weak hair you should mix castor oil with a lighter oil so it will be easier to wash out later. Olive oil and coconut oil are your best bets. Try 1 oz castor oil and 2 oz coconut oil. To wash out best to apply shampoo to dry hair first.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

What is Organic Apple Cider Vinegar?

Real organic apple cider vinegar, is made by fermenting pressed apple juice until the sugars turn to vinegar. Importantly, it should be made from organic apples and be unheated, unfiltered and unpasteurized to keep the ‘mother’ intact.
The ‘mother’ in apple cider vinegar is visible as cloudy strings in the bottom of the bottle and is full of beneficial enzymes, pectin and trace minerals. It is worth shaking the bottle each time before using ACV to distribute these elements.
Alongside all of the other health benefits of apple, substances like malic acid are formed in the creation of apple cider vinegar, giving it antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This is a big part of what makes it so good for your skin. Let’s take a look at some of the common benefits of apple cider vinegar to see just how it can revolutionize your health!

12 Known Benefits of ACV:

1. Improved Digestion
Drinking apple cider vinegar in water can help to naturally improve your digestion. Take a tablespoon of ACV in a big glass of water around 15 minutes before a meal to stimulate digestive juices for better breakdown of your food.
It’s important to use raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother for this and all of the other health benefits listed below.
Filtered and pasteurized vinegars will not have this and lack the enzymes and other nutritional properties in raw ACV that have such a positive effect on the digestive process.
Real apple cider vinegar contains valuable minerals and trace elements, LDL cholesterol lowering pectin, fat burning acetic acid, anti-viral malic acid, live enzymes, amino acids and many other beneficial nutrients.
When you drink apple cider vinegar regularly, ideally before each main meal, your digestion improves and you naturally begin assimilating more from your food. This can also reduce hunger and help with losing weight. More on this ahead.

2. Heartburn, Intestinal Problems and Constipation
Regular apple cider vinegar in water is believed to help correct low stomach acid conditions that leads to heartburn. Importantly, straight ACV is very strong and likely to be too powerful for heartburn sufferers, and especially those with ulcers, so make sure you dilute it well.
Apple pectin fiber, found in the mother of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar, soothes the entire gastrointestinal tract, helping to prevent stomach cramps, bloating and gas.
Apple cider vinegar can also be useful as a mild laxative to stimulate peristalsis in cases of occasional constipation. It should not have this effect if your bowel movements are already regular.

3. Prevent Candida and Normalize Intestinal Bacteria
ACV is full of beneficial acids which are believed to help improve the make up of your intestinal flora. These include acetic acid and malic acid, which have antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties and can help control the spread of the candida fungus in your intestines, a common debhilitating problem with many people’s high sugar diets.

4. Strengthen Your Immune System
Your intestinal flora are a big part of your body’s immune system. It makes sense then that improving the conditions for the growth of friendly bacteria with apple cider vinegar can help improve your overall immunity.
The malic acid in ACV is also a strong antiviral, perhaps one of the reasons people often say they experience fewer colds when they take apple cider vinegar in water daily.
Additionally, raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is said to benefit your lymphatic system by helping to cleanse lymph nodes and break up mucus in the body. Over time this can relieve sinus congestion, reduce colds and alleviate allergies.

5. Regulate Blood Sugar and Aid in Diabetes
Apple cider vinegar is full of acetic acid which appears to slow down the digestion of simple carbohydrates, thus regulating blood sugar levels from the brief highs and longer lows of a high carb diet.
The anti-glycemic effect of ACV has been proven in several studies, including this one that concluded, “vinegar can significantly improve post-prandial insulin and sensitivity in insulin resistant subjects…thus, vinegar may possess physiological effects similar to acarbose or metformin (anti-diabetic drugs). Further investigations to examine the efficacy of vinegar as an antidiabetic therapy are warranted.”

6. High Blood Pressure
Some animal studies have shown that apple cider vinegar may lower high blood pressure and there are many reports in online forums of using it for this purpose.
It’s possible that ACV increases nitric oxide production that helps relax blood vessels, or it may just have a generally beneficial effect on your cardiovascular system that, over time, naturally results in a lowering of high blood pressure.

7. Detoxification
Apple cider vinegar is a popular ingredient in detoxification protocols with good reason. Aside from all the other body cleansing benefits already listed, drinking diluted raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is believed to help detoxify and cleanse your liver.
One tablespoon of ACV in a large glass of water before each meal is often recommended as an effective dosage for daily detoxification. Some detoxifying methods may use larger doses, though it’s best to build up to these over time.

8. Weight Loss
Apple cider vinegar’s acetic acid has been shown in studies to suppress the accumulation of body fat and liver lipids. Its pectin content is also thought to slightly reduce your body’s ability to absorb fat.
When you have an apple cider vinegar drink before a meal, as well as improving digestion, it will usually reduce your hunger levels as well, which can only be beneficial for losing weight. Once again, 1 tablespoon in a large glass of water before each meal is the recommended dosage.
Raw ACV may well aid weight loss, but it would be better thought of as part of a larger body fat reduction plan. In all I’ve read on the subject, I believe the most effective first step is to reduce grain-based carbohydrates and eat more, not less, of the right type of foods.

9. Bad Breath
The natural acids in real apple cider vinegar, like acetic and malic acid, can reduce the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath.
Using apple cider vinegar for halitosis, you would make it a bit stronger than when drinking it. Add one tablespoon to a third of a cup of water and gargle it for around 20 seconds to minimize bad breath.

10. Skin Benefits
Apple cider vinegar balances your skin’s pH levels and has long been recommended as a skin tonic. It can also help treat dermatological conditions like acne, especially when used both internally and externally regularly.

11. Leg Cramps and Restless Leg Syndrome
Sipping on an apple cider vinegar drink can increase low potassium levels in your body, a suspect in nighttime leg cramps and restless leg syndrome.

12. Stamina and Energy
Improved stamina and energy are harder to measure subjectively, but raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar has long been considered a general health tonic and more energy and greater stamina are commonly reported when drinking it.
This may be a combination of all the other health benefits of ACV already listed. Or it could be due to the powerful alkalizing effect it has on your body when you drink apple cider vinegar daily.
Despite being acidic outside the body, ACV, like lemon water, is recognized as a premier alkalizing drink, which reduces acidosis in the body and has been reported to aid in recovering from a wide range of health conditions and diseases.

Other Uses For Apple Cider Vinegar:

Athlete’s Foot
Heart Health
Kidney Stones
Vaginal Irritation
Animal Care
Blood Pressure
Hair Loss
Sore Throat
Acid Reflux
Salad Dressings

Drinking ACV to Improve Your Health

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The starting dosage is 1 tablespoon in a big glass of water and you can slowly increase the dosage, a teaspoon at a time over several weeks, to 2 or even 3 tablespoons, if you find the increased dosage beneficial to your health.
Yes it does taste a little sour, but that’s a good thing. It’s important to train your taste buds to not expect everything to be sweet.
If you really can’t handle it at the start, then try it with a drop of natural stevia, but using sugar or commercial honey to sweeten it will only feed the intestinal problems that ACV is used to treat.
Have you tried having a daily apple cider vinegar drink for better health? Do you have other health conditions you’ve found ACV beneficial for? Let everyone know in the comments below and spread the word about just how good for you apple cider vinegar is.

Another use is in a MASK!!! More details here! ;)