Guilty Pleasures: Homemade Chocolate

Men may have their dogs, some women have their diamonds, but my best friend is chocolate. Here is a quick 5 ingredient, easy, and boyfriend-approved recipe to get your chocolate fix!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (you can also use cocoa butter, vegetable shortening, or copha)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Boil a cup of water in a saucepan and place a large bowl over top of the saucepan not allowing it to touch the water.

2. Melt the coconut oil on medium in the large bowl.

3. Add powdered sugar to melted oil.

4. Add cocoa powder to the mix.

5. Add milk powder to the mix as well.

6. Add vanilla extract and mix together.

7. Mix well until it is smooth and there are no bumps.

8. Pour the mix into molds. If you don’t have molds like I did, you can use an ice cube tray to make them into smaller pieces.

9. Tap or shake the tray gently to let the air out of the chocolates.

10. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until molds are solid.

11. Serve and enjoy!! Powdered sugar sprinkled on top is optional. Refrigerated leftovers should last up to 4 months!

Let me know what you did to your chocolates. How did you make them unique? Comment pictures below!

Recipe from: https://hebbarskitchen.com/homemade-chocolate-recipe-milk-chocolate/

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.

Tame the Mane

While working out and eating healthy are great ways to stay young and love your body, it is easy to forget about your long (or short) beautiful locks. Whether you have long flowing hair, or are rocking a pixie cut, here are some tip to keep your hair as healthy as can be.

General Hair Care

Condition: Keeping your scalp conditioned allows your hair to grow

Healthy Trim: Getting a healthy haircut and trimming the split ends every couple of months helps keep your hair healthy and allows it to grow

All Natural: While changing up your hairstyle every couple of months can be exciting, it is so harmful to your hair when you dye it all the time. If you are going to dye your hair once in a while, go into a salon and have it done, do not use the box stuff from stores. The professionals know how to make it look good, and their dye will most likely be better for your hair than the box stuff.

No Heat: Everyone wants to get all dolled up once in a while, either curling your hair if it’s naturally straight or straightening your hair if it’s naturally curly. Whichever you choose to do, try to limit the amount of heat you are using on your hair as it can permanently damage your lovely locks. Doing it once every couple of weeks is fine, but do not make this into a daily habit. Another heat factor to avoid is hair dryers. Give yourself enough time in the morning for your hair to air dry, rather than having to use a blow dryer and damaging your hair.

Switch up Shampoo: It is recommended to switch your shampoo every few months. This is because your hair will get so used to the different ingredients in certain shampoo that it will stop helping it grow. So once you finish a bottle of shampoo, instead of buying the same kind, try a different brand. Some people also will keep two bottles and switch back and forth between the two every other week.

Curly Hair Tips

Condition Wash: With curly hair, it is not always wise to use shampoo every time you wash your hair. Even if it says for frizzy, curly hair, it will end up drying out your hair. So, to counter this, just use conditioner on your hair every other wash. It will help prevent it from drying out and breaking.

Avoid Towel Drying: Tousling out excess water with a towel will create a frizzy mess. Instead, use a t-shirt to gently squeeze out leftover water after running a brush through your curly wet locks.

Use a Comb, Not a Brush: The large gaps between the teeth on a comb gently separate curls and can give them a little more bounce. Brushes will pull and instead of allowing strands of hair to stick together to give a smoother, thicker curl, you will have a frizzy mess.

Straight Hair Tips

Tangle Prevention: Using a wide-toothed comb while still in the shower before rinsing your conditioner can help to prevent tangles. Once out of the shower, it is best to just use this same comb, or your fingers, to gently comb through your hair. By not using a crush on your wet hair, you can avoid breakage.

Avoid Product: Too much product on straight hair will make it look weighed down. If you want some extra volume only use a small amount of product for this.

Static Control: If you live in a colder climate you know how tough winter can be for straight hair. In order to help prevent static while wearing a hat and brushing your hair, purchase some static guard. You can spray this on both your hairbrush and the inside of your hat in order to help control the frizz.

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.
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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!