Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ink Drawing


Friday, September 5, 2014

Green Tea and Rice Water Facial Toner plus New Routine

 Today I wanted to share about a new facial toner I've created. First, a little bit of story to help fill in the gaps. I have been ritually following natural skin care for a couple years now and have loved my new face (well essentially just the smooth, bright, and glowing skin!). Recently, we moved to the Phoenix area and if you are familiar with this city, you know how awful the water is here straight from the tap. I don't have the extra funds right now to install a filtering system for my shower head or sink, so my skin has been getting loads of chemicals and lovely things caused by it. Billy and I were breaking out a little bit since the move, so I went to my favorite beauty experts and found some new ways to help combat the problem. As we all know, your skin gets used to things easily so it's good to switch it up every year or so anyways.

My research began with Soko Glam. I love Soko Glam. I had written a post awhile ago on the Rice Water Cleanser which was my first experience with this blog and beauty company. I researched a little bit about the curator's beauty rituals and asked Billy if he wanted to do the challenge with me. It's a bit more intense than what we are used to, but I wanted to see clean pores, and glowing skin! So Billy agreed to join me and it has been a lot of fun!

Here is a basic rundown of our new routine. I have adjusted it for my needs and the products I have on hand. Over time I would like to include using an essence and more face masks! For fuller instructions please visit: Charlotte Cho's Blog

1st Double Cleanse. Oil based cleanser first, followed up by a foaming type cleanser.

2nd Scrub. I use a black sugar scrub. Use it on problem areas only 3 - 4 times a week, depending on your need and sensitivity. On the off days do your facial massage.

3rd Toner. Here is where my new Green Tea and Rice Water Toner comes in. Spritz all over face. Dab in. Wait for 45 seconds before applying next step.

4th Lighter / Milky Serum. Rose hip seed serum. Dab in. Wait for 45 seconds before applying next step.

5th Facial Oil. Jojoba OR Rose Hip Seed oil. Dab in. Wait for 45 seconds before applying next step.

6th Heavier Serum. I use a collagen serum with Rose Water essence. Wait for 45 seconds before applying next step.

7th Light Lotion. Daily lotion. Dab in. Wait for 45 seconds before applying next step.

8th Sunscreen / Night Lotion. Apply either depending on the time of day. Sunscreen in the AM use a SPF 50+ with natural ingredients, avoid harsh chemicals if you can. Night lotion in the PM right before bed. Use a natural ingredient based lotion, or coconut oil.

Other Notes: Check out Face Mask Sheets. Choose from a myriad of choices such as: Cleansing, Moisturizing, Antioxidants, etc. Apply face masks after cleansing, skip the scrub, proceed to next steps. These are amazing and help you to completely relax!

Now for the Green Tea and Rice Water Toner Recipe! I have been concocting my own facial products for the last two years. This one is my favorite by far that I have created. I hope you like it too. The reason I decided to make it was because I wanted to re-introduce green tea into my facial routine, but still keep my regular rice water in play. So I thought why not combine the two? This mix has great potential for changing your skin's dullness into glowing radiance.

The green tea is full of antioxidants to shield your skin from harsh environmental pollutants. The green tea will also help to balance the good and bad bacteria that is on your skin (helping with redness and acne), as well as helping maintain a proper pH level (to help your skin stay moisturized after you apply lotion).

The rice water is a lovely, lovely thing. I used it straight on my skin for a long time and the results were a smoother facial texture, smaller pores, an even complexion (because rice water lightens skin and redness), assists with proper pH level. The protein in the rice water will help to restore your skin making it smoother to the touch as well as visually smoother. Click here for Rice Water Toner Recipe

Green Tea Rice Water Facial Toner
1 cup distilled water
2 tbsp dried loose green tea leaves, organic
1/4 cup dried jasmine rice, preferably organic

Place the green tea leaves and rice in the distilled water. Stir well. Let sit over the span of an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Strain mixture into sterile, lidded container, or spritzer. I set a funnel into the opening of the spritzer, then set the strainer inside of the funnel. I then carefully poured the infused water through. 

Keep the toner in the fridge because there are no preservatives. Rice will begin to ferment within a day and gets quite stinky if not refrigerated! In the fridge, it will last for 3 - 5 weeks.

To use, spritz on face, and gently dab into skin. Let air dry, do not rinse. Proceed to next step in facial care routine.

NOTE: This recipe is NOT for consumption, for external use only.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Moving On

I once lived in a musty, turn of the century, little brick apartment down town Prescott. Up to that point I had always dreamed of living somewhere like that. A place that was antiquated in the best possible ways, with quirks that would take getting used to. I used to dream of a brick building with my own business underneath, particularly selling records, coffee, and having shows. I guess it was a very similar dream for many of my friends at the time. This apartment came to me when I was least seeking it out. I was only concerned about finding any affordable place, anything where we could have our own home, yet be able to pay for everything too without feeling too crunched for money. When I was younger thinking about the place, money was never a concern; it's funny how things change so.

The day we moved in, it was raining incredibly more than it had been all week, go figure. Our stuff got drenched, the boxes smelt like wet cats, we were soaked to the bone, the truck we borrowed from my dad got a little banged up... I've noticed in life though, and I had thought of it before this particularly rough day thankfully, that when the start up is rocky, the outcome shines. So even though our move-in day appeared to be lousy and our hearts were heavy (we had dealt with the rain like champs, but the truck damage did us in) I was excited for what was to come in the next year. I knew the studio would be perfect for us. It presented new challenges such as limiting our stuff, really cutting down on extra things we didn't need, living together as if we only had a bedroom to share and no places of respite, entertaining guests who would have the new experience of sleeping on their hosts floor right next to them in bed (awkward? more just hilarious). It was a good time of re-thinking what was important to us. I came out of it loving change, whereas before I dreaded change.

Leaving our apartment a year later, I felt like our time there was really fulfilling. I didn't want to continue living there, I was eager to see what else was in our future. My heart was in our studio, and all of the times spent there were perfect times; but I knew that growth started to happen where we weren't fitting in that small space anymore. I was growing out of it in my heart. It wasn't an accumulation of things, it was an accumulation of heart. I wanted to see a new city, and eventually start seeing places around the world, and I knew I couldn't do that if I had remained where I was.

Now I'm here in a new house and it's suiting me just fine. Circumstances surrounding the physical are still not really too concrete for me and I want them to be, but I'm happy I challenged myself to embrace change. I want to find a rhythm here and feel like its home, but when that moment comes, it will inevitably be time to move on to something else completely new again.

Oh the cycles of life, where we desire, grow, learn, and move on once again ... 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Working On Balance ...

I started working out again. It's been awhile, probably about 4 years. In between I've been choosing to work my heart and self by walking, hiking, and stretching. Since I have been watching Billy get serious about getting fit and healthy, I decided to start it up again. I am not a fan of cardio so can't keep up with Billy's routine, such as the Insanity workout, so I found a workout I like called POP Pilates on You Tube. I like her positive attitude and the workouts are very challenging, so it's nice to be pushed in both staying positive emotionally and keep going physically. Just thought I'd share it in case you're looking for a new routine as well ... This is just one video out of MANY. So if you like it, just look her up on You Tube. Happy workout!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life -- gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in -- but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him."
- Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest

Thank you for the quote Ashley:)