Food for Thought Friday – Get Out of the House!

Notice the new blog layout? I love it and I hope you do too! :) I needed to brighten it up as things have been getting a bit grey for me due to monotony, and I am a very positive and bubbly person normally. The reason for this? Not getting out of the house like I should be.

state park in AZ

State Park in AZ

I moved to my current apartment on April 6th of this year, but due to the 45-50 minute commute to my significant others work, we are moving again into a new rental on July 1st (this time a house!). This will not only put us closer to his work, but it will also allow me to live a bit closer to society which is what I’ve been craving after moving away from home. I originally moved from Arizona, and although I lived in a small town, there was plenty to do close by. Now that I live on the other side of the states and away from family, things are a bit different for me.

Currently, our residence is in the middle of no-where. The post office is a ten minute drive, and any grocery store is twenty minutes away. Our nearest neighbors are never home during the day so my activities for the past months have been cleaning, working on Ember Cove (my favorite thing!), and walking my dog around the neighborhood. The only time I really “get out of the house” is on weekdays when I make my post office runs, and weekends sometimes to go do grocery shopping.

Although a bit lonely sometimes, I do not mind this quiet life most of the time. I try to “make the best of it” with any situation I find myself in. When I am out of the house I make new friends, but there is a peculiar pattern with everyone I meet from this funny little town. Most have lived here their entire life, and have never been out of the state. I live an hour from D.C., and another good portion of people I meet have never even been there. I have been to D.C. a couple times prior to moving close to it, and I’ve only been there once since moving here and that was at night so there wasn’t much to do. Not even venturing out of the state? This is something I can’t even fathom as my family has traveled every summer since I was born.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior in Duluth, MN

Being cooped up in the house for too long usually makes me a bit anxious which can lead to stress in anyone and that is not good. Even going for walks has me wanting a little more adventure. Without a change of scenery, life becomes sort of monotonous which makes a normally laid back and relaxed person a bit irritable (me). I understand that traveling and getting out of the house equals spending money, which is rough on everyone. We’re on a tight budget ourselves, which is why I decided to go do free things this weekend and only pay for food and travel. This weekend we’re going to the National Zoo and hopefully some Smithsonian Museums, all of which are free. The break from the apartment will be so refreshing and I’m absolutely excited about it.

As everyone knows, I try to live life beautifully no matter what. Everyone should try to do the same, although I know it’s frustrating sometimes. Being cooped up in your house or at work will not help with this though, so I highly encourage everyone to get out this weekend and go do something fun! Rain or shine, try your best to make time to get out and see new scenery. Have a picnic with friends or family, drive somewhere down a road you’ve never been and watch the sunset, pick flowers, wave at cars as they drive by…just make sure you’re out of the house! There are so many free things to do, the possibilities are endless.

Lost in NM

Lost in NM

If you have something fun planned for this weekend, please share it! Getting out of our normal rut is extremely healthy and will encourage us to be a lot more positive in our thoughts. Even though I love my business dearly, I’m not happy when I sit at the computer every single day without change. No one is. Use this weekend to refresh your mood and recharge. Forget about your normal routine and find time to relax away from home. Not sure where to go? When I moved I didn’t know either, so I just did a Google search of what to do in this state. Usually state websites are a great way to find something to do that’s near to you, and there’s sure to be at least one thing that you haven’t done yet! If you get lost on the way there and never make it to your destination, that’s an adventure in itself so don’t use it as an excuse for why you didn’t refresh and recharge this weekend. :)

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Palm Oil – From a Fruit, Not Your Hands!

Palm OilSince I include palm oil as an ingredient in all of my soap and lotions at Ember Cove, I felt it was time to explain the many beneficial reasons for doing this! This oil is amazing to use internally and also as a cooking oil and hair care product, but I will be covering the benefits for your skin.

