Happy New Year!

Happy 2017! 

My goals for this new year are pretty simple. I am choosing to be kind to others, kind to myself, and eat healthier (December was the month of cookies for me).  I am also pledging to grow my business in the new year.

Kindness to others:  This past fall, I heard a story on NPR about a man's encounter with a homeless man and it sparked something in me. I began to practice small random acts of kindness, like smiling at strangers, and instantly noticed that people positively reacted back to me. I am also really happy to help introduce a daily 'random acts of kindness' project at my kids' school. Little and simple acts of kindness make a change in everyone's life. 

Kindness to self:  In order to be our best, we must take care of our own needs first. It is important to take time for yourself. I walk every morning with my dog. Some days I walk with friends and other days its just me and Shorty. This daily walk helps me start my day off right. I love being outside and seeing the seasons change. 

Eating healthier:  When December arrives I am too weak to eat healthy.  I try, but I am tempted by Jen's cookies, delicious drinks, desserts and unhealthy foods. Now that December is done, I am back to reality.  I always detox for a week and during that week, I do not eat any sugar for 7 days. I also eat healthy fats, such as avocados, coconut oil, coconut milk, and nuts. These healthy fats fill me up, so I don't crave sugars. Once I have detoxed, I limit my sugar intake to 15 mg per day.

My business:  I am also pledging to grow my business in the new year. I hope to come out with 2 more products and sell in more stores. I am so thankful to the current business owners who took that leap of faith in me and my products! I am thankful to customers who use my products and share them with their friends and family. Here is to another great year!


Want Soft & Smooth Skin, While Detoxing Your Largest Organ?

I have added a new step to my morning routine before I enter the shower. This new step has added less than 5 minutes to my morning schedule. I have read that this simple activity can exfoliate my skin, cleanse my lymphatic system, unclog my pores, release toxins and increase my circulation which can reduce the appearance of cellulite. Despite the cold and dry winter weather, my skin feels soft and smooth.  Do you want to know what it is?  It's called dry brushing.  I read about it a while ago and thought it was strange. I purchased a brush but never followed through with it. Well, I picked up 2 months and started to use it.  I have been dry brushing my skin every morning before I shower and I absolutely love the results.

It's pretty simple. Purchase a natural bristle brush - here's one that I would use. I prefer a brush with a long handle, so that I can reach all areas of my body. Make sure you are naked and standing in the shower or bathtub to catch the falling dry skin. Using the brush, dry brush your skin starting with your feet. Move in a long sweeping motion toward your heart. I brush each area several times, always sweeping towards my heart, and overlap so I do not miss any spots. Brush gently over sensitive spots. I don't dry brush my face. After I dry brush my entire body, I clean my skin with Dr. Bronner's Unscented Castile soap. After you shower, gently dry your skin, leaving some moisture behind and apply a natural oil to your entire body. I of course recommend my Body Oil, made with sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, avocado oil and a hint of lavender essential oil. I wash my brush once a week with Dr. Bronner's and air dry it fully.

Now, I have to be honest and note that the first time I dry brushed my skin it definitely felt very ticklish and sensitive. With daily usage I desensitized my skin and within no time, I loved the feeling of the dry brush.  This simple and inexpensive routine will transform your skin in no time. Trust me!

3 Ingredient Exfoliant with 2 Uses

I have tried many natural scrubs before. Most are made in a base of sugar, salt or coffee. I found the sugar and salt to be simply ineffective, as they dissolve too quickly and I still need more exfoliating power. The coffee was just too much for my skin and my skin isn't all that sensitive. I specifically choose to put three ingredients into my Facial Exfoliant.

So for my base I went to the most calming natural ingredient out there- oats. I choose oats because it is soothing, moisturizing, cleansing and exfoliating.

I needed another ingredient that offered great exfoliation without being too abrasive on sensitive skin. I choose apricot kernel meal. This fine powder can be used a scrub without dissolving or being too rough.

Finally, I needed a product that would draw out and remove impurities from the skin. I choose Moroccan Rhassoul clay. This mineral rich clay reduces dryness, improves skin clarity, removes impurities and unblock pores, even stubborn blackheads.

I love making products that have many uses, like my Facial Oil. The Facial Oil can be used as a cleanser, make-up remover and serum. The Facial Exfoliant can be used as a daily scrub or a weekly or monthly mask.

Since I have added this product to my beauty routine, I find my skin to be soft, smooth, and my pores to be even and clear.


Resolve To Be Aware Of Your Beauty Care Products

Around the time I was planning on becoming pregnant, I started to think about what I put in and on my body. I was mostly a healthy eater, but I had started to avoid ingredients like sugar, sugar substitutes, preservative, artificial colors, and so forth. Around that time, I also started to look at the ingredients in my make-up (not that I wear a lot), my soap, my shampoo, my deodorant, and my toothpaste. I started reading blogs and websites that provided information about harmful ingredients and gave me ideas about purchasing safer products or making you own. It was overwhelming to learn that almost everything I used contained harmful ingredients. I decided to make a change by starting with one of my most frequently used beauty care products-my deodorant. At first, I did not consider making my own deodorant, so instead I went to my local health food store and purchased several "natural" deodorants that did not contain antiperspirants. Chemicals in antiperspirants have been linked to certain types of cancers and Alzheimer's Disease. I felt better knowing that I had changed just one of my "bad" body care products. But I quickly came to realize that they simply did not work. As a teacher in a school with out air conditioning, I was able to put my new found purchases to the test. But at the end of a long day I would smell like the scent of the deodorant and b.o.

