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Ever since the birth of my daughter, Evelyn Rose has been a special scent to our family. While I am not usually one for florals, this is a lovely feminine scent. About once a year we head to the store and pick up a little sample of lotion, or shower gel, or a small bar of soap. Enough for the Diva to feel special. When she’s feeling sad, angry, or just needs a little pick me up–we pull out her “special princess soap”. A tiny bit goes a long way to cheering us all up.I’m sure that the day will come when she tires of roses–it is a rather old fashioned scent and she certainly has her own tastes. For now, it brings her great joy– and it radiates to the rest of us.
Some days there’s no time for pampering routines. Even quick pick me ups seem to take away from something that must be done….yesterday. On those days, focus on the simple things. Put on the most comfortable clothing you possess for the occasion. Choose things that are comforting and pleasant feeling. Really feel the softness of the fabric as it slides over your skin. Focus on the cool smoothness of any accessories. Pay attention to how your clothing lies against your skin, how it moves when you move, how it slides gently against your skin. Indulge in the physical sensations and just feel.
I’m not a polish kind of girl. Once every couple of years we’ll play around with some funky colors to decorate my nails. For the most part, I just leave them alone.
To make my natural nails look beautiful I use a buffing block to keep them nice and shiny. Always start with clean hands. First, shape nails into the desired shape being careful to only file in one direction. Next, if there are ridges on the nail you can very gently buff the nail smooth being careful to only buff slowly in one direction. Using the “shine” side of the buffer, give your nails a lovely shine. Finally, dab on a little bit of cuticle cream or oil and your favorite hand cream to keep your hands nice and soft.
Even in the midst of winter there is something about ice cream that just calls to me. The creamy texture, the way it melts on my tongue–eating ice cream can be a sensual experience. A reminder of my single days comes in the form of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. Back when my friend worked at the shop and I’d come in near the end of his shift for a cool, creamy treat on a hot night. Even today, when I’m feeling a little down or needing to remember that there’s more to life than being a mom–I go back to the ice cream and remember walking down dark city streets, listening to music, and thinking that life really is grand.
One of the quickest ways to make myself look and feel a little better is to slide on some lipstick. I’m fond of glossy berry shades. If I’m going for a really quick pick me up I’ll just use a neutral liner to line the inside of my lips then put on a bit of gloss or color. If I have an event to attend, first I’ll prep my lips with a foundation before adding the liner and color.
Sometimes my lips need a little extra lovin’. On these days I’ll gently exfoliate using a warm, damp washcloth and slather on some soothing lip moisturizer–such as coconut oil. Sometimes I’ll use a beeswax-based lip balm. I don’t make the use of lip balm a regular habit. It’s an occasional occurrance, usually after I’ve spent an extended period of time outside.
In my world, the morning is not complete without a lovely cuppa….something. Lately it’s coffee–the darker the better. But don’t let my preferences influence you. There are so many varieties of coffee and methods of preparation out there.
I tend to be a bit of a coffee snob, preferring to grind my beans fresh. I am also not overly fond of the “traditional” (in my area) drip method of preparation. In fact, I do not own a regular coffee pot at all. My favorite method of brewing coffee uses a french press–grind the coffee and put in carafe, boil the water–add hot water to carafe, stir and let sit. Once it’s brewed (usually about 4-6 minutes)–press the filter down and pour a cuppa. It does take a little while but the result is a lovely, smooth cup of coffee.
There are as many ways to serve coffee as there are to brew it. Most mornings I prefer mine with a bit of cream or milk (only the real stuff, please). Occasionally I will add just a bit of raw sugar. When I’m feeling particularly indulgent I will treat myself to a “coffee drink”–usually some variant of a mocha. Mocha is a fancy term for coffee and hot chocolate. Make up your favorite hot chocolate–pour yourself about 1/3-1/2 cup and top it off with coffee, maybe adding a little whipped cream and shaved chocolate or cocoa powder to the top. Delicious!
It’s winter where I live and that means harsh weather for lovely faces. Those who know me know that I tend to be a minimalist–if it requires a ton of effort I may not keep up with it. For everyday use, you can pick a cleanser appropriate for your skin type and use that. I’m fond of Angels on Bare Skin.
Also important is daily moisturization and sun protection. Your needs may change throughout the year. For the most part, I prefer a nice light moisturizer year round. Occasionally, I will use an oil as opposed to a lotion or a cream with Baby Bee Apricot Baby Oil being my favorite. The important thing is to find whatever works best for your skin to keep you looking and feeling your best.
For an extra special facial treat, you can learn to make your own facial cleansers and moisturizers. A simple scrub to exfoliate can be created from sugar and olive oil. Be sure to aviod your eyes and rinse well after scrubbing. An easy mask can be made from oatmeal and water–massage on, let dry, and rinse well. An easy moisturizer can be made from glycerine and water. I like to use a little rose flower water to create a lovely scented lotion.
Whatever you choose to use, be sure to allow yourself the time to focus on you. Even just a few minutes in the morning can help you feel refreshed, energized, and ready to start your day.