Palm oil is oil collected from the fruit of oil palms, which are now grown in a variety of areas. It is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A, and is recommended by dermatologists because of its high concentrations of vitamin E to protect skin cells and improve overall health. Because of saturated fats, palm oil is an amazing moisturizer for your skin. Your skin absorbs everything you put on it, and palm oil is a natural substitute for a chemical-based moisturizer.

Palm oil contains natural antibacterials which make it a great opponent against acne. Including this oil as an ingredient helps your skin maintain moisture, yet remain clearand blemish free. Dryness can actually cause the skin to become irritated and sensitive, which can lead to acne as well as a variety of other irritations. Palm oil is also beneficial to use if you have a cut or scrape on your skin, because the oil will kill germs. Even though it is an oil itself, it actually makes it easy to lift oil and dirt off your skin for an absolutely fresh feeling. Included in my soap and lotions for a reason, palm oil ensures your skin stays soft, supple and blemish free! Because it locks in moisture, this ingredient is essential to help heal and soothe many skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns and dry skin.

Palm oil fruit

Palm Oil Fruit

Here is an interesting anti-aging fact about palm oil! It is rich in toctrienols, a higher form of vitamin E family which is extremely beneficial to your skin. The common form of vitamin E, tocopherol, has long been used to treat many skin ailments and is found in many anti-aging products. Vitamin E, as I have mentioned in my other blogs is a strong antioxidant that helps the skin to fight free radicals that damage the skin and cause fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Betty Kamen, PhD confirms that as a stronger antioxidant than tocopherols, toctrienols have been proven to be more effective in preventing aging and damage from free radicals. Used topically, as with tocopherol, toctrienols are able to penetrate deep into the skin’s layers to enable healing and protection from the base up. Truly a wonderful addition to my soap and lotions!

These are the reasons I have included this amazing ingredient in my soap and lotions, and I hope this information has helped!

I highly suggest checking out the American Palm Oil Council’s website for more amazing information and a very informative and interesting video!

A thank you to my sources: eHow, Livestrong, B4teaSaranabuSa

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you so much Erin, owner of the inspirational blog, Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life, for nominating me for the “One Lovely Blog Award”!

Erin is an incredible writer and her blogs are perfect reading whether you are the happiest person in life or if you are truly struggling. She has inspired me many times, and I am extremely grateful to have found such wonderful writings online. Erin is true to Ember Cove‘s quote “Live Life Beautifully” and I highly encourage everyone to check out her blog!

The “One Lovely Blog Award” has similar rules to many blogging awards.

  1. Give generous thanks to the blogger that nominated you
  2. Write Seven things about your self
  3. Make a list of 15 bloggers you admire and let them know how awesome they are! These folks are the next round of honorees for the “One Lovely Blog Award”
Here’s what I have to do!
1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.
3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.
The Questions: 
1. What is your favorite colour?
Purple (and Silver too!)
2. What is your favorite animal?
Armadillos! I absolutely adore them and their funny shape.
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Coffee
4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook
5. What is your favorite pattern?
Lotus Flowers
6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents?
Giving presents! Making people happy is something I truly enjoy doing and I will never get tired of it.
7. What is your favorite number?
7
8. What is your favorite day of the week?
Every day!
9. What is your favorite flower?
The Lotus. (I’m pretty obsessed with them!)
10. What’s your passion?
There is nothing I enjoy more than helping people. One of the main reasons I make my bath products is to provide everyone a more comfortable life with skin that is healthy, smooth and irritation free. We have enough stress already, our skin shouldn’t add to that list!
Since I am new to blogging, I only have nine blogs to share. These blogs have really inspired me, and I hope you enjoy checking them out as well!
  1. Bente Haarstad Photography
  2. Feelgood Style
  3. Living Large In Our Little House
  4. The Green Divas
  5. Revitalise Your Health
  6. A Splendid Life
  7. A Leaf in Springtime
  8. Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet!
  9. I Prefer Organic

Shaving Oil? Never heard of it!

