Succulent Secrets

Houseplants and succulents can be a great addition to any living space. The extra pop of color can really brighten up a space, but did you know that there are also health benefits to having them around? Some of these benefits are listed below as well as tips on taking care of your beautiful plants.

1. Increase Productivity

Indoor plants just tend to make you feel more relaxed and concentrated. Having them around throughout your home, apartment, or dorm room, just seems to put you in an overall better mood, thus increasing your productivity as well!

2. You Can Put Them Anywhere

Succulents and cacti can pretty much be put anywhere and be able to survive with minimal care needed. As long as they are able to get a small amount of sunlight and you water them once every couple of weeks, you should be good to go while giving the space a pop of color. I am able to keep them alive in my tiny dorm room which probably means they will survive literally anywhere.

3. Help Create Clean Air

By having small plants or succulents around they are in a way filtering the carbon monoxide that you are breathing out and returning you with the wonderful gift of oxygen. Basically, they can help you survive which is pretty important.

Tips For Taking Care of Them

Succulents and cacti in specific are so simple to take care of. You definitely do not need a green thumb in order for them to strive. I water my cacti about once every couple of weeks and my other succulents about once every week. You could also simply put an ice cube in every few weeks and they will stay hydrated that way as well.

The nice things about these types of plants is that they can easily grow inside. As long as they are in front of a window and get some sunlight throughout the day, they will be fine.

Overall succulents are a very easy thing to take care of, but you can get lots of benefits out of them. They can add a nice pop of color, along with some health benefits, at little cost or time commitment from you.

What are some of your favorite houseplants? Until next time lovelies.

Video

Drop Those Fizzy Bombs!

Bath bombs can be fun for all ages. As much as I like going to the store and picking the perfect one, it can also be fun to make the perfect one at home! Here is a how to video so you can have a DIY spa day.

Recipe

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • Food coloring-as much as you need to get the perfect color
  • Essential oil scent of your choice
  • Spray bottle
  • Molds

Stir all of the dry ingredients together. Combine the food coloring with a little bit of water in a spray bottle and spritz it into the dry mixture. Make sure to do this gradually, because if you add to much the mixture will start to fizz resulting in the bath bomb not fizzing in the water. Next add a few drops of essential oil and mix everything together until the color is consistent throughout. Place the mixture into whatever mold you decided on and let them dry overnight.

Original Recipe from Maria’s Self Blog

Music Credit: Snow Music Studio

Facial Fun

Face Masks are a great way to de-stress and relax. You can put one on right before bed or before you take a bubble bath. There are so many different face masks on the market from sheet masks to clay masks, and now they even have roll-on face masks. There are also many different scents and formulas that each have their own benefits.

Lavender

Lavender is known to be relaxing. I will typically use lavender scented face masks before bed, as it will help me relax and allow me to fall asleep faster. These are also a great option for when you are feeling stressed throughout the day, I tend to do a lot of these during finals week.

Oatmeal Based

Oatmeal based facemasks moisturize your skin. It is said that the oatmeal hydrates your skin and gives you a natural looking glow. It also helps to get the dirt out of your pores, making it a good option for you if you have acne.

Charcoal

Charcoal face masks have become more popular in recent years. Like the oatmeal based masks, they clean out your pores and help to treat blackheads and acne.

Sheet Mask vs. Clay Mask

Sheet masks are a really easy, convenient way to do a face mask. You simply take it out of the package, put it on your face for 10 minutes, and remove. With these, you do not have to get your hands dirty rubbing the clay ones over your face.

I personally prefer clay masks. I feel like compared to the sheet masks, they make my skin softer and it feels more “natural”. They are more inconvenient in that you have to get your hands dirty to put it on, and then go and rinse it off your face when you are done. There are benefits and cons to both, so choose whichever works for you or switch back and forth between them.

Personal Favorite

I just recently discovered my new favorite face mask of all time and it is the Olay Mask Clay Sticks. These take easy face masks to the next level by letting you roll it on while getting the effect of a regular clay mask without the messy part. They have a few different options depending on what you are using the mask for. I have tried the Glow Boost one so far and it gives my skin a natural glow while making it feel extra soft as well.

4 Ingredient Energy Balls

Sometimes finding healthy, tasty snacks can be a struggle. I know for me I hate having to spend a lot of time making something, which usually leads to me just going for a bag of chips. Recently I found a new favorite snack and it only has 4 ingredients and can be made super quick. Below are the easy steps on how to make these energy balls.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Makes about 12-14 balls

The first step is to add all of the ingredients into the bowl.

Next, stir with a spatula until all of the ingredients are mixed together well.

After all ingredients are mixed together, place the bowl into the fridge for about 20 minutes. This will allow the mixture to stiffen a bit, allowing you to roll them into balls.=

Finally, remove the mixture from the fridge and roll into about 1 1/2 inch balls. I used a cookie scoop to make sure they were all the same size, but you can just estimate or use a regular spoon to ensure they are the same size. Store them in a container, and keep them in the fridge, that is if you don’t eat them all at once!

