Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why Tea Tree Oil Is Awesome

Tea Tree Oil is one of those things that I simply cannot do without.  This is one of the most versatile oils because it has anti fungal properties.  Not only is it used for the skin, but it has many uses as a household cleaner.  You can find it at most grocery, drug, and health food stores.  Although it's a bit pricey, a little goes quite a long way.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Soft Lips Are Always In Style

       Trends like seasons come and go.  For the fall/winter season the bold red lip still reigns supreme.  Whether your chosen hue is fire-engine red, ruby, plum, or raisin, the one thing you have to have in order to wear these ( or any other ) shade effortlessly is a smooth pair of lips!



 As the temperatures drop, our lips are constantly being exposed to the cold and wind.  You can give your pucker a fighting chance by keeping your lips hydrated.  Just as a canvas has to be primed in order to receive a smooth coat of paint, your lips have to be smooth in order to receive a smooth application of lipstick.  Pamper your lips at least once a week with this luscious lip scrub.  This also makes an incredible body scrub!

                                                               Peppermint Lip Scrub

                                                                     3 oz shea butter
                                                                     1 tsp. jojoba oil
                                                        15 -20 drops of peppermint oil                                             
                                                                        1 tsp. raw sugar

 Before you begin, make sure you have  3 -1 oz. containers for storage.  You can find them at your local dollar stores.

          1. Fill large pot halfway with water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat.                             2. Place shea butter into a glass mason jar, or a Pyrex mixing cup. 
              Allow butter to melt completely, then remove.  Add jojoba and      
               peppermint oil.  Mix well.                        
           3. Refrigerate for an hour making sure mix has cooled.                                  
           4. Mix in raw sugar

That's it.  Pretty simple and totally natural. You can use cocoa butter in place of shea butter for chocolate mint. or add a bit of vanilla extract.  But be warned, licking your lips can dry them out!  By the way, these make great gifts.  For a holiday butter you can use red and green sugar crystals found in the baking aisle of the grocery store!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

SOAP REVIEW: Kirk's Coco Castile

Yesterday, I made a quick run to
the local grocery store to pick up three things; toilet paper, soap, and coffee creamer.  I'm one of those women who can't even look at a bar of Zest or Irish Spring, so I have to use more natural soaps.  This usually means the bars of glycerin, but the bargainista in me wouldn't allow me to shell out over 4 dollars for a single bar of soap.  So, I was pretty happy when I saw this bar of Kirks for a little over a dollar.

I've been doing some research in preparation of making my own soap, and I've heard a lot of good things about this brand.  I was under the impression that the term Castile implied 100% olive oil, but I guess it's become more of a general term.  Pretty much any soap can be Castile ( depending on who you ask) as long as it's made of an oil, as opposed to oil and butter like other soaps.

So, I noticed that this soap is made from coconut soap, glycerin, water, oil, and natural fragrance.  I also know that any soap made with coconut oil is going to lather like nobodies business, so I couldn't wait to give it a try.

Although it did lather like nobodies business, the soap completely dried my skin.  Not only did it leave my skin dry, but it's making me itch it's so dry.  Now that I think about it, I do remember someone saying that CN did have a tendency to be drying, but Kirk's states on the front of the bar " drying residue"  Sorry Kirk, but my skin says otherwise.

Grade: ♥♡♡♡♡  ( for awesome lathering)


I remember my mom being really into makeup!  Perfumes, nail polish, eyeshadow, lipstick, so on, and so on.  I also remember getting yelled at for foraging through her stash...and what a stash it was!  I blame her for having her own personal cosmetics counter on her dresser.

Of all her products, I think I loved the perfume the most.  She had the set of Ciara which included a shimmering lotion and dusting powder.  It is fair to say that she is the reason why I'm quite obsessed with scent.

I remember going to the mall; not to hang out, but to collect perfume samples from Macys' and Emporium Capwell.  That was when they gave you actual product and not those spray cards!

For my 16th birthday my mom gave me this vintage set of Liz Claiborne, except then it wasn't vintage!
At 19, she gave me my very
first bottle of Chanel no. 19.  I know that no. 5 is the most popular perfume in the world, but for me then and now it's all about 19!

