2017 has been such an exciting year, for me and 2018 has some very exciting things happening that you'll know about very soon! I thought I would round up some of my favorite things I discovered this year covering beauty, health, fashion and more!
#1 Skin Care
Of course, it's only right I start with my skin care favorites! This year I fell in love with the brand new A Natural Difference Skin Care Clarifying Cleanser. Made with potent salicylic acid from willow bark and sulphur which kills acne bacteria it keeps my breakouts at bay, and my skin feels SUPER soft!
Also when it comes to skin care A.N.D.'s Mineral Enzyme masque has become a favorite of mine. Containing hydrating and exfoliating ingredients, one which is spinach, to provide free radical digestive enzymes. Which enhance the skin’s moisture, leaving the skin smooth and healthy.
#2 Essential Oils
I know I know, it's what everyone is doing! But I have been using essential oils for 11 years. I'd love your feedback but I have decided in the new year to start diffusing a couple of essential oils, starting with a couple to help keep everyone from getting sick! Essential oils have been really helpful in my life over the years to help keep aches and pains at bay, relieve stress, fight sickness and more. Be careful, because not all essential oils are the same quality by any stretch. If you are interested, a few oils are now available for purchase at the spa!
#3 Dry Brushing
I have been dry brushing for years, but recently found that the Owner of A Natural Difference does this daily, and it reminded ME to make sure I never skip this practice! It's the cheapest and one the most effective ways to exfoliate! Throw in that its great for your lymphatic system and its basically illegal not to! You simply brush your skin DRY before you shower starting in circular motions from your feet always working towards your heart. (On the bikini area I recommend brushing in the direction of growth to prevent ingrown hairs and push the hair in the proper direction of re-growth.) Just google it and you can find all sorts of cool articles! After I shower I always apply body lotion or oil on damp skin while I'm still in the shower to lock in moisture. You'll have soft, hydrated skin this winter if you do these two steps regularly! You can purchase a dry brush in the spa for $12.
#3 Senita Athleticwear
I discovered this line a little over a year ago because, I cannot lie, my sister designs for them! Although I purchased to support her place of employment, they are the best leggings you will find and at a great price! I believe none of their items are above $40. Also, I always love newer small businesses, because that's me too!
#4 Natural Deodorant
For many years I have been using unscented antiperspirant. I have tried so many natural deodorants but they often make me sweat more, I smell terrible in a few hours, or they're often a weird application. I had started to kind of give up even though I would love to use something aluminum free, given the studies that potentially link it to many different health problems. Recently I read about two different natural deodorants with raving Amazon reviews. Very skeptically, I ordered one. So far, a few months in it has been awesome! The first one is what I tried, the second I will try next!
#5 Delighted By
Moving onto food. As a small business owner, I'm sure it's no shock to you that I watch shark tank! It's been one of my favorite shows to watch for years now. A couple of months ago this company was on the show. Their product is dessert hummus. Yes, you read that right! With only 32 grams of sugar if you ate the WHOLE container, and only 240 calories! It's a sweet treat with graham crackers, fruit (my favorite!) and any other combination you would like. So far I have been able to try Brownie Batter and Vanilla Bean. I know they have a few others I'll be hopefully encountering soon. Mind you, I am a health nut. I wouldn't say eating it with a spoon it tastes like frosting, but it does fill that chocolate or dessert craving. Their products are not available at every grocery store yet, so check their website for local carriers!
#6 Homemade Hummus
Speaking of hummus, I recently started making my own! My husband and I love hummus, but we never seem to finish a container before it goes bad. I really wanted to learn to make it to keep in ice trays, then use it for wraps, or whenever I want it next day! I'll admit, during their Labor Day sale I splurged and got a Vitamix. Worth every penny for how often I use it! But if you made it in a good food processor that should work too! This is a slightly adapted recipe shared with me by a client of mine.
Makes about 1 1/2 - 2 cups
2 cans of chickpeas, drained
1 small jar of roasted red peppers (I have only found large whole peppers. So I use half of a regular size red pepper.)
2 Tbps tahini (I made my own with sesame seeds and olive oil!)
1 T lime juice
1/2 t cayenne pepper (The original recipe is half of this.)
1 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder
Blend together until very smooth. Taste test and see what you think! Each time I tweak it to how I'm feeling that day. So far, we've always eaten the whole bowl within a couple days! Great with veggies, pita bread or tortilla chips.
#7 Non-toxic Cooking Pans
I got married this year and up until now I've basically had hand-me-down cooking pans. I know a lot of pan coatings now can be unhealthy to cook with, some pans everything sticks etc. So I looked at a lot of sites for the best non-stick, non-toxic and best pans that I could get. I ended up settling with Green Pans. With proper care, these pans are AMAZING I have been super happy with them! These are a few of the pans that I have.
Speaking of the cooking department, this time of year (specifically black Friday) is an awesome time to buy Pyrex! Personally I only have glass food storage containers and I also use a toaster oven to re-warm my food. Pyrex is great because it can be used in a toaster oven. Pyrex is so easy to clean, stackable to store in cupboards, and oven safe. I love buying Pyrex now because it's on sale at basically every departments store. I personally buy Black Friday, but you might find a great post-Christmas sale! This year I bought two sets, one for my sister and another for my cousin who are both getting married this spring. You can never have enough Pyrex! I have at least one of each of the sets below and I use them everyday.
I hope you're having a wonderful holiday season!