Winter skin

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I’ve always loved playing in the snow as a child and so does my little girl. Recently she had a great day being home and playing outside with friends. Being outdoors for long periods of time in this weather means a lot of chapped, dry skin and brittle hair. She is prone to dry skin every winter. So I’ve got some great home made remedies that will help make winter a lot more enjoyable.

There are a lot things you can do to nourish your hair but here is one I’ve tried and like a lot. It’s a hair-nourishing aloe mask.

Hair-nourishing aloe mask

  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 5 drops of rosemary essential oil

Just combine these ingredients, comb the mixture through damp hair and wrap hair in a plastic bag. After just ten minutes, shampoo and condition as usual. The Aloe and olive oil instantly restore moisture to parched strands while the egg’s protein fill in any damaged areas. The rosemary stimulates circulation to the scalp for healthier, thicker hair.

Homemade Body Butter

  • Coconut oil
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Lavender

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As for the skin, my daughter has eczema and it comes out with a vengeance in cold weather. I use organic, virgin, cold pressed coconut oil because of its healing properties. I add some vitamin E oil and a few drops of lavender for a soothing scent and mix it up until I’ve whipped it for awhile. It almost looks/feels like wax but that’s normal. Store your new whipped body butter in an airtight container, in a cool dry place. When you apply it make sure you give it a few minutes to soak into your skin before putting on clothes. And that my friends, is a great way to treat your skin to a natural home remedy.

Stay warm and safe in the snow!
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Hardwire yourself to be in a happy place

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Life sometimes gets in the way of our happiness. Bad things happen to good people. It’s easy to fall apart and let it take over your life and your happiness. Some of us are even prone to unhappiness. It’s called depression. Once it hits you it’s easy to go with it, crawl into bed and feel sorry for yourself. It takes a lot of effort to pick yourself up and be happy! Let me tell you from my own experiences that it can happen. It takes constant work but a simple three-minutes-a-day practice can change your outlook and make you feel more positive! It can happen if you work at it.

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You have to hardwire yourself to be happy. It takes practice, lots and lots of practice. Just like repetitive weight lifting can sculpt your muscles, repetitive positive thinking will actually make you happier. It’s true, according to the latest headlines from the front lines of brain science. A recent study shows that habits can be sculpted into the very tissues of our brains. The key to rewiring your brain for happiness is focusing on positive experiences and memories. Our brains are shaped by what we focus on. Basically that means that by taking time to remember positive experiences can deliberately create and prolong the those experiences.

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It seems like our brain has a negativity bias. While we think of pleasant experiences, we tend to fully absorb negative ones. In other words, negative reactions become a habit. In one day you can experience four good things, 4 neutral things and just one thing that may have gone wrong. Guaranteed you will come home and think of that negative experience. That will be the one thing that will bother you and keep you up at night. One negative interaction is as powerful as five good ones!

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Now in order to become happier, you’ve got to first have a good experience. Maybe sit in a beautiful setting and feel how positive you are just being in that beauty. You’re now activating a positive mental state. Now stay there for few minutes. If you do this a couple of times a day even for a minute it will change your thought process and your life.

Now go and sit with your happy thoughts!

Relax with what you love

 

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We all need time to unwind, relax and refresh. In my family we have lots of different ways to do that. Sometimes we just relax and watch a movie together. Sometimes we play games, read, workout or create. By creating I mean writing, knitting, making jewelry (that’s my daughter’s looming skills) or we sketch and paint.

Cell phone pictures 1690My eight year old is already quite the little artist! We both share the same amazing art teacher who inspires our love of art. Sophia takes her time when it comes to choosing what she will create. She usually looks through pinterest or a book of art to choose her subject. Once she finds it, she relaxes and paints. It takes a couple of weeks but the end result is always amazing.

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Most importantly, the creative process is one of happiness, relaxation and according to her lots of fun.

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Find your way of relaxation, breathe, take in the beauty of a crisp new day. Pay attention to all the blessings in your life. Give thanks, say a small prayer. Keep this practice going every day if you can. Whenever we do something repeatedly we create a habit. Over time this will bring you peace and fill you up. You will find that you are a much happier person.

I hope you find your way to gratitude and happiness.

 

 

 

Days of Gratitude

We’ve adopted a whole new way of bringing happiness into our lives in this New Year. I have placed a small vase on our dinning room table and every day we write on a piece of paper what we are grateful about and then put it in the vase. At the end of the week, we sit around the table and take turns reading our grateful notes. By the time we are done reading it all we are all smiling. It shows us just how much we have and how happy we should be.

