Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5 Reasons to Start Dry Brushing


First of all, what is Dry Brushing?
Dry Brushing is exactly what it sounds like - the process of taking a dry, natural bristled brush and brushing your body. There's a specific way you can brush to ensure you're getting the most out of it, and that is to brush daily from the ankles up, towards your heart, in long smooth strokes. When you're ready to do your back, brush from your neck down. Avoid harsh strokes and brushing back and forth - you want the skin to feel tingly at most, no where near inflamed. Take a good shower afterwards to wash off any dead skin and completely refresh yourself. I bought my brush from Whole Foods, but you can get it at many different stores - Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal Mart, or The Body Shop. If you really want a treat, pick up a nourishing dry oil with it and use it after the shower. I like Caudalie's Divine Oil and Neutrogena's Light Sesame Body Oil. The Body Shop just came out with a new Argan Oil line, so now's the perfect time to start!

So why do it?


1. It Exfoliates. Everyone is telling us to exfoliate these days - it's the best way to keep your skin healthy and ensure cell turnover. Many people exfoliate the easiest and most common way, with a loofah or bath sponge. Others have found a sugar scrub to use in the shower. Regardless, here's another way you can exfoliate that will not only leave you feeling smoother, but also make you glow from the inside out.

2. It increases circulation. When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste. Chances are, when you're done, you'll feel the blood flow freely throughout your entire body. It's invigorating, like a good stretch.

3. It helps you detox. Stimulating your lymphatic system, dry brushing directs the toxins in your body to the lymphatic nodes where they can be eliminated. Experts have even been said that dry brushing helps with digestion and kidney function because it aids the elimination of excess water and toxins. Of course this would be a long-term benefit, so you'd have to stick with it (not that it's hard to do - dry brushing is addictive!)

4. It reduces cellulite. Who doesn't want to get rid of cellulite? Here's a way to do it without gimmicky creams, lotions, or gels. Because dry brushing boosts circulation, it pushes the body’s ability to eliminate toxins through the lymphatic system. This elimination process also helps break down fatty pockets, responsible for cellulite. So in essence, benefits 2, 3 and 4 are all individual benefits you'll experience, but they're also tied together in how they improve your health and appearance overall.

5. It's stress relieving. Taking these 5-10 minutes before your shower literally means you're taking 5-10 minutes to do something for yourself. You'll have complete privacy, which means you can be absolutely alone with your thoughts. You can always shower with your favourite relaxing body wash to keep the experience going - all a matter of personal preference.

Monday, August 4, 2014

OOTD: Blue Jumpsuit

These photos were taken with my Samsung Note 3 because I unfortunately didn't have my Canon with me. It's not the best quality :( - sorry readers! Nonetheless, they remind me of summer, which is never a bad thing.

Jumpsuit: Forever XXI (similar) // Crossbody bag: Zara

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bathroom Inspiration For A Spa Retreat

Been looking at a lot of home renovation magazines and between the bedroom and the bathroom, there are so many updates to yearn over. Recently, earthy themes with stone and greenery are all I can think about. The slate backsplashes create such wonderful texture and the series of plants just make me feel like I'm on vacation in the tropics somewhere. If you've watched any home reno shows, you know it's a costly investment, but think about how much time you spend in your bathroom - waking up from a long night's sleep, washing your hair, taking a relaxing bath...Imagine if it was an uplifting and refreshing space! Wouldn't you say it's money well spent?

Hunting through Pinterest, I can't seem to make up my mind. Do you prefer a modern bathroom with slate and grey tile, or do you prefer a more rustic approach with wood and warm bricks?



Photos from Pinterest

Thursday, July 24, 2014

7 Steps To A Better Sleep


1. Make a to-do list for tomorrow and leave it for tomorrow. I know there's the age-old saying "Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today," but let's be serious - there are only 24 hours in the day and you should be spending 7-8 hours of them sleeping (for good reason too!) What that means is, make it a habit to mentally run through what you'd like to accomplish tomorrow, write it down, and then forget about it until the next day. Just because you're choosing to let go of the worry this way does not mean you're procrastinating, it means you're making the purposeful effort to prioritize. You'll automatically sleep better knowing you won't forget anything important and that you already have guidelines for how to start the next day.

