Shoes vs. Bare Feet

feets

When i was growing up, in the woods, in Maine, as soon as May rolled around, and there was no snow except for the huge chunk of half-ice, half-crystalized pellets, we stopped wearing shoes.
All day, every day. No shoes.
The neighbors teased us about getting roundworms, and we were those kids who showed up to Walmart or the grocery store with no shoes on and had to wait outside or sit in the cart at 8-10 years old.
It was my Easter tradition for years to play violin on stage with no shoes on.
We also had lofts for beds growing up, so we climbed a rope ladder for years to get up and down from our beds. (That toughened up the balls of my feet like you wouldn’t believe!)
In 2012, i was constantly in trouble with the camp nurse and handyman at Word of Life Ranch because i would do things like ride on the back bumper of the maintenance van when we went off-roading and run around with no shoes on. Hint :New York State law is not very keen on stuff like that!
In 2013, i became a lifeguard. Now i finally had permission to strut around campus with no shoes on, ever!

Of course, like normal kids, we got slivers, glass and one brother even got a nail in his foot, but it wasn’t anything some peroxide and a band-aid couldn’t fix.
Kids are going to get boo-boos; physically hurt one way or another, and it’s important to teach them not to be afraid of that.

Over the course of all those years, i noticed i personally walk on the outside edge of my feet; my weight isn’t completely evenly distributed, naturally, and i also have tough callouses/cracked skin on my heels. I don’t know if those are really problems or “cons” to not wearing shoes, as it were, they’re just something i noticed.

Other things i did notice, are definitely positives, no questions about it.
I have impeccable balance. I’m a klutz with an astigmatism and depth-perception issues, so it’s definitely not anything to do with my eyes or my ears; i strongly believe it has to do with my feet. i’m constantly tripping over, and bumping into things, but i never actually hit the ground and i regain control quickly.

I also have excellent arches. I just purchased my first pair of heels in the past year, so i never wore those my whole life, and i can stand on my toes for as long as you’d like.
My joints and the balls of my feet have excellent support and i can jump off anything and land without my ankles hurting or buckling.

All that said, I’m super excited for the summer and the benefits that come from not wearing shoes!! While i know it doesn’t work for everyone and some people need the extra support (i’ve found even i need some more in my “old age” haha), I’ve seen all those benefits, especially in my ankles and balls of my feet, that even my peers don’t have.

I also plan on going barefoot for my wedding! ^_^

Q of the Day – What are your personal opinions about shoes? Do you need the support or are you worried about germs?

 

Caring for A Sick Body

Hello all 🙂 I’ve been nursing along a bugger of a cold recently, and i’ve been doing alot of homework, reading and study about ways to care for and prevent common ailments without immediately running to the doctor or buying meds.
So here’s a few things i’ve been doing the past couple days that have helped considerably in my fight against the changing seasons and my weakened immune system!

1. Echinacea Tea by YOGI

This tea is wonderful! I’ve been drinking 1-3 cups a day, and it really is the shot in the arm to your immune system. Echinacea is a plant that has been used for centuries to fight infections. I’ve been adding some raw honey, and a lemon wedge to it as well.

2. Gargling warm salt water

This is good for if you have a sore, scratchy throat or feel a sore throat coming on. Salt is antibacterial, the heat soothes, and a mucousy nasty throat is just a museum of bacteria and infection just waiting for opening day! Gargle the stuff, spit it out and cough up whatever else will come out too! Once a day should suffice. 🙂

3. Raw Honey

According to what i’ve read, this stuff is better than over-the-counter cough and cold medicine, and after yesterday, i believe it.
I scooped up some on my way out of Wegmans yesterday, and downed a spoonful as soon as i got into the car.
Honey is also a centuries-old antibacterial and soothing agent, and my throat felt better after that one bit!
It is QUITE sweet tho, for me, so today i’ve just been mixing as much into my tea as can possibly be absorbed (about 2 TBS) and drinking it that way.

4. Breathing Peppermint Oil Steam

I turned on my teakettle with about 2 cups of water and about 4 drops of peppermint essential oil, and let it steam. I lean over it and breathe it in, plugging one nostril and then the other. You can feel the fumes on your throat and it really does make everything loosen up! I’d blow my nose frequently inbetween.