Shaving Oil

Ember Cove Shaving Oil & Skin Salve

As many of you know, I have launched my newest product which is Ember Cove Shaving Oil & Skin Salve. I have such sensitive skin that even after shaving with an electric shaver I get razor burn. Shaving with an actual razor? It used to be out of the question. I became tired of razor burn, irritations, ingrown hairs and the acne caused by both of these, so I decided to look for an alternative. I was doing research on oils one day and a wonderful idea for a shaving oil came to mind. After doing an extensive search, I discovered myself that there are “pre-shave” oils, but little to no shaving oil, so I decided to make my own!

A couple months ago when I was trying out recipes for it, I asked my significant other if he’d try it. Since he is in the military, he needs to shave every single day and is prone to razor burns and irritations so I thought this would be perfect for him. The only answer I received from him at that point was, “I don’t think that’s going to work”. Perfect. He’s the hardest person to convince! I developed my recipe and gave it to him to try, and after a few days of ignoring the shaving oil on the counter he finally did. Immediately, he said it felt wonderful and a couple weeks later he actually came up to me and said, “you know, I actually like shaving now”.

So why does this “shaving oil” work? And why the “skin salve” part? Well, the shaving oil & skin salve is made up of 6 extremely healthy oils that all have individual benefits for your skin. Each oil works as a different salve and helps heal and soothe skin ailments. Like every product I make, this shaving oil serves multiple purposes and benefits to your skin besides just providing a close shave. The oils it is made with consist of Sunflower Oil, Aloe Vera Oil, Calendula Oil, Emu Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Lemon Oil. Sounds great, right? Maybe not yet, but I’ll explain why these are awesome.

  • Sunflower Oil has calming and emollient properties. It is nourishing and softening and can help skin that suffers from acne, eczema, rashes and redness. It contains very high levels of vitamin E.
  • Aloe Vera has been prized for hundreds of years for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. It can be used to treat various skin ailments like eczema, psoriasis, ulcers, dermatitis, acne and also to stimulate cell regeneration, as it is an excellent softening agent. The various enzymes in aloe vera oil reduce the itching, swelling and inflammation. The oil and gel of aloe vera can also be used to treat wounds, burns, scalds and even sunburn, as the plant extract counters any bacterial infection while increasing the circulation, which speeds up the healing process.
  • Calendula Oil has become one of my favorites. Its use is for skin irritations, cracks, slow-healing wounds, razor burns, psoriasis, eczema, sunburns, dry skin, itchiness, and inflammation. Perfect as a shaving oil ingredient!
  • Emu Oil is pretty outstanding. Research and history shows that Emu oil has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine by the Aborigines of Australia. It was used for arthritis pain relief, to heal wounds, burns, sunburns, and to reduce the pain, itch & swelling of insect bites and stings. Emu Oil is gentle for all skin types, non-toxic & natural, non-comedogenic (does not clog pores) and hypo-allergenic so it’s great for people with sensitive skin and allergies.
  • Sweet Almond Oil is an excellent moisturizer. It also soothes and softens the skin. Safe for all skin types, baby massages, wrinkles, stretch marks, and great for really dry skin.
  • Lemon oil deploys antiseptic effects on minor infections of the skin, including acne. When mixed and diluted correctly (which mine is), this oil will leave you feeling refreshed with smooth, soothed, healthier skin.

Okay, that sounds a lot more awesome! But it sounds like an oily mess, why would I want to use this? Quite the contrary! This shaving oil will not make your skin feel oily at all with proper use, and will provide amazing benefits to  your skin that your normal shaving routine never did before! There are a few ways to use shaving oil, but for Ember Cove Shaving Oil & Skin Salve I recommend:

  • Wet the area with warm water
  • Shake the bottle to ensure the oils are mixed well
  • Apply Ember Cove Shaving Oil & Skin Salve, making sure to cover the entire area to be shaved
  • Optional: Apply shaving cream. However this product was made to eliminate the need for this.
  • Shave!
  • Rinse your razor often.
  • Rinse lightly and pat dry.
  • Rub the remainder of the oil into your skin and enjoy!

