Weekly Chats | Grating Soap and Melancholy Thoughts

Welcome to the first weekly chat post, a series that I hope can become a staple to the Tangerine and Me blog.

Since I recently renovated this blog into a more business oriented platform I wanted to find a way to still keep it interesting and personal upon occasion. And so the weekly chats series was born.

Shop Talk | The month of June was the birthday of the Tangerine and Me soap shop which was incredibly exciting as well as equally scary.

It was a relatively successful beginning with many lessons and realizations that could only come through experience and a few failures.

The dozens of fragrant soap bars cluttering my cabinets seemed like a hefty product selection to open shop with but I quickly realized just how few products I actually had to offer once each listing was put up.

That little lesson has taught me to be less hesitant when it comes to stocking up, so this month will be all about making, making, making.

Slow Moments | To be terribly honest, I haven’t made much room for slowness as of late.

Growing a business, writing a book, taking care of health issues, and just living life in general is apparently a lot for one persons plate and I just happen to be trying to balance all of that.

I have stuck to my routine of leaving one day free a week to relax and spend as I please, a few work related things might worm their way in occasionally but as a rule I usually just stick to take a breather.

One strange but calming thing that I have found myself doing recently is grating soap. It sounds crazy, I know, but I have been experimenting with some new soap products lately and I have found myself, more than once, completely lulled into a strange state of calm as I grated a chunk of soft soap into wispy, little strips.

Thoughts | Lately I have been thinking about balance and how it is such a rickety concept that is constantly changing with the times and seasons and how once you seem to grasp it everything changes and you have to start again.

Perhaps that melancholy thought has been in my mind because I am still struggling daily to keep up with life or perhaps it is merely bred from my fear of falling behind and somehow failing that goal that we are all taught to strive for.

There are times where I sometimes feel like I might permanently be trapped in a mid-life crisis with all of the melodramatic thoughts that seem to clutter my mind.

But for now I will keep trying to find that sneaky little thing called balance with the hopes of one day finally grasping it.

 

All Natural Mouth Care

One of the first things that I made when I began to use more natural skin care was my own toothpaste and mouth wash.

The idea of making your own mouth products might seem strange to most people but it is really such a cheap and affordable step towards a more natural lifestyle.

The realization that what I was putting in my mouth might not be the healthiest option for my teeth and gum health was when I really started to notice the ingredients in the toothpaste and mouth wash that I was using.

Both were usually riddled with unnatural dyes, sugar, and a hoard of long words that I thought, must surely be unnecessary.

The ingredients seemed to contradict the products purpose and besides it being highly manufactured, excessively packaged, and unhealthy, there was a much more natural and affordable option.

Toothpaste | The one recipe that I have stuck with through the years has been a very quick and simple one made up of only two ingredients. Coconut oil and baking soda.

Oil has a way of latching onto dirt and bacteria in a way that most other ingredients cannot do which means that it will stick to and pull out the build up on teeth and gums.

Coconut oil is also the perfect consistency to whip up by hand and has a pleasant taste and a soft feel to it.

Throw in a small portion of baking soda which is known for its cleaning capabilities as well as having a slight whitening affect and you will have a very simple, all natural toothpaste recipe to use as is or to build on.

If you are want a more uniquely made toothpaste then you can add in a small bit of stevia for sweetness, benonite clay for an extra cleaning toothpaste, or a small amount of essential oils for flavor.

Mouth Wash | Creating a mouth wash personalized for your dental needs can be a little more tricky then putting together toothpaste.

Being someone who has always suffered from sensitive, bleeding gums, I use a simple mouth wash of sea salt and water to promote healing and good bacteria.

You should always reasearch natural options for your personal needs, if you suffer from bad breath maybe a strong cinnamon tea would make a good mouth wash for you or another herbal tea could help with any other dental issues you may have.

Always make sure that what you are making is safe especially if it is going into your body and always stop using your products if they are causing any negative reactions.

 

Skin Care Basics | Essential Oils

Essential oils are very ‘in’ right now and though I’m not one to follow trends or fads, I do fully support the promotion of more natural living.

The addition of essential oils into my skin care routine has been a slow journey and a cautious one since essential oils are very potent oils that need to be handled with care.