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Being grateful is to be keenly aware of the good things that happen to us and never take them for granted. Researchers are finding that people who express the most gratitude are happier, healthier, and more energetic. The more a person is inclined towards gratitude, the less lonely, stressed, anxious and depressed he or she will be.
It appears that counting our blessings on a regular basis can improve our moods and overall level of happiness and health! But, what if you feel like nothing is going right? What do we do when life presents challenges and adversity? How do we express our gratitude when we aren’t feeling like we have anything to be grateful about?

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Yes, it’s very difficult to feel grateful when we are going through a difficult time, but that’s why it makes so much sense to practice gratitude. In good times and in bad. Instead of focusing on all that is going wrong which can be so easy to do we need to notice and acknowledge all that is going right. On a regular basis we should notice all of the  gifts and blessings we have in life. The more you practice gratitude, the more you’ll find those not-so-great days becoming few and far between.This way we can increase our sense of well-being, and create hope and optimism for the future—no matter what is going on.

 

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Alone with your thoughts

 

270da806342c7c384426912c88f3dd18Who are you when you are alone? Most importantly, are you able to be alone? Completely alone, without any noise? No television, no radio, no books. Are you able to be completely alone with your thoughts? I’m not talking about when you are alone and busying yourself with cleaning, cooking, reading or working. Can you just sit still by yourself and be with your thoughts?

If you can’t, then that should be your mission this year. Just to be ALONE with your THOUGHTS.

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About two years ago I met someone whom I now consider a spiritual mentor. He suggested that I spend al least 20 minutes a day alone. He asked me to listen to my thoughts. I had never been asked to LISTEN to my thoughts. I found it strange but I was willing to try it.

The first time I sat in silence with my thoughts was extremely uncomfortable. It’s not meditation, it’s just being present, in tune with the “movie” playing in my head. We all play movies in our heads. We don’t even know that we are doing it but we do it all the time. We play conversations we’ve had with others. We think about how we could have said things differently. We repeat words of criticism from others or even from ourselves over and over again.

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Sit down, with a journal. Spend twenty minutes writing freely. That means write whatever you are thinking without worrying about spelling, punctuation or jumping from one thought to another. Just write continuously for twenty minutes every day for a month. Don’t look at it, just close the journal as soon as you are done writing. After a month, read your journal. That is how you will see what your subconscious is focusing on. You will see the pattern of your thoughts. Once you know what your focusing on,  you can change it by replacing it with positive thoughts.

There, that’s the amazing piece of information I have been given through my religion, my spirituality, my mentor. I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me and continues to help me.

 

New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year! I know beyond all doubt that 2015 is going to be the greatest year of my life!

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This year will be filled with positive changes because I am totally committed to making it so. I love who I am, and equally love the new me I am creating for 2015.  This year I plan to do at least one thing every day that will move me closer to my goals. This is not me being full of myself, it’s what I have been slowly trying to incorporate into my life. I feel that positive affirmations keep me in a happy place and create positivity in my life. I can easily slip into old habits but I choose not to. I affirm my life every day, in order to create the future I desire. I make time to do the things I need and want to do. I am created by God and I know he wants me to become the best me. I believe that he has the power to give me all that I desire to be.

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My eight-year-old daughter and I began this year with a bang! New Year, new look, new ways of doing good in this world. We can each contribute something good that will effect others positively. I know that my life is going in the right direction when I do something that serves others. It just feels right. I grew up with amazing parents that instilled this in me and I want to make sure my daughter gets the same message growing up. It feels much better giving than getting.

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On New Year’s Eve, my daughter gave something very precious to her. She chopped off ten inches of her beautiful hair to donate to locks of love. It’s an organization that provides hairpieces to kids in the US and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss. For a little girl that really loved her long hair it was a great sacrifice. But we spoke about it extensively and she was growing it long for just this purpose.

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Nevertheless, the actual act was difficult. I’ve never been so proud! I cried while she stood bravely at the hairstylists and got her ponytail chopped off. I asked her if she was OK and her response made me cry even more. She said, “Sure mommy, it’s no big deal it’s just hair. It will grow, I don’t mind looking like a boy to help another child feel better about themselves. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make!”

Wow! That alone made my year! The minute we walked out of the place she looked at me and asked me how long it will take to grow her hair out again? She said, “I really hate my short hair but I guess I can take it for a while. I’ll grow it out super long next time so when I donate it again it won’t be so short!”

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I have the best little girl in the world! She is beautiful both inside and out. She has a heart of gold. She is filled with goodness and compassion. I am so thankful for her. We are so blessed. She is the best gift we have ever received!

I wish you a beautiful,  blessed New Year.  Now get out and do something wonderful for someone else! It feels amazing.