5. Garlic caplets
Marth’s mum gave me about a hundred of these little guys, and it’s just garlic, in pill form (also an infecticide) I pop about three of them a day when i’m sick.

6. Water!!!!!!!!
I know, i know everyone says stay hydrated when you’re sick, but it’s so true!! Drink at least two quarts of water a day (which you should be drinking anyway, but its easier said than done.)
Drink water, until your eyeballs are floating, and then drink some more! it helps flush all the bad stuff out of your body and it needs that hydration to fix stuff up inside.

7. Orange/Citrus Juice and Fruit
Vitamin C it up, my people! Your body needs all the help it can get when it’s fighting infections or your defenses are weakened. I drink about 2 glasses of orange-pineapple juice and/or eat at least half a grapefruit or orange a day when i start feeling a cold coming and when i have it.

8. Restorative Yoga
Working out honestly is the last thing i feel like doing when i’m sick, but i don’t want the week or so to become a complete and total loss. Today i did about an hour of SarahBeth Yoga’s Deep Stretch Restorative Yoga, that’s mostly just lying/stretching into positions, not so much of a physical challenge. It’s kinda like running in place or speedwalking; you’re doing the motion without straining or committing your body to as much work, just to keep it tip-top and on it’s toes. 🙂

9. SLEEP.
Seriously tho. Your body needs to heal and repair itself, and it does that during your sleep cycle. It becomes even more important when you’re sick to allow the body the time it needs of rest. 8 hours or more a night, ESPECIALLY when you’re sick, but every night is best, really.
Something i really struggled with as i’ve grown up is seeing sleep as something lazy; it’s one of those things you just have to do to stay alive, as little as you can stand, because sleeping more than 6-8 hours/ past 9:30 makes you lazy. That’s just not true! Especially when you’re sick, just because your eyes snap open at 7:30 because that’s what you’re used to, doesn’t mean you have to force yourself out of bed then. If you can afford to fall back to sleep until 8:30 or quarter to 9, to round off an even 8-8 1/2 hours of sleep, go for it. it’s that important.

Now if you end up with a seriously struggling throat or no voice, some times some drugstore meds aren’t a bad idea. My immediate go-to is…

10. Hall’s Menthol Cough Drops
They come in a blue package and they taste like antifreeze, but they do wonders for a dry, sore or painful throat/cough! Good for on-the-go to have in your pocket at work, school, the like. 🙂

So, that’s what i’ve been doing this whole week! ^_^ While i feel bad for not blogging, writing or painting as much as i usually would, i have listened to alot of music, and worked about 43 hours, taken care of my house and slept alot!
Speaking of sleep, because i just preached on how important that is, i should be practicing it… 😉

Q of the Day – What are your go-to survival techniques for seasonal sickness/allergies?

 

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” Trailer!

 

SOOOO i’m definitely not freaking out, but i’m freaking out!!
I just found out this existed and now that i’m almost finished the Harry Potter books, this is exactly something i’ve wanted to stumble across next!! The fact that it’s directed by Tim Burton just makes it even better ^_^ (he’s kind of one of my favorites 🙂 Between this and the new Alice movie, my life is so happy right now!)
I’m stoked. It’s gonna be amazing. I just gotta read the book before i see the movie. ^_^ It’s currently checked out at my library but i put it on hold for when it comes back in! 😀

Plato’s Closet Run! :D

Recently, I decided i needed to get new jeans; Marth loves them, and there’s only one, possibly two pairs that fit me, because i’ve lost weight recently (yay! 😀 I’ve been working out every day so it’s great to see it’s been paying off!)

I thought about Khols and Walmart and JC Penney and all those other places that have good clothes and since the tax return came in, i actually have money again. At the same time…I remembered the tight, uncomfortable “new jeans” feel. :/ After spending years in hand-me-down jeans from my ex-boyfriend’s older sisters, i just have had a hard time getting used to new jeans. I haven’t had a comfortable pair of new jeans since 2013…and they were the only ones i’d had since 2011. XD

Not that i’m complaining!! Hand-me-down jeans are soft and comfy and, as long as they’re a good brand name, still have plenty of wear in them 🙂

Somehow i had forgotten that me and Marth’s favorite high-end thrift shop, Plato’s Closet sold jeans.
Fortunately i remembered just in time! ^_^
After trying on about 7 pairs, I got American Eagle jeans for $17! They’re long, comfy and lived-in. 😀 ❤

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Soooo of course, i couldn’t stop there…

I found this cute little number, and there were two reasons i had to have it.