They are fun and wonderful ingredients to introduce into your skin care routine and with enough education and a light hand, they can be utterly harmless.

Lavender | Though I tend to stay away from most floral oils because of personal preferences, I do always have a bottle of lavender essential oil on hand.

It’s fragrant and has the amazing ability of calming irritated skin as well as reducing redness. It is also a very moisturizing essential oil which makes it a perfect match for dry skin.

Chamomile | Chamomile just might be one of the most expensive essential oils to buy but if you are really interested in incorporating essential oils into your skin care here are a few reasons why it might be worth the expense.

We all know that chamomile tea is amazing at calming irritation whether that be internal or external, when you use chamomile essential oil you multiply that by ten.

It is very potent and fragrant with a brightening and lightening effect on the skin as well as calming any redness or irritation. It is a fantastic option for those who suffer from acne or skin conditions similar to eczema.

Tea Tree | I have saved the best for last because this essential oil is by far my most used and favorite oil.

As someone who has chronically red and inflamed skin, this oil is my go to almost everyday because of its antibacterial properties.

It has the amazing ability of reducing redness and healing cuts or irritated skin blemishes almost overnight. For those reasons it is very popular as a spot treatment.

As a word of caution, tea tree oil is toxic if taken internally so always keep it away from your mouth and eyes.

Though I have only listed but a very few essential oil options, there are hundreds to choose from and experiment with but as always, you must do so with caution.

When you take charge of your own skin care you must also take charge of the safety measures. Never take essential oils internally unless you have properly researched the oil first and always be light handed with the amount you use even externally since anything can become irritating with too high of a dose.

Blog Updates

Hello everyone, you might have noticed that I haven’t been very active on the blog lately and when I have posted it may have seemed to be a bit lack luster.

I opened an Etsy shop last month where I sell handmade soap and as much as I love my randomly chatty, type of blog posts it is time to mesh the two brands together.

I completely understand if I find a sudden drop in readers since I’m completely changing the direction of this blog but I hope that you will choose to stick around.

Who knows, you might end up enjoying the new content to come.

Essential Oils: The Basics

Something that I’ve really gotten into lately is essential oils and how to incorporate them into my daily routines.

When I first began making my own beauty products years ago, it took me a while to buy my first essential oils. In my ignorance I only purchased the least expensive oils I could find and ultimately ended up wasting money.

It has taken quite a while for me to find the quality of essential oils that I am happy with but now that I have, I have been experimenting with blends and different uses for them.

I still have yet to really begin growing my collection but I have a pretty lovely group of oils that I use regularly and I wanted to share some of them.

Sweet Orange Oil

– I love any kind of citrus oil so sweet orange is one of my most reached for essential oils. I use this oil with a nighttime blend for most of my baths since it pairs nicely with just about any other scent.

Eucalyptus Oil

– Eucalyptus should be one of your first oils to buy if you want to start experimenting with essential oils. It is amazing in nasal steams for when you are sick or battling with seasonal allergies. Eucalyptus often makes an appearance in my essential oil diffuser blends as well.

Cinnamon Leaf Oil

– This essential oil was my first good quality essential oil and I still enjoy and use it quite regularly. I often put a few drops in my diffuser to make my space smell very much like christmas or I use it in the form of a diluted perfume.

Peppermint Oil

– Peppermint essential oil is another one of those oils that you should buy right away if your looking into essential oils. It’s uses are endless but some of the ways that I regularly use it are in facial steams, roll ons for headaches and overheating, and in my diffuser.

Earth and Wood Synergy Blend

– When I first received this essential oil blend I really didn’t like it at first since it was much more woody than I had expected but as I continued to use it, it really began to grow on me. It is made with a blend of cardamom, fir needle, patchouli, and sandalwood which I imagine would be a great scent for men.

I enjoy this blend the most in baths since the water dilutes the scent enough to mellow the earthiness out just enough.

Those are a handful of my most used and liked essential oils and I hope to soon share a post on my favorite essential oil blends for diffusing.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog post and let me know in the comments if any of you have essential oil suggestions.

