Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Published July 31, 2014

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Tea tree oil is known for its topical antiseptic and anti-fungal treatment or infection-reducing benefits. It also has antibiotic properties and helps aid against aliments such as skin infections, rashes, burns, dandruff and much more.  Check out the benefits of tea tree oil below!

For Health

1. Use a dab to treat acne.
2. An anti-fungal for treating Athlete’s Foot, eczema, various yeast infections, etc.
3. An antiseptic to be used on cuts and burns.
4. An anti-viral: it may lessen the symptoms of colds and flu. Try using a few drops in the bath.
5. Add to a vaporizer to loosen chest congestion.
6. Add a small amount to shampoo to destroy head lice.
7. A small amount added to your bath can help with persistent body odor.
8. Treating sinus infection.
9. For dandruff and dry scalp.
10. In the form of aromatherapy, tea tree oil is used to treat colds, persistent coughs, acne, toothaches, and sunburn.

For Cleaning

11. To create an all-purpose cleaner, combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.
12. Another version would be 14 ounces of water with 1 ounce of Murphy’s oil soap and 10 drops of tea tree oil.
13. Mix the above solution with kosher salt to scrub bathtub and bathroom tiles.
14. Add a few drops to dishwasher dispenser, then fill with a green dishwashing soap.
15. A few drops added to each load of laundry leave your clothes smelling cleaner.
16. Control mold with a tea tree oil/water spray.
17. Remove mustiness with that same tea tree oil/water spray.
18. To keep germs at bay, spray it on high chairs, car seats, and other high traffic spots.
19. 15 drops in a quart of water can be an effective insect repellent.
20. Be sure to take some with you when hiking and camping to put directly on insect bites or blisters.

 


How to Keep Avocado Fresh

Published July 30, 2014

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Delicious and healthy, the fresh avocado, often referred to as the alligator pear, is loaded with nutrients and heart healthy fats, making a perfect snack or side dish for a meal. Storing the unused portion of a fresh avocado inappropriately generally results in an inedible, brown, slimy mess that must be thrown away. According to Alton Brown, well-known food expert and chef from the Food Network, the secret to keeping the other half of a cut ripe avocado green is in the preserving method.

1. Slice the skin lengthwise using a sharp knife all the way around cutting through the fresh avocado until you hit the pit. You should end up with the fresh fruit being cut in two halves but still attached.

2. Hold the two sides in your hands and gently twist to separate the two halves. One portion will be removed from the pit and the other will still retain the pit.

3. Use the half of the ripe avocado in your meal that has been released from the pit, unless of course you plan to use the whole avocado. If using only half, drizzle fresh lemon juice over the remaining portion leaving the pit in the fruit. This is the secret to keeping the avocado fresh and from preventing it from turning grayish-brown after cutting.

4. Slide into a plastic baggie and press out the air, sealing the baggie.

5. Store the cut ripe avocado half with pit intact in the fridge, where the cold will discourage additional ripening, says Brown. It should stay fresh for about two days if stored in this manner.

6. To use, remove the remaining half from the baggie; remove the pit by sticking it with the tip of a sharp knife gently twisting to remove. Scrape the surface of the still-fresh avocado with the knife to remove any slight discoloration and remove the remainder of the flesh from the skin. Delicious and perfectly edible, this portion of the fresh avocado should still be fresh enough to enjoy in any dish.

 


3 Oatmeal Smoothies That Beat Your Standard Breakfast

Published July 29, 2014

We know what you’re thinking: Oats…in a smoothie?! But it’s not as crazy as it may sound. Hear us out: Oatmeal gives smoothies a thicker, more filling consistency, a boost of fiber, and a kick of protein, too. So if you’re sick of same old fruit smoothie, try one of these oatmeal smoothies:

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Smoothie

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup uncooked oats
  • 1 cup almond milk, you can also use cow’s milk
  • ¼ cup yogurt, vanilla
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp honey *optional
  • 1 cup ice

Directions:

Blend in your blender until smooth and enjoy!

Strawberry Banana Oats Smoothie

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Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup uncooked oats
  • ¾ cup almond milk, you can also use cow’s milk
  • ¼ cup orange juice, fresh is best
  • 3 strawberries, capped
  • ½ banana
  • ¼ cup yogurt, vanilla
  • 1 cup ice

Directions:

Blend in your blender until smooth and enjoy!

Oatmeal, Pomegranate Blueberry Smoothie

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup almond milk, you can also use cow’s milk
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 banana, frozen (if you don’t use a frozen banana be sure to add ice)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ¼ cup oats

Directions:

Blend in your blender until smooth and enjoy!


The Benefits of Almond Oil

Published July 24, 2014

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There is nothing coconut oil can’t do. It’s super-moisturizing and anti-inflammatory. It can prevent protein loss in the hair. It’s antioxidant, meaning it scrounges up wrinkle-inducing free radicals. There is some research that suggests that consuming the medium-chain fatty acids can actually kickstart the metabolism. Oh, and there’s the dental benefit. Because most of the toxins in our mouth are fat-soluble, swishing the oil for up to 20 minutes is a great way to give your teeth a clean sweep.

But looking at the research, vitamin E packed almond oil touts benefits equally as impressive—especially in the summer. Studies have found it can prevent UV damage and improve complexion and skin tone, and when left in the hair, the biotin-rich oil can promote healthy growth.

 


The Dos and Don’ts of Sizzling Summer Style

Published July 23, 2014

Confused about what to wear in the sweltering heat? Check out our tips!