I also recommend making sure your razor is sharp, as dull razors are more likely to pull.

I am extremely proud of this product and quite excited about it as well. In fact, I guarantee that after trying it you will be hooked as well! If you’re not, there’s always a full refund waiting so what do you have to lose? I can write about this shaving oil & skin salve all day and night, and many people will be skeptical to even give it a quick try. I am confident that like my other products, this one is an amazing benefit to your skin – both to women and men alike! It comes in a few awesome fragrances that are faint enough to not irritate your nose, but pleasant enough to give off a sort of aftershave scent. This makes an awesome gift for anyone who shaves, and I highly recommend it to those who have to shave every single day.

Tried the oil already? Leave your feedback here! I am always eager to hear comments about any and all of my products.

Psoriasis – Not a Skin Condition

Bath ScrubI have seen numerous websites advertising that goat milk soap cures psoriasis. However, this is not true. There is no cure for psoriasis but there are treatments for your skin (and this is where my special recipe of goat milk soap really helps). Psoriasis is a medical condition that occurs when skin cells grow too quickly and instead of just being a skin disease, it is an inflammatory disease of the immune system that appears on the skin. Faulty signals in the immune system cause new skin cells to form in days rather than weeks. The body does not shed these excess skin cells, so the cells pile up on the surface of the skin and lesions form.

There are five different types of psoriasis but none of them are contagious. You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has psoriasis, swimming in the same pool, or even intimate contact. Psoriasis is much more complex, and it is unknown as to why it forms. Scientists are still studying what happens when psoriasis develops. They know that the person’s immune system and genes play key roles. In studying the immune system, scientists discovered that when a person has psoriasis, the T cells (a type of white blood cell that fights unwanted invaders such as bacteria and viruses) mistakenly trigger a reaction in the skin cells. This is why you may hear psoriasis referred to as a “T cell-mediated disease.”

This reaction activates a series of events, causing new skin cells to form in days rather than weeks. The reason T cells trigger this reaction seems to lie in our DNA. People who develop psoriasis inherit genes that cause psoriasis. However, not everyone who inherits genes for psoriasis gets psoriasis. For psoriasis to appear, it seems that a person must inherit the “right” mix of genes and be exposed to a trigger. Some common triggers are a stressful life event, skin injury, and having strep throat. Many people say that that their psoriasis first appeared after experiencing one of these. Triggers are not universal. What triggers psoriasis in one person may not cause psoriasis to develop in another.

For some people, psoriasis is a nuisance. Others find that psoriasis affects every aspect of their daily life. The unpredictable nature of psoriasis may be the reason. Some people have frequent flare-ups that occur weekly or monthly. Others have occasional flare-ups. When psoriasis flares, it can cause severe itching and pain. Sometimes the skin cracks and bleeds. When trying to sleep, cracking and bleeding skin can wake a person frequently and cause sleep deprivation. Sometimes a flare-up requires a visit to a dermatologist for additional treatment.

Ember Cove soaps are specially made to help treat and soothe inflamed skin caused by psoriasis. The mixture of goat milk and honey along with my other all natural, gentle ingredients has been helping many of my customers with their psoriasis treatments, depending on how severe it is. A nice alternative for heavily medicated products, my hypoallergenic soap and lotion is extremely beneficial to treating this chronic disease.

Please note that I am not a doctor and will never claim to be one. Consult your dermatologist and ask them if my soaps and lotions could be right for your skin. Everyone is different and reactions to products vary from person to person. Always know what’s good for you and make your decisions based on how you know your skin reacts. If you experience any inflammation or irritation, stop use of any product you’re using immediately and contact a doctor or dermatologist.