  1. I’m a huge sucker for skater skirts.
  2. It was $5. 😀

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(It’s lacy and cute at the bottom too!)

Then, i remembered i had bought my favorite sweater from there, a while ago. Its a gray knit button-up cardigan…from the guys’ section. So naturally i had to peruse there too 😉
Before i even got to the sweater section, i found this…

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I mean. C’mon. It’s awesome. And it makes me think of the guys from the Big Bang Theory. And it was $6, so i bought it too ^_^

Aaaand then i got to the sweater section! 😀 It took some looking cuz there were not many that unzipped/unbuttoned all the way down.
This one, has pockets and it’s so long and comfy! 😀

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Last but certainly not least….
As i looked thru the girls tops (which i finally decided i’d just go to walmart later, because there are a couple there i know i like and look good on me. Plus the crazy, overpattered oversized selection was giving me a headache), I happened to glance up at the shoe rack. I’m always on the lookout for heels, because i only owned one pair (brown leather hand-me-down from the ex’s sister) straight up until about 2 months ago when Marth’s mum gave me some that she bought that didn’t fit her. They’re Croc brand, so waterproof, sandal-style black heels.
I found these; black, borderline Steampunk style with a hint of Helena Bonham-Carter. ^_^ Usually cute things like these don’t fit me, but i had socks on today and i figured that would give me some wiggle room for sizing.
They slid on my feet like a dream. 🙂
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I LOVE THEM.

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$9.00!!!
I couldn’t pass them up. ^_^

So that was my adventure today 🙂 Grand total, including county tax ended up around $47-$50. 🙂 So that was awesome!

Plato’s Closet. Super amazing value for adorable stuff! 🙂

 

My Daily Face/Skincare Routine

Hello friends!!

Today i’m super excited, because i think i’ve finally perfected a routine that has produced the greatest results for my face!

As i’ve said before, i have combination skin and my main struggles are my chin and t-zone. I repeat this routine, almost exactly, every morning (before/if i put makeup on) and every night (after i take it off).

First, I start with an oil cleanse. Because i got my tax return, i finally ordered Banilla Co’s Clean-It Zero: Purity, but it won’t be in until next month :/ Right now, I’m just using

1. Unrefined Coconut Oil (Wegmans- Organic brand)

Wegmans stores, Buffalo NY. $7.99

 

It’s super creamy and it melts on your skin 🙂 I use a cotton pad to get my makeup off my eyes (it dissolves smoothly even waterproof mascara) and all over my face.
Now, i know i was super freaked out at the idea of putting oil on my already messed-up skin, but how it works is, when it’s used before a foaming cleanser, it cleans oil-based blemishes and dirt without stripping your skin dry 🙂 it’s super awesome!
While it does have a bit of a coconutty smell, I’ve also used refined oil which doesn’t smell as strong, but it has a tendency to get hard and flakey and doesn’t work nearly as well. Go unrefined. Is your face smelling a bit like a tropical island for a few minutes really the worst thing that could happen to you? 😛

2. Vanicream Cleansing Bar 

Walgreens – $3.99

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So i’m not sure if this is actual “soap” but its designed for sensitive skin and leaves mine feeling super light and clean! I foam it up and make sure it gets all the coconut oil off my hands and face.

3. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash – Pink Grapefruit Cleanser 

Walmart – $6.96

i smear this right on just my chin and nose usually; no need to do it anywhere else. it starts as a gel, but foams eventually.
Water temperature is usually lukewarm to very warm (not hot).

4. Stridex Sensitive Alcohol-Free With Aloe Pads

Walmart – $3.97

Stridex Daily Care Alcohol-Free Sensitive with Aloe Pads, 90 count

The pads come in a can and are a little smaller than the palm of my hand. Because i -again- only use it on the spots i need it and not my whole face, i usually cut each pad into quarters and it makes them last even longer! 🙂 Sometimes i only use these once a day instead of two, because even tho they’re marked ‘sensitive’, my skin will dry out if i’m not careful.