 

 

Tangerine and Me is Officially Open

I have never mentioned the fact that I have been working on opening a shop with the same brand as this blog so surprise, surprise.

I am opening a soap shop on Etsy which has been in the making for quite some time and I guess that I have never mentioned it strictly because it just didn’t really seem to fit into any of my content.

A little over a year ago I taught myself how to make soap since, as I have mentioned before, I love natural skincare.

Soap making is a pretty extravagant hobby since it takes a few pricey ingredients and is usually made in batches of ten bars and upwards which is quite a lot of soap for one person to use on their own.

My very first batch of soap smelled weird and looked even weirder but despite the numerous ingredient calculations and a mild chemical burn, I fell in love with the process of making something that most people would never think of making at home.

I remember anxiously waiting six weeks before I could try out my new creation and though it might have not been the best smelling or prettiest soap out there it worked better than any other soap I had used before.

So that was the beginning of my soap making adventure.

That being said, there is a much more detailed about page that I have written on my Etsy shop where you can read more about how my soaps are made, what the ingredients are, and what my shop stands for.

Tangerine and Me has been a long time in the making and I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the news to all of you who are reading this.

If you would like to check out the shop just click on this link here.

 

It’s the Little Things: Lessons in Slow Living

Today is about the little things. I tell myself this as I push through with the few hours of sleep I had the night before, that precious time having been assaulted by one of my worst migraines yet.

This blog post isn’t about chronic illnesses but I can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that it was very much my illness that helped me to see how important those little things are.

When you live in a constant cycle of sickness you really start to noticing and greatly appreciate the importance of little accomplishments and moments of pleasure in life.

Life is made up of little moments, moments that can so easily go unnoticed or unappreciated.

We look to the lives of others and often envy the excitement and the adventures that they have in their life, thinking that our dull and routine based existence is incomparable.

We are seduced by the idea of living outrageously and freely and since few of us actually have the ability to live our life like that we tend to try to live through the lives of others.

If we spend so much time wishing away the quiet days and the weeks that often run into the other, we risk missing those moments in life that can bring just as much joy.

A large part of slow living is the act of seeing those things around you and not being so caught up in the whirlwind of thoughts and dreams that we miss the beauty that has already blossomed in your life.

Like I mentioned in my post on lessons in solitude: finding joy through silence  here, there is a certain kind of beauty when it comes to silence and solitude and enjoying your own company.

It is the little and seemingly unimportant things in life that make it worth living. Too much excitement and adventure will eventually catch up to you but living your life aware of those precious moments found in stillness will help to nourish you daily.

So pause. Pause your body, pause your mind, pause the need to keep moving, and look around you. Stop looking for perfect or amazing and see the ordinary things that you’ve been over looking all along.

Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. we risk missing out when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary ~ Brene Brown

Licorice and Peppermint Face Mask

 

It has taken me a long time to really get back into skincare after losing my passion for it in the midst of health issues and the hustle and bustle of life.

I stopped making time for one of my favorite things because it felt unproductive when I could be doing more important things than just lounging around with a green face mask on.

Finding the realization that not everything we do in life needs to be productive and time managed is incredibly important. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, setting aside time to do the things that you love is never a waste.

With that being said, I wanted to share this herbal face mask with all of you.

There are only three ingredients in it which make it a breeze to throw together and all of the ingredients are relatively easy to find if, like me, you buy everything online.

Peppermint is antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and very healing which is great if your suffering from any break outs or unsightly redness.

Licorice root is one of my favorite herbs for reducing redness and for skin lightening, it is also very good for those with sensitive skin.

Matcha is an amazing purifier for the skin since it is very concentrated. It is also anti inflammatory and helps to reduce redness while still being gentle for those with sensitive skin.

You can see that I went with a theme here since this mask’s main characteristic is its ability to reduce redness while being anti inflammatory and gentle.

I usually use equal parts matcha to peppermint leaves with just a pinch of licorice root. You will want to grind all of the ingredients together to get a loose powder.

For your own convenience, buying licorice root that is already ground is a must in order to avoid a long grinding process that will usually result in splinters.

Make as much as you want then combine a teaspoon of the mask in enough water to create a loose paste and store the rest of the mask in a container.