If you try out this recipe let me know what you think in the comments below. You could try all different combinations as well! Until next time lovelies.

Bye Bye Soda

Quitting any bad habit or addiction is never easy. It takes major dedication to give something like alcohol, smoking, or in my case soda, up. I used to drink 2-3 cans of soda every day. This was not healthy at all. It became routine for me to drink soda when I had an early class, was studying late at night, or just needed a little pick me up during the day.

I hit a point where I was not only gaining weight from drinking so much sugary soda, but I could not sleep at night because of the caffeine. I knew I had to make a change or my health would start to deteriorate. I knew I would not be able to just stop drinking it all together at once, so made a game plan.

The first thing I did was start limiting myself to one can of soda a day, and I would not drink it at 4 PM. This helped me fall asleep quicker, and stay asleep. After a couple of weeks of one soda a day, I changed my plan again so that I would only drink one can a day on the weekends. After about a month and a half of this, I stopped drinking soda all together. Overall it was about a two-month process to rid my soda habit, but it was so worth it.

Giving soda up had some major effects on my body at the beginning. My body was so used to getting soda every day that when I gave it up, my body cleaned itself out. I was sick for a week, and I thought about just drinking a soda to make it stop, but I held strong and after that initial week I started feeling so much better.

I had so much energy just from drinking water right when I woke up rather than a can of soda. The thing I missed most about soda was the fizzy texture of it, so I found some healthier alternatives, that had the same feel as soda, as well as some that would give me the extra energy boost that I needed.

Ice Drinks: These drinks have the same texture as soda does, which is why I like them so much. Another plus is that you can usually get them for $1 a bottle. There are also a ton of different flavor options.

Drink Flavoring: There are many different water flavor options that are easy to stick in your purse and simply add it to the water very conveniently. You could go with a powder option or a container of liquid flavoring. I recently found energy options of these, and they taste great and give me that extra boost of energy.

You can quit your bad habit too, you just need to be motivated and willing to take the steps necessary. Let me know what habit you were able to get over and give us a follow. Until next time lovelies.

Cuticle Care

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If you are anything like me you love to have your nails done.  You may paint them yourself or you may be someone who goes to the nail salon every three weeks to get gels or acrylics.  Whichever you may do, it is important to take care of your nails as the acrylics, and even just polish can be harmful to them.  Here a couple of tips to help keep your nails in tip-top shape.

Fake Nails

I’m speaking from experience on this one.  If you decide to get acrylic nails when it’s time to take them off go back to the salon and have them do it for you. They may charge a small fee, usually around $10, but it is way easier than trying to get them off yourself.  I have searched every corner of Pinterest looking for “easy ways to get acrylics off”, and they never seem to work.  I usually end up ripping part of my real nail off along with the acrylic and have started just paying the place I got them done to do it for me.  It saves me a lot of time and pain.

If you are someone who likes to get acrylics on pretty frequently, it is easiest to get them filled when they start growing out, rather than having them take them off and start over.  A lot of salons will also charge you less when you are getting them filled along with a color change since they do not need to go through as long of a process.

Natural Nails

More recently I have just been using nail polish on my nails.  This is not as bad for your nails as the fake ones are, but there are some steps you can take to protect your nails when using polish.

The first suggestion is to always use a base coat under your actual nail polish.  This will put an extra layer of protection on your nail, so it is less likely to become damaged.  Another important thing is when you do take your nail polish off, do not apply more for a few days, 3-5 usually, to allow time for your nails to regain some of their strength.  If you have nail polish on constantly, it can cause your nails to get a yellowish tint to them, and nobody wants that!

Some people hate having super long nails and when they cut them they get them as short as they possibly can.  Although long nails can be annoying, you shouldn’t cut them super short as it will make it easier to get a painful ingrown nail.  When cutting your toenails make sure to cute them straight across and do not curve it, if you curve them it will be more likely for an ingrown nail, or tears on your nails.

Nail Care Tips

  1. DO NOT CUT YOUR CUTICLES.  This can break them down permanently, which leads to overall unhealthy nails.  Instead, if they are getting too far up on your fingers for your liking, soak them in warm water for a couple minutes and then push them back using a rounded, wooden rod.  You can find these at Walgreens.
  2. If you do file your nails after trimming them, it is best to use a glass file rather than a metal one.  The glass ones stay cleaner, which means for healthier nails.  When filing your nails keep filing in one direction rather than going back and forth to prevent your nails from tearing.
  3. Taking nail vitamins can make them both stronger and longer.  I typically take the vitamins that are for hair, skin, and nails, and I did see a difference.  I usually use the ones pictured below, however, there are many different brands out there.  They are usually priced around $15 for these specific ones, but I have seen the gummy version for cheaper.  If you shop around there are plenty of different options.
    hair skin nails.jpg

4. Using hand lotion or moisturizer every day will help improve nail health.  It specifically helps the cuticles, and with healthy cuticles, you will have overall healthy nails.

I hope these tips will help you guys out as well.  Be sure to give us a follow to keep up with our future health and beauty tips.  Until next time lovelies!