Although I would consider
No. 19 my signature scent, I'm really into Wings by Giorgio Armani.  Being the bargainista that I am, I was thrilled when I found a full bottle in the clearance bin at TJ Maxx in Alameda last winter.  I paid just ten dollars, and I'm still patting myself on he back.  Of course the packaging had been ripped and taped sloppily back together, but it didn't interfere with the smell!

What's your signature scent?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

O.P.I. Debuts San Francisco For Fall 2013

Of all the nail polish brands available, I like OPI most ( sorry China Glaze).  Not only are the colors intense, but I enjoy the names they give each color!  The only peeve I have is that the polish is prone to chipping because as a mom, I'm a bit hard on my manis.  I also like that they  have collections.  I still love my bottle of The Living Daylights from the 007 Skyfall Collection.

Being a native San Franciscan, I was thrilled to learn that OPI debuted a San Francisco collection for fall 2013.  The collection consists of fifteen shades of OPI goodness; 6 cremes, 6 shimmers, and 3 liquid sands.

Dining Al Frisco
Incognito in Sausalito ♥
Lost on Lombard
Keeping Suzi At Bay
Muir Muir on the Wall ♥
In the Cable Car-Pool Lane
Embarca-Dare Ya!
It's All San Andreas's Fault
Wharf! Wharf! Wharf!
A-Piers To Be Tan
First Date At The Golden Gate
Haven't The Foggiest
I Knead Sourdough ♥
Peace Love & OPI

Like all OPI, these retail for nine dollars, unless your a bargainista like me.  If you are in a metro area I'm sure there's a nail supply that has them for less.  My nail supply has OPI for five dollars.  If you want to see these swatched, visit The Polish Addict.  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cancer, Anyone?

So, the last time we were together I was somewhat looking forward to rooting for my team the Oakland Raiders.  As usual they started off with a touchdown, but after what seemed like a million penalties, lost the game!  Pryor clearly wasn't at his best, and I was really ready to give up on them....again.  I say that after every loss, but by Wednesday hope returns.  Well at least my business plan is coming along, and I'm learning a lot about the beauty industry through good market research.  Did you know that beauty as a whole generated over two-trillion dollars around the globe last year, with the United States accounting for 844 million in the skincare segment?  According to my research, the beauty industry is the most consistent.  Let's be honest, is there a woman you know between the ages of 12 -70 who doesn't spend money on personal care?

With the population embracing a healthier lifestyle, it was only a matter of time before personal care brands began adding "natural" and "organic" products to their product lines.  Of course most of us assume that if a product claims to be organic, then it must be....right?

According to the UK Daily Mail, skincare companies like Nivea, Boots, and Organix have been fooling consumers by labeling their products as organic, when they contain toxic ingredients like METHylosothiyazolinone; an ingredients found in anti-freeze, window, and floor cleaner. This highly toxic chemical is known to cause cancer, and has been linked to nerve damage.  Companies like Nivea has known that in general consumers can barely read or pronounce the names of these ingredients, and can't be bothered to Google them, obviously.  There are no legal restrictions on the labeling of organic. Skincare products.  Not until someone is diagnosed with skin cancer.

Apparently, not even the babies are safe as Johnson and Johnson baby products were also found  to have cancer causing chemicals.  Of course it took 3 years of pressure, but they plan to reformulate the childrens skincare products by the end of this year.  If you use Neutrogena, Aveeno, or Lubriderm ( subsidiaries of J&J), you'll just have to wait until 2015.  Until then you can still by your cancer at your local supermarket, or drugstore.  Hey Johnson & Johnson...why don't you just recall that crap and get it off the shelf?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Roses, Butterflies, and Business Plans

I won't lie; trying to get Lillies In June jump started is terribly exhausting.  Carving a place for myself in a billion dollar a year industry takes hardwork,  determination, and a lightning fast connection. Tne redundancy of posting links to my Facebook page, uploading photos to Instagram, listing items in my online store, dealing with PayPal, and working on writing a great business plan can really be tiresome.  However, you realize that it's worth it when someone shares your page, asks about your products, or actually buys one of your body butters!