DO Play With Color

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What better time to experiment with color than the sunny days of summer? If your usual look is monochromatic and muted, select accessories in bright, bold shades to get a taste of artful pop.

DON’T Get Lost in Oversized Silhouettes

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Easy, breezy and flowing fabrics are ideal for summer weather, but don’t get lost in slouchy, loose-fitting silhouettes. Instead, opt for one relaxed shape, either billowy pants or an oversized T-shirt, to fulfill a cool and casual vibe.

DON’T Be Afraid to Show a Bit of Skin

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Strip down this season and show a little skin to alleviate some of that sticky feeling. Opt for the now-classic crop top paired with a high-waisted bottom to avoid baring too much tummy.

DO Consider Lightweight Leather

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Layer on a lightweight leather piece to get the most out of this sumptuous fabric year-round. Laser-cut and perforated treatments make this trend suitable for summer.

 

 


3 Spices That Can Help You Lose Weight

Published July 22, 2014

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Spices are often the secret ingredients that make homemade meals taste so amazing—but they may also be the key to reaching your weight-loss goals. While research suggests that pretty much all herbs and spices are beneficial for dropping pounds certain ones are particularly helpful to add to your pantry when you’re on a mission to slim down.  With that in mind, here are three spices to try now.

Chili Powder

The capsaicinoids in spicy foods are a weight-loss double-threat, says London. They increase the body’s energy expenditure and also cause you to eat more slowly, which may mean you eat less overall. Studies have also suggested that eating foods containing capsaicinoid may cause you to crave more plant-based foods (as opposed to high-fat options like meat).

Ground Ginger

Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties help to promote insulin sensitivity, says London. This helps reduce fatty acids in the blood and normalize blood-sugar levels, both of which promote weight stability. London suggests sprinkling ground ginger onto Asian-inspired stir-fries or mixing it into some Greek yogurt with berries.

Turmeric

Lately this spice, often found in Indian curry dishes, has been getting a lot of attention for its growing list of health benefits. “For weight loss, it plays a role in the differentiation of fat cells, stopping them from forming or reducing their size,” says London. Try tossing cauliflower and broccoli with turmeric before roasting them.

 


3 Unexpected Natural Cleaners

Published July 17, 2014

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Check out these -house staples that moonlight as dirt-busting superstars:

Oatmeal:

Use it to: Scrub very dirty hands. Make a thick paste of oatmeal and water; rinse well.

Rice:

Use it to: Clean the inside of a vase or a thin-necked bottle. Fill three quarters of the vessel with warm water and add a tablespoon of uncooked rice. Cup your hand over the opening, shake vigor-ously, and rinse.

Club soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Use club soda to: Shine up a scuffed stainless-steel sink. Buff with a cloth dampened with club soda, then wipe dry with another clean cloth.

Use hydrogen peroxide to: Disinfect a keyboard. Dip a cotton swab in hydrogen peroxide to get into those nooks and crannies.

 


How To Defend Skin Against Sun Damage

Published July 16, 2014

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Sunscreen protects skin from the suns burning, age-accelerating, cancer- causing ultraviolet rays. But it doesn’t necessarily shield you from free radicals, those unstable molecules that can damage your complexion, much as oxygen turns a peeled apple brown.

Topical antioxidants, particularly serums, seep into the skin and can’t be rubbed off like a sunscreen can, says dermatologist Patricia Farris, M.D., an assistant professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, who suggests that you apply one of these antioxidant-rich products to exposed areas of the skin before sunscreen or moisturizer:

Kinetin

A hormone that is found naturally in leafy green plants, kinetin slows the aging process of plant cells. When applied to the skin, kinetin helps repair free-radical damage to the tissues and improves the skins barrier function, which boosts moisture retention.

Green and White Tea

Made from the dried leaves and tips of the Camellia sinensis plant, these teas possess powerful polyphenols that protect cells from external damage and help slow inflammation triggered by sun exposure.

Coenzyme Q10

Found naturally in every plant and animal cell, coenzyme Q10 is essential to the process of shedding dead cells so newer ones can emerge. As we age, our essential level of coenzyme Q10 diminishes, lowering our ability to fight off free-radical scavengers, says Farris.

 


Rosemary and Avocado Hair Care

Published July 15, 2014

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This rosemary-citron scalp treatment, designed by Barbara Close, founder of Naturopathica and author of Pure Skin, Organic and Beauty Basics (Chronicle, 2005), is especially good for fragile or damaged hair: Rosemary stimulates the scalp; avocado—rich in fatty acids and vitamins A, B, and C—helps condition hair; and grapefruit provides an uplifting scent.

You will need:

  • ½ ounce avocado oil
  • 4 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 5 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 3 drops cedar essential oil
  • ½ ounce glass bottle

Directions:

Fill a glass bottle halfway with avocado oil. Add essential oils, cover, and shake well. Fill bottle with remaining avocado oil. Cover and shake a second time. Pour oil into palm of hand and massage mixture into scalp and hair.


3 Ways to Wear White Denim

Published July 10, 2014

When things heat up, it’s time to lighten up. Swap your blues for a perfect pair of white jeans.

Boat Chic!

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For the ultimate summer look, model Karolina Kurkova, tops her jeans off with a light pastel sweater for a day of yachting, with chic boat shoes, of course!

Back to Basics

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When in doubt you can always rely on the basics – a men’s oxford is a great complement to cigarette jeans.  Sexy heels add an unexpected detail.

Short Shorts

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Model Alessandra Ambrosio highlights her tan in a pair of bright whit cut-offs, adding a summery ombre top with a bag to match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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