This face mask is a bit cold and tingly so if your sensitive to that you might want to add more matcha than peppermint leafs.

Leave the mask on for fifteen minutes or until dry.

Let me know in the comments if any of you try out this mask and if you would like to see my last blog post where I talked about my thoughts on creating balance, click here.

 

 

 

Four Ways to turn a Bad Day into a Wellness Day

Today didn’t start off very well, I never really sleep peacefully which means my mornings always feel a bit forced and sluggish and I just kind of woke up to a bad day which happens to all of us sometimes.

You can either choose to continue in a bad mood for the rest of the day or you can do your best to turn it around into something that you can be proud and thoroughly enjoy.

I wanted to share four things that I often do when I’m having a bad day to try to cheer myself up and incorporate a little wellness into an otherwise unenjoyable day.

Take A Bath:

I love a good bath any day of the week but when it comes to days that just seem to be going down hill, taking the time to enjoy a long bath is a wonderful way to bring stillness to a frazzled mind.

Add some of your favorite salts and oils, grab your bath entertainment, and sit back and let the bad vibes soak off.

Talk To A Friend:

One of the best ways to shake off a bad mood is to call up or text a close friend, friends are there to support you and bring joy to your life so don’t try to block them out just because of a bad mood.

Have them tell you a story or perhaps just a summary of how their day is going whether it be good or bad, misery loves company after all.

Make Something:

This can mean whatever you want it to mean, whether you enjoy cooking or crafting. The point is to just make something that brings you joy during the process as well as when its finished.

I personally love to bake on days that aren’t going so well, not only do you have something to be proud of once your finished but you also have something delicious to enjoy.

Take A Nap:

I saved the best for last because this tip is by far my most successful way of beating the blues on a bad day.

There are some days that I just don’t have the time or the privacy to really go into a full wellness day so setting aside twenty to thirty minutes for a quick cat nap almost always does the trick.

It’s important to remember that there really aren’t any good and bad days, everything that happens in our life can either have a negative or positive impact depending on our reaction and mindset.

Your life is only as good as you make it so decide to have a good day and good things will follow.

So those are my four tips for turning around a bad day, I hope you found them helpful and if any of you have any specific things you like to do to cheer yourself up on a bad day leave a comment bellow, I would love to hear them.

If you are interested in reading my last blog post on minimalism click here http://www.tangerineandme.com/quantity-quality-living-excess/

 

 

Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil Facial Steam

I was very excited about writing this blog post since its going to be the first wellness post on this blog. Before I created this newer blog I originally wrote about natural beauty and I’m so glad that I can incorporate a bit of that into this blog too.

Recently I have been dealing with a variety of skin issues such as clusters of cystic acne and a few small, scaly rashes on my chin and neck. I have terrible allergies which might be the cause of the rashes but I used to have a skin infection that caused me to get cysts on my knees and face.

The doctors never found the cause of the infection but the fact that it has returned and has been spreading over my face led me to take matters into my own hands.

Anything that required me to touch my face was just too painful so any special face washes or scrubs were out of the question which led me to doing a facial steam.

Facial steams are amazing for any kind of break outs since it doesn’t require you to be aggressive with your skin in any way and it gives your skin a deep clean that just washing your face can’t achieve.

Peppermint is anti-inflammatory as well as soothing for skin issues and tea tree oil is very well known for its anti-bacterial qualities. Together these two herbal treatments make a simple but powerful skin treatment for any kind of break out or ailment you might have.

To make the facial steam heat up several cups of water until a steady flow of steam is visible then add one peppermint tea bag or a few drops of peppermint oil,  as well as a few drops of tea tree oil into the water.

Gently wash your face with water then cover your head with a towel and sit with your face comfortable close to the water for five to eight minutes then splash cool water onto your face to remove any sweat or oils and pat dry.

You should see a noticeable difference in the clearness of your skin, some of the pimples will turn into scabs and others might rise to the surface to be gently cleaned.

Even if this facial steam isn’t a magical cure for the skin issues you might have it’s still worth the effort to give yourself a little pamper since any kind of facial steam has a way of relaxing even the most anxious of people.