In 2007, I gave birth to my son and I continued to use those "natural" deodorants, with the thought that I was doing the right thing for my body and that these were the best options on the market.  I would simply have to deal with their short comings. In 2010 I gave birth to my daughter and continued with the "natural" deodorants, while becoming more frustrated with the fact that they just did not work. By 2012 I started to look deeper into various resources to see how to make my own deodorant and began to experiment with different ingredients. It took several months to find the right ingredients and develop a recipe that I loved. My new recipe worked by killing the bacteria that causes the b.o.

Local friends knew what I was brewing in my kitchen and wanted to try it. I purchased sample size containers and passed them around to get feedback. All the feedback helped me to improve my recipe.  Eventually two friends asked for full size containers. I purchased a small pack of containers, thinking that they would last forever, but before I knew it, word got around and I was actually selling deodorant!

On the business front- here it is the end of 2015 and I have an official business!  My deodorants are available in 3 stores with a 4th one planning to sell in the New Year. I have expanded from one single deodorant to 5 different options, a 3-in-1 Facial Oil, and a Facial Exfoliant (coming soon)! On a personal note, I am more aware of what ingredients go onto my body. I have changed all of my beauty care products to ones that I am comfortable with or I have made my own. I am teaching my kids to be aware of harmful ingredients. In this coming year, I urge you to pledge to look into one of your daily beauty products and know what you are putting on your skin, which happens to be you largest organ. There are many resources that will help you find healthy alternatives (see below for some of my recommendations). Be good to yourself, be your own advocate, and do not trust labels. Here's to a happy and clean 2016!


Think Dirty - This is an amazing app and a great website that rates products on a scale of 0-10, while letting you know how clean or dirty products are. You will be amazed with what you find once you start to use the app.

Environmental Working Group - This website has several guides that help you understand what type of ingredients are in your foods, make-ups, etc.

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics - This is a list of ingredients to avoid.


Why It's Important for Tweens to go Natural with their First Deodorant

I started to use an antiperspirant/deodorant when I was in middle school. Why did I choose an antiperspirant? Probably because everyone else was doing it! Actually it was probably something my mom purchased for me. At the time we had no idea that these products were loaded with harmful chemicals.  And what I learned at a young age was that it was NOT alright for me to sweat under my armpits. My face could sweat, my body could sweat, but NOT my armpits. So growing up as a teenager and as a young woman I always made sure that I did NOT sweat under my arms. How ridiculous is this?! Well today I know that it is normal and healthy for your body to sweat.  We sweat to keep our body cool and get rid of toxins. 

Now, my kids are still young, but when it is time for them to use a deodorant, I will make sure they use a natural deodorant (of course, Made With Love By Mommy). They will never question the sweat on their face or body, or under their armpits, as it is all natural. The one thing they will not have is B.O. As parents we purchase products for our kids. Let us break the cycle of our ill informed routines and start them off right - with natural, healthy routines.

Why My Sensitive Skin Deodorant Was Born

After using my regular deodorant for 8 months, my pits turned dark and broke out in a killer, red, bumpy rash! 

First I flipped out, thinking oh no I have to go back to the store bought ones because this is not working. After reading some awesome blogs, I found out that this can be a totally normal reaction to the baking soda, as it can sometimes create an alkaline imbalance on skin. I soon discovered a way to balance the pH level of my skin- applying  a solution of 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to 1 cup water, in the morning and the evening. Within a day and a half the rash and darkening of the skin were gone! 

I created a Sensitive Skin deodorant with a smaller amount of baking soda compared to my regular deodorant and probiotics. The probiotics contain bacteria growth and help offset the reduced levels of baking soda. Better yet, the sensitive skin deodorant works just as well as the others, just with less baking soda.

This deodorant is made with bergamot, geranium, and lemon essential oils giving it a light, floral scent.

If your pits happen to break out in a rash don't give up, just consider using the one for sensitive skin.

Facial Oils

When it comes to our face, we use products- some more than others. We use cleansers, moisturizers, make up removers, toners, serums, scrubs, masks and products I didn’t even know existed. The beauty industry is constantly advertising the latest and greatest in skin care and we seem to be willing to pay the price. 

In the quest for clean and beautiful skin, we wash our face with harsh cleansers and chemicals that strip off the natural oils from our skin, which leaves an imbalance. Then we apply moisturizers, loaded with unpleasant ingredients, to bring back balance.

A year ago, as I was researching natural ingredients, I came across OCM – Oil Cleansing Method. At first I could not comprehend why one would put oil(s) on their face to clean it. My skin is already oily, why would I do that? I used those store-bought products to clean and moisturize my oily skin. Well, the more I read the more it became clear- oil removes oil. So I decided to try it out. I started with a simple mixture of castor and jojoba oils. I applied a bit in my hand, massaged it onto my dry skin and then used a hot washcloth to gently steam and cleanse my face. I loved the process and the result. Within no time my skin was balanced, clean and happy! I did not have an oily T-zone. My forehead was not oily or shiny by mid-day. Today I continue to use this method. I no longer use a separate cleanser, make-up remover, and moisturizer. I use ONE product - my Facial Oil.

Over time my mixture of castor and jojoba oils has also evolved. My current mixture includes organic rosehip seed oil, organic jojoba oil, organic castor oil, organic carrot seed oil, organic geranium essential oil, myrhh essential oil, frankincense oil, and organic helichrysum essential oil.