Get Incredibly Smooth Skin with Homemade Natural Sugar Scrub

Next time you are at the store, pick up a tub of body scrub and check out the ingredients. I'll give you a preview: "chemical, chemical, chemical, artificial fragrance, chemical, chemical". Sounds like something you want to use on your body, right? Not!

There are some fantastic products on the market that are all-natural alternatives to chemical-filled body scrubs, but they can be pricey! So what is a girl to do?

Motivated both by my desire for an inexpensive body scrub and my weekend laziness keeping me from leaving the house, I whipped up a recipe for a scrub that you can easily make with ingredients you already have in your pantry! The result is a super cheap, delicious smelling, natural body scrub that leaves your skin silky and smooth!

1 cup of cane sugar
1 cup of oil (coconut oil, light olive oil, and avocado oil all work great)
10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil

Mix the sugar and oil well, add your essential oils, and then mix a little more! Store in a glass container with a tight seal, and you're done! To use it, massage into wet skin and then rinse off. (Be careful as the oils can make your bathtub slippery, so make sure to wipe down the tub when you are done so the next person doesn't go head over heels!)

For my scrub, I used extra virgin olive oil and a blend of ylang ylang and lavender oil. As soon as I was done, I was so excited that I jumped immediately in the tub to use it! I have a feeling this batch won't last me very long with how much I love it, so I'm looking forward to trying other combinations of oils. I might try mixing in some coconut sugar in addition to the cane sugar as well!

Let me know what you think! What is your favorite combination of oils?

Create Your Own Mala

Lately, I have felt a pull towards meditating with a mala. As discussed in my previous post, it can really help you stay focused and keep track of mantra repetition. After looking at a few to purchase, I realized the one I desired didn't exist yet, and it was up to me to create it!

Creating this mala was a great project (and not terribly difficult), so I thought it would be fun to share with you how to make your own!

During its creation, keep a general thought of well-being or your personal mantra in mind. It can help to set your intent while creating your mala, and can become a meditation in and of itself!

What you will need: wood/seed beads and/or gemstone beads, a larger "guru" bead, a strong nylon string, and embroidery floss. If mixing types of beads, try to keep them a similar size as to keep meditation as seamless as possible. In addition, I found a beading needle to be extremely helpful with threading (which can be found at your local craft store).

Begin by counting out 108 beads (not including your guru bead). For my personal mala, I chose to have 94 wooden beads, and 7 rose quartz beads on each side. I incorporated rose quartz into my mala since my mantra focuses opening up my heart chakra, and rose quartz has a soft, compassionate energy that encourages unconditional love, dissolves emotional wounds, and offers inner peace.

Now comes the time consuming, yet oddly satisfying, part. Leaving at least 6 inches of extra thread on the end, create a knot so your beads will not slide off. Since I wanted to have mirroring rose quartz on either side of the guru bead, I started with my first 7 rose quartz beads, then went on to add the 94 wooden beads, then the remaining rose quartz beads. If you have the time (and the patience), place a knot after each bead to create a small space between them (which not only helps in meditation, but also keeps beads from going everywhere in case it breaks).

Time to make the tassel! Take your embroidery floss (I used a single packet that had transitioning colors) and separate at least 8 inches from the main group, but do not cut it off (just place it out of the way to the side). Then, tie your extra nylon string coming from the bottom of the guru bead around the floss and knot on the bottom of the bundle to attach it to your mala. Fold over the embroidery floss to hide your knot, and wrap the 'set aside' floss around the top multiple times. Once satisfied, loop your remaining thread through the tassel to create a knot. Cut the end of the tassel to eliminate loops or uneven edges, and you're done!

 Congratulations! You are now the proud owner and creator of a beautiful mala!

Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner

Have you ever gotten on your trusty yoga mat, stretched up into down dog, and had your hand slip? The cause might be a dirty mat!

Over time, yoga mats can accumulate dust, dirt, and sweat, all of which imbed into the mat and create a slippery surface. To avoid slipping and causing injury (slippery mat + down dog = face plant... ouch!), I created a spray to help keep my yoga mat clean, sanitary, and a little safer!

Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner Recipe:

3 parts water (I use distilled or Vitajuwel for that extra crystal energy goodness)
1 part witch hazel
5-10 drops essential oil (depending on the size of your bottle)

Combine all ingredients in a small spray bottle (I use one with a fine mist so I get even coverage, but any spray bottle will work). Shake to mix ingredients, and you are good to go!

I use mine everyday after I practice by spraying down my entire mat, letting it sit for a few minutes, and then wiping down with a clean cloth. (After a hot yoga class, I alternate between soaking it in the tub or just heavily spraying with my cleanser, and then allow for my yoga mat to dry in the fresh air.)

Your yoga mat is always a welcoming sanctuary and home, and (as I'm sure your mother always likes to remind you if she is anything like mine) a clean home is a happy home!