2. Soak in salts. Bath salts that is. Find your favourite - there's tons of artisan salts out there in the market. I personally am a fan of lavender, lotus, and jasmine scents for the nighttime. When you're in the bath, double-up the relaxation by clearing your mind of the day's activities. If it helps with your meditation, try finding an app or playlist that will create the backdrop for your spa moment. I'm currently using Ambio with Thunderstorm and Ocean Waves on repeat. It's one of the best feelings in the world to just centre with yourself and let your stress melt away.

3. Slow down. It all begins when you start telling yourself it's time to hit bed. Turn down the music, shut off your computer, and put your cell phone to sleep too.

4. Get a warm drink. Chamomile and lavender teas are the tried and true drowsy drinks. But many Indian households will also tell you that a warm cup of milk with a little bit of honey is not only a source of comfort, it's done the trick many times for those who aren't fans of floral teas.

5. Try a tale as old as time. It's happened to you when you didn't even want it to, but having your eyes move from left to right on a page when you're reading helps to calm your nerves and prepare your brain to rest. Just make sure it isn't too thrilling a novel, otherwise you might be up turning pages until morning. I personally like to close off the night with a positive-thinking, non-fiction kind of read.

6. Turn off the lights. Invest in good blinds so you can block the nighttime street lights and prevent waking too early at the first signs of sunrise. If that's just not cutting it, try a cute sleep mask like this Holly Golightly one.

7. Cool down. Experts say that sleeping in a cool environment will help you drift off and stay asleep. From what I've read, most studies agree that a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for sleeping, with temperatures above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees disruptive to sleep.The simple science behind it is that when you sleep, your body’s internal temperature actually drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep. That's why it's believed that a cooler bedroom may be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop. Just make sure your hands and feet are warm!

*****

What are some tips you have for falling asleep and feeling refreshed in the morning? Leave a comment below!

Photo from Pintrest

Sunday, June 29, 2014

5 Links to Love This Week



1. What Jim Carrey Explains In 1 Minute Will Change Your Life Forever So many nuggets of wisdom in this speech that will compel you to lose all your hang-ups.
2. Body Dry Brushing A great addition to your beauty routine that's said to have lasting effects. Need a brush, but I can't wait to try!
3. Scandal's teaming up for a clothing line It had to be done. Rejoice, Olivia Pope fans!
4. 30 Smart Career Moves You Should Make By 30 Enough said.
5. Wedding Highlights from Marco Caputo One of the most beautifully done wedding videos I've ever seen. Beautiful venue. Beautiful d├ęcor. Can't say I know the couple, just stumbled across the video and fantasized about how dreamy the whole event must have been.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

3 Desserts to Try This Spring





Almond Flour Apple Pie
Almond flour really gives this pie a different taste from your average apple pie. It's lighter, which is why I think it's perfect for the Spring season. A definite recommendation for gluten-free diets. It can be your warm, caramel-flavoured apple delight that doesn't feel too heavy when you're sipping some tea, watching the rain come down outside.


Chia Seed Pudding
If you don't want ice cream, and yogurt isn't doing it for you, give chia seed pudding a try. Imagine a cold vanilla pudding with a fun texture! My friend from Aim to Win got me hooked since she posted the recipe. You can play with the portions to get a sweeter or more tart flavour. Plus, vary your toppings for a fruity or nutty kick. A favourite of mine that I can't seem to make enough of. 

Mixed Berry and Angel Food Cake

I haven't personally attempted this one yet, but with only a 30 minute recipe, I'm bound to bust out the trifle bowl sometime soon. In Spring, you may have guessed that I I like cool, light and airy desserts which usually means a combination of fruit and whipped cream. If you happen to try making this one, sub in the berries for another fave - I'd probably do spin-off with peaches!