5. Witch Hazel

Walmart – $3.64
T.N. Dickinson's Face & Body Witch Hazel Astringent, 16 fl oz
This stuff is a great toner and it just smooths everything out really well, without being too harsh! It comes in a huge bottle and i usually put a little bit on a cotton pad, all over my face.

*These next two steps are interchangeable in order; I’m pretty sure i do it differently every time hahah*

Vanicream Lite Lotion

Walgreens – $13.99

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Although compared to the rest of my products, this one’s a little hefty in price, don’t skimp on it. Moisturizing is SO important, and it’s honestly not bad for a 16oz bottle. I start to gently massage it on my face before the witch hazel absorbs/evaporates. Moisturizer basically works as Saran Wrap for your skin, so if you want to keep it soft, it’s best to try to trap the moisture as close to your skin as possible.

Yadah Anti-Trouble Spot Cream – Soothing

Memebox.com $13.00 (on sale for $10.00)

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I love this stuff so much!! I’m allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide and can only take salicylic acid in small amounts. The active ingredient in this cream is wintergreen extract and it soothes inflamed skin while also helping decrease acne! 🙂
Again, a hefty item, price-wise, and it gets even more expensive when memebox.com doesn’t have it on sale, or at all. But the 15 grams lasts a while, and you don’t need all that much 🙂

That about does it! 🙂 If i’m getting ready for the day, i top it all off with some BareMinerals Foundation and Mineral Veil (but that’s for another blog post). If i’m headed to bed (like i am right now haha) i’ll schmear some Vasaline on my lips and be on my way. 🙂

FREEBEE – 

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes – Sensitive 

Wegmans – $5.99


For a busy morning/evening clean where i really am on a crunch for time, these are amazing! I usually will put some moisturizer on afterwords, and if i’m out the door, makeup, and be on my way! ^_^

That’s it! This is something i’ve been working on for almost a year, and i’m really proud to have finally found something that works well for me and hopefully others with sensitive skin! 🙂

Hit me up if you need any info about ingredients or have any questions! ^_^ Everything is mineral oil and benzoyl peroixide- free.

S/O to My FAVORITE Yoga Youtuber!

Sarah Beth yoga ❤ I love this girl so much!! Every single video she does is inspiring and beautiful! This particular playlist is a yoga routine for every day of the week, focusing on different things, and i’ve been doing each day, as well as her Pre-Workout Warm-Up and Post-Workout Cool-Down! She’s got a bunch of deep stretches and vlogs as well!

I’ll never need another yoga youtube channel again ❤ keep being beautiful, friend!

10 Ways I’m Losing Weight, The Healthy Way, Every Day. ^_^

1. Drink water
-as soon as you wake up, as much as you can handle. You’re usually thirsty in the morning anyway so it works out 🙂
-with lemon in it. Lemon kickstarts your metabolism and i find myself drinking more when it doesn’t just taste like water. I keep mine in a quart mason jar and drink it with a straw…I could suck down 3-4 quarts a day.
-but don’t exceed 2 gallons a day, or you’ll start flushing out electrolytes and that will do more harm than good.

2. Commit to doing SOMETHING active, every day, whether it’s doing 15 minutes of yoga, or running a half-marathon; whatever you can do, EVERY. DAY. No matter what, don’t stop moving. No matter what you’re doing.
-If you’re having a conversation in a hallway, do wall sits. If you’re watching tv, do crunches and lat pulloevers. It’s not hard, just takes a little extra background brain-focus.
-If the weather is nice, spend the afternoon with a friend walking, playing hockey, frisbee, whatever you have the equipment for, instead of watching just netflix.
-Make it FUN! Because it IS fun!
Being active releases feel-good hormones, and who doesn’t want those?? The hardest part is just initially getting into it.

3. Realize that “feeling hungry” is most often way more of an emotional and mental state, rather than a physical one. Learn to tell the difference between “hungry” and “bored”. If you’re not hungry enough to eat a fruit or vegetable, you’re not really hungry.