So aside from all of this I still make time to attempt to eat better, hit the gym every other day, celebrate birthdays with family, and make my granddaughter, Mya Rose a one of a kind silver necklace in honor of her 2nd year!  Tomorrow is Sunday, and that means Raiders Football!  Although I will be in front of the television rooting for my favorite team, I'll also be putting in time on social media.  Have a great evening!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Gym Flow

Bike path that runs behind my apartment complex

Over the past ten years, I put on a considerable amount of weight. I have been meaning to do something about it before I was too far gone, so I started out taking a brisk walk every morning. The Calaveras River runs adjacent to the bike path here in Stockton.  If you have ever walked that path, you know that it's very peaceful, and scenic.  The problem with that was there was no accountability. I would start off strong, taking long strides, and tensing my leg muscles.  However, my thoughts would take over, and with my focus diverted I found that I wasn't keeping up the pace needed to really work those muscles I wanted to desperately tone.

Mini cream puffs and small coffee from M&W Dutch Bakery.
Great baked goods, and great service!

Luckily for me,  a brand new gym was being constructed up the street from my house.   I went in and signed up.  Now I'm spending about 12 hours per week getting my pre-baby body back.  Do i want to look like I did in high school?  No, I really just want to look like a fit __ year old.   I must admit, there are days when I would rather turn over and go back to sleep for another hour, but I drag myself out of bed because the weight isn't going to lose itself!  

I must admit that I am that person who is easily discouraged.  I want results after the very first workout!  Not realistic...I know.  Somehow, someway I stuck with it, altered my eating habits, and I can truly say I'm noticing little changes.  For one thing my clothes are fitting better.  I've also been told that my face is a lot leaner, and I definitely have more energy.  I realize that I will never again look like a twenty year old, but this isn't about looking younger; it's about being fit.  I do indulge from time to time, but only a little...there's nothing wrong with treating yourself!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Rave Review

Lol, I got this message on Facebook from a satisfied customer.  She ordered a cotton candy body butter.  So glad she loved it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Seasons Change

After a long,  hot Summer I'm glad to say that the temperatures are finally dropping. Tons of crisp brown leaves carpet the grass in my complex,  and I find myself thinking of Thanksgiving turkey,  cranberries, the smell of cinnamon and  cloves,  and lighting my fireplace!  By the way,  I just happened to smell a candle fragranced with vanilla and sandalwood essential oils!  It smelled too good,  and just how I would like any men who are around me to smell!  I am definitely adding this combo to my lineup. According to the men on my Facebook page,  they would buy body spray,  but not mist.  I guess misting isn't dudely!  Somewhere deep down,  I guess I already knew that!

Anyway,  I'm  one of those people that believes that it's a beautiful thing to give back during the holidays.  I'm not saying that you shouldn't give back all year in any way you can,  but the Holidays can be an especially tough time for those who are troubled,  or experiencing adversity in their lives.  Of course,  corporations don't make it any better by pushing us to spend more money,  and placing ourselves further into debt so we can feel accepted,  or that we are good parents because we bought our children new junk that they seem to lose interest in by New Years Eve.

However,  instead of adding to my children's arsenal of toys,  I'm going to give them a lesson in giving back.  We will be making gifts for women residing at my local domestic violence shelter. These women are courageous, resilient,  and deserve to know that someone cares about what they are going through. So, I'm asking each of you who bothered to read this to help me provide an L.I.J Natural Luxuries gift bag to the ladies residing in the shelter, as well as the staff that work there, and handle the hotline which is the first point of contact!  This gift set includes a body butter,  body mist,  body scrub,  loofah,  and a scented candle.  I have a goal of $500.00 to cover ingredients,  supplies,  and shipping. If there is anything left,  it will also go to the shelter as a cash donation. I know five hundred dollars is a large sum but not if everyone helps out. If you can donate any amount to a worthwhile cause, please do. Even if you cannot contribute, help someone this Holiday season!

I'd like to help