A thank you to my sources: Psoriasis Speaks, Psoriasis Net, eMedicineHealth, MedicineNet, NIAMS, Medical News Today, Psoriasis Connections, National Psoriasis Foundation, Inside-Psoriasis

Food For Thought Friday – How to Make Ember Cove Soap Last!

Bath Scrub

Ember Cove Soap on a Sisal Scrubber

Hey everyone! I’ve been getting a lot of comments on how great Ember Cove all natural goat milk & honey soap is, and how to make it last longer. My bars of soap are naturally softer than any store bought brands, so it is easy to use too much and waste a lot of the soap if you are not used to it. I take a shower almost every single day washing my whole body with a bar of Ember Cove soap, and wash my face twice a day with the same bar. One bar of soap lasts me almost one month. So, here are a few tips on how to make your own bar last that long, and you should definitely see improvement on your soap’s lifespan!

A couple things to always keep in mind:

– Never leave your soap in running water, or in a pool of water. Make sure your soap dish elevates the soap enough so if it drips, the water won’t stay on the soap. Keep it away from where the shower will hit it at all times.

– A little goes a long way! The coconut oil in the soap makes a very rich and heavy lather, so you don’t need that much to get a good wash.

– Before using the soap, wet it enough and create a small lather with your hands. This way you won’t have to over-scrub to start a lather.

Different ways of washing:

Washcloth – Take your washcloth and soak it with water. Place the soap in the middle of the washcloth and fold it over. Scrub the soap between the two sides of the washcloth 7-10 times, then take the soap out and place it where it won’t be in running water. Wash.

Salux Cloth – Make sure the Salux Cloth is as wet as it can be. Take your bar of soap and place one end of the Salux Cloth on your palm. Scrub a circle pattern onto the cloth over your palm 7 times. Pull the cloth while still on your palm until it reaches a part with no soap. Scrub another circle pattern into this part of the cloth over your palm 7 times. Do this until you reach the end of the Salux Cloth (I usually have to repeat the step 5 times for a full Salux Cloth). Place your bar of soap some place where it won’t be in water. Do not put the Salux Cloth back in the water. Instead, if you are in the shower the water on your body should be enough to give you enough lather for a really good wash. (If you have never used a Salux Cloth I highly recommend them for use with my soap. It’s all I use anymore and it’s only $5.98 including shipping.)

Bath Pouf – Soak the Pouf then scrub your bar of soap in a circle pattern around the Pouf for 10-20 circles. Put the soap some place where it won’t be in water. Wash.

Sisal Style Body Scrubber (Big) – Soak the scrubber then circle your bar of soap in a small pattern on the bottom half of the Sisal Scrubber 5 times, then repeat on the top half. Place soap some place it won’t be in water. Wash.

Sisal Style Face Scrubber (Small) – Soak the scrubber then circle your bar of soap around the entire “face” of the Sisal Scrubber 5 times. Place the soap some place it won’t be in water. Wash.

Loofah – Soak your loofah in water. Scrub the soap up and down twice all the way around the loofah. Place the soap some place it won’t be in water. Wash.

Soap Saver – Get it wet and wash your body, then leave it somewhere not in water – preferably where it can hang and dry off.

Bar Itself – Just rub the bar all over your body, place it some place it won’t be in water, then scrub yourself with your hands.

Oatmeal SoapWhat to do when the soap gets too small to use properly:

Don’t throw it away!!! Get your old soap sliver and a brand new bar of soap. Wet both bars and create a small lather with each. “Stick” the sliver of your used bar of soap onto a brand new bar while they are wet, and slide them together side to side a few times then let them sit and dry. After they dry, you will now only have one bar of soap and your sliver won’t go to waste!

If you have any other types of scrubbers or bath tools you’d love to see on here, please let me know! I hope these tips help, and I’d really appreciate any feedback on them. My soaps are meant to benefit your skin but they are also meant to last you about a month per bar. If they’re running out before that, try following these tips. If they’re still running out before that – email me and I’ll try help you out! :)