4. Eat when YOU are physically hungry, and only enough to make you NOT physically hungry anymore. Making food at home is a great way to do that, because most restaurant/fast food is way more calories than you even need in a DAY, much less a meal. Never eat until you’re uncomfortable, anywhere for any reason. It’s not worth it, then or later.

5. Portion your snacks, and then put the rest away, so even if you do have a day when you feel like you need more (for any reason), at least you have to convince yourself that having more is worth getting up and getting the package out and open again.

6. Make sure “treat yo’self” is an actual TREAT. Pay attention between treats, because sometimes it feels like it’s been alot longer than it has actually been.

7. Share your techniques and learnings with others; it keeps you focused and motivated while you motivate others too 🙂

8. Avoid “cooler drinks”; 90% of them aren’t gonna do anything for you, hydration-wise or other. You shouldn’t be drinking your calories, to the best of your ability. (Milk doesn’t count; i’m talking pop, booze, concentrated juice, etc)
In your drinks, aim for 22-25 grams of sugar per serving or less. (unless it’s a treat. Even then, aim for 1 serving; most bottled beverages have at least 2.) A good way to go is all-natural tea. (PureLeaf: Not Too Sweet and Honest-T are my personal favs ^_^ )

9. One fruit, one vegetable. Every day. (100% fruit juice counts; Keep an eye on the sugar content tho with that. Currently in my fridge i have orange juice and cucumbers for this week 🙂 It’ll keep you from filling up on other things that aren’t as good for you.
Note: If i do get 100% juice, i usually will make sure i drink 1 serving size (8oz) only if it’s mango or orange juice. If i get a more water-based juice, like cranberry, apple, etc, i’ll use 4oz juice and fill the rest of the glass with water; be it 8oz or 32oz.

10. Remember that YOU own YOUR body, NOT the other way around. It won’t last forever, but your soul will. So, do the best you can, while you have it, to make it the way you want. It’s gonna be hard either way, so make the hard worth it. 🙂

[Shared from my Tumblr @meyla3839]

VaniCream Cleansing Bar and Lite Lotion Review

When i was about 13 or 14, i developed a circular, scaling rash on the right side of my face, below my cheekbone.
Young teenage me was tired of looking “gross” and nothing seemed to be working to clear my acne or keep me from getting rashes, so my mum took me to a dermatologist.

She gave me samples of this soap and lotion to try and see if anything improved.

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Let me tell you…the results were astronomical. My skin felt like a baby’s butt, and i wore nothing but mascara and eyeliner for weeks and got nothing but compliments on how great my skin looked!

When i was away at college, just like any kid, i figured i knew everything and i met alot more people and i eventually chose to try a bunch of new things and stopped with this regular, tried-and-true routine…what on earth was i thinking… X’D

I was concerned about the cost because “Dermatologist Recommended” usually doesn’t come cheap! But i did some homework, and went to the Walgreens about 10 minutes from my work and picked up BOTH of these for a total of $20 USD! (and there’s A LOT; a full-sized soap bar and 16 oz pump bottle of lotion; they look exactly like the pictures!) They contain no dyes, lanolin, parabens, fragrances…honestly i have no clue what it is, but it works!

By the time i got them most recently, i hadn’t used these products in over a year, and my face was rebelling. I kid you not; i saw improvement after one use! ^_^ i now wash my face once a day (twice just isn’t necessary unless i’m out and about all day or feeling especially sweaty/dirty or just excess sebum and irritation) and i’m still seeing drastic improvement each day!!
I’m paying for not taking care of my skin like i should have for over a year, but let me tell you, this made it alot easier and fits the cheapskate budget! All in all, a 10/10, every day!

One word of caution: They have a “moisturizing lotion” and a “lite lotion”. I have used both, and i personally recommend the LITE lotion for sensitive/oily skin. The regular moisturizing lotion is far heavier and has a tendency to feel greasy if you already have oily skin as it is. Just go lite; it’s safer 😛 It may be a TEENSY more expensive, but it’s negligible. 🙂

Well, those are my reviews for today! 😀 Keep being beautiful, loves, and i will definitely be giving more reviews as i go thru my latest MEMEBOX.com order, one mask per week! ^_^

Have you used any of the reviewed products or have any questions about them or ingredients i’ve sworn off of and why? Fire away! ^_^