Pretty Natural


Happy snow day!

Ironically, the rodent who predicts the future said today that spring is around the corner. I don’t know what’s more confusing about Groundhog Day: the fact that we let shadows predict things, or that the men who assist in the ceremony dress like Mr. Peanut? Also, have you ever tried explaining this holiday to a foreigner? Yeah.

Whatever the outcome of today’s rodent forecast, it’s still terribly cold and snowy here – as well as in most of the United States. I am fortunate to have the day off, so it’s time to relax after all the traveling I’ve been doing!

Dry skin is still the topic, since it’s still freezing outside and our skin is still suffering.


Mash one banana and add 1/2 cup of oatmeal. I like to moisten the oatmeal a little first so it is easier to make a mask with. Apply for as long as you can stand and rinse off. I like to do this before bed and skip the lotion I usually use. Instead of benzoyl peroxide (my usual anti-acne treatment) I use the banana peel!


Pack some oatmeal and dry milk in muslin or cheesecloth. Tie it securely and place in hot bath water, sort of like you’re making a big cup of tea. Remember, the lactic acid in milk is a great exfoliant for sensitive skin while the oatmeal is moisturizing and soothing.




hot cocoa for us freezing mainers
January 16, 2011, 19:34
Filed under: beauty, cocoa, DIY, Honey, moisturizing, oil, olive oil, Skin-care | Tags: , , , , , ,

Maine is freezing!It’s like we’re trapped under a sheet of ice – and have been for the past week. You might think I’m exaggerating, but the fact is that I haven’t regained feeling in my toes yet. And I don’t even live in a log cabin.

We’ve had a snow day and many of us have avoided going out as much as possible, staying inside to sip hot cocoa and watch movies. Your skin especially will be hurting from the negative temperatures. So take some of that hot cocoa and put it on your face! Here’s how to make the most of the next snow day.

Dry skin mask: Your skin is so dry and frozen that it hates you. Treat it kindly by blending honey and as much cocoa as needed to create a paste and applying it to your face. If your skin needs even more moisture, use olive oil in place of honey.

Hair help: Cocoa is pretty dark and can easily stain, so this is only recommended for those with dark, frizzy hair. Use whole milk (or coconut milk) and mix with cocoa and a bit of oil. Yes this is a little slimy but it is so nourishing! Use it as a conditioner and leave on for 5 minutes.

Now you’re more prepared for the future storms. You’re welcome.

back to school

I wish I were going back to school this fall. I’ll miss Farmington and the people there that I love. But graduating has its perks too, like working full time (if you’re lucky!).

I got lucky and landed a nanny job for two beautiful boys. I’m excited to grow and learn with them – expect many “how to clean up after kids” posts in the future!

But if you’re reading this and going back to school soon, congratulations! Here are a few ideas to get your skin and hair back in order after a long summer. These tricks involve minimum ingredients – ingredients that you should pack with you when you move in.


Yes, I’ve done honey before. But I have to reiterate what a wonder it is. I always have honey on hand to use as a scrub for hands and face (a little honey, a little raw sugar – done!) as well as an antibacterial. When you’re straightening your hair for the first day and you accidentally burn your face, put honey on it for five minutes while the swelling goes away.

Apple juice

The 100% juice, not the 100% sugar stuff. Freeze the apple juice as individual ice cubes in your mini fridge and use them as a toner in the morning. This is excellent for puffy eyes!

Olive Oil

I buy the smallest bottle I can and keep it with my bottles and cans of face and hair magic. Olive oil can be used to shave with (nick-free and silky skin) as well as soften cuticles and skin (a little oil, a little raw sugar) when the temperatures drop.


Warm, wet coffee grounds are by far the best morning facial. If you’ve been up all night studying and writing papers, not only will the scrub constrict pores and firm skin with its major dose of caffeine, the smell will wake you up instantly.

Of course, there are plenty more tips that take more time and effort, but honey, olive oil, coffee, and apple juice are easy to pack and store and will help you out of many bad hair/skin days. Trust me.

olive oil

I have slightly sensitive skin. Some days I’m just like any other human, and other days I’m scaly like a tuna. Some days I’m glowy and others I’m ghostly. We all have our beauty ups and downs, but one ingredient that is a part of my beauty routine no matter what? Olive oil.

Olive oil has been praised for keeping the Mediterranean population so healthy – even Hippocrates knew how pretty he felt after. On my trip to Italy last summer I ate so much olive oil on my bread because they basically serve it in buckets and hoped I would be skinny like the Europeans the next day. That didn’t work. But we can use olive oil to reap external benefits!

So why not? It’s the easiest kitchen marvel to use – you can literally put it directly on your skin if you want. I have a few other tips and, I promise, you will NOT be disappointed.


Easy Conditioner: You can heat your 1/2 cup of olive oil in the microwave but, unless your microwave is in your bathroom (unsafe) it’s a lot easier to heat it in the bathroom sink. Fill a travel-sized bottle with 1/2 cup olive oil. Fill the sink with hothothot water and place the bottle afloat in the sink while you shampoo your hair in the shower. Use it on the tips of your hair and leave on for as close to 30 minutes as you can.


Easy moisturizing bath: Pour 1 cup of olive oil in the tub as it fills with water. This can leave a slippery film so make sure to wash it out after. Vinegar is good for that job!

**Shave easier: I haven’t used shaving cream in years. It’s such a waste of money when oil can do the same thing. I vary between baby oil and olive oil but they both do an exceptional job. The best part? There’s no need to moisturize afterward! Just pour some in your hand and rub it all over the area to be shaved and… well… shave! No need to rinse!


Softer lips in the morning: Dab some on your lips before bed. Can taste a little weird if you don’t like olive oil.

Moisturizing mask: A little olive oil, a little honey and an egg is all you need for this mask. This is great for dry skin or for a burst of moisture in the winter.

**One of my favorite tips. Try this!