Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care

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You hear people talk about self care a lot. And with good reason. Self care isn’t just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care. Self care isn't just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. #selfcare #healthandwellness #healthylifestyle

Are you still putting yourself last?

How many times have you heard your parents say, “When I retire, I’ll have the time to do the things I love.” Or, “When I retire, I’ll spend more time outdoors on the hiking trail.” Or perhaps you’re already at that age that you’ve promised these things to yourself. You’ll travel more. You’ll make time for brunch with friends.

The problem with this way of thinking is that you are always planning for a future you. So when you finally arrive at that point in time where you had planned to make changes, those changes never happen.

What generally occurs, instead, is one of two things. You either A) find that you’ve neglected self care (which includes a healthy diet and exercise, fresh air and healthy stress management) and your health won’t allow you to do all those things you planned over the years. Or B) you’ve trained yourself to put other people above you for so long, that when you finally do have the time to focus on yourself, you aren’t able to break a lifetime of behavior in which you were always doing for others.

Do you have trouble saying no?

My mother has always been the type of person who has trouble saying no. “We need someone to be treasurer for ABWA. Can you do it? We really need someone.” “Sure.” “We need someone to organize the PTA fundraiser. No one volunteered this year. Can you help?” “Of course.” “We’d really love to have a Cub Scout troop for our church. Can you run that?” “Absolutely.” “No one signed up to host a Princess House party? Would you mind hosting one?” “I can make that happen.”

Growing up I remember my mother being involved in everything. From work to church to school she did just about everything that anyone asked of her. And as a baby boomer, I feel like she was raised to be that homemaker, parent and activist. At the same time, however, roles were changing. So she also worked full time. She didn’t ask for help. And she eventually ran herself into exhaustion and a nervous breakdown.

My mother retired around two years or so ago. Guess what? She still hasn’t found the time to keep up with her flower gardens. She’s volunteering now more than she did when she was working. And why not? How else do you fill that void that work left open if all you’ve ever done is work?

More recently my grandmother has been unable to take care of herself. So my mother is only home one or two days a week. The rest of the time she’s helping my grandmother with everything she needs as the family prepares to move her into assisted living.

All of those things my mother said she’d do once she retired? Well, she hasn’t done them yet.

You shouldn’t wait until retirement to indulge in self care because self care is not an indulgence. Self care is a must for a happy, healthy life. Self care is a must for managing stress so you don’t get overwhelmed. Self care is healthcare. (Also, learning how to say “no” is pretty empowering too.)

Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Retirement to Indulge in Self Care. Self care isn't just making sure our basic needs are met. Self care is what recharges us. And while the definition of self care may vary from person to person, in the end it is the key to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. #selfcare #healthandwellness #healthylifestyle

An introduction to Soulplant Apothecary.

Recently I had the opportunity to try, what I consider, self care products from a small company called Soulplant Apothecary. Based in Zagreb, Croatia, this little Etsy shop is owned by Kristijana. Kritijana not only works as a transformational life-coach, aromatherapist and herbalist, she also crafts personal care products that she believes can help people live more soulful lives.

The principles behind Soulplant Apothecary tie together plant love, skin care and soul healing. So it’s easy to use these handmade products to better connect with your inner self. A daily skin care routine not only helps to soothe your body, it can also help calm your mind. So take that extra few minutes each day to really focus on your skin care needs.

I love all of the products I tried from Soulplant Apothecary. My hope is that you will love them as much as I do. As well, be sure to utilize skin care as a daily reminder to take care of not just your physical health, but your emotional health as well.

Sacred Space Room & Body Mist from Soulplant Apothecary. This is a truly sacred blend of purifying essential oils and mindfully chosen floral waters. It helps dispense stagnant energy in your space and/or aura.

My favorite self care product from Soulplant Apothecary.

My favorite product from Soulplant Apothecary has to be Kristijana’s sacred space room + body mist. As a person who has struggled with anxiety throughout my life, I love that this essential oil mist helps to ground my energy and cleanse my space. Dubbed as a magic mist for soulful living, this mist been super helpful at helping me focus and concentrate on my writing and upcoming projects. Plus it smells amazing – something similar to sitting outdoors on a damp forest floor enveloped by woods and rich dirt.

In addition to the sacred space room + body mist, you can also shop for three other aromatherapeutic scents including happiness, divine feminine – and for him – divine masculine. Try your favorite scent to help you destress when you meditate. (Soulplant Apothecary’s sacred dust smudging blend is also lovely for this purpose.) Or cuddle up with that book you keep meaning to read. You deserve a break in your day to let the tension and stressors in your life go.

This hair love restore & heal hair serum from Soulplant Apothecary is a potent blend of more powerful plant oils, just to mention some of them: argan, macadamia and rare precious gem of nature - abyssinia oil. This composition is meant to protect hair from damage and to substitute commercial conditioners. Rich in fatty acids and vitamins, this elixir will add boost of glow and health to your hair.

My roommate’s favorite self care find.

Having survived an emotionally abusive marriage followed by breast cancer, my roommate Bambi springs for a haircut and color as a treat to herself when she has a little extra cash. She’s a fan of flat ironing her hair (when it’s not raining) to smooth out her naturally kinky, curly hair. Therefore it’s no surprise that her favorite product from Soul Apothecary is the hair love restore + heal hair serum.

Thoughtfully crafted with a blend of argan, macadamia and rare abyssinia oil, this plant based hair elixir protects hair from damage and gives hair a healthy shine. Out of the plethora of hair care products on the market today, Bambi rates this hair serum as THE absolute best hair care product she’s used for straightening her hair. For super damaged hair, consider Soul Apothecary’s strength + volume version of hair love.

FLOWER MANTRA | Exfoliating plant powder from Soulplant Apothecary. This is a gentle exfoliating powder, made of differently granulated plant powders, clays, and flowers. Include it in your daily skin care routine to help your skin glow and look fresh. It gently exfoliates skin, leaving it soft and clean.

In addition to these products, Soulplant Apothecary also carries a wonderful flower mantra exfoliating plant powder, nourishing face cream, ritual bath salts and yoni sacred feminine oil – to restore the connection with your feminine power center. (Which is a whole other kind of very special self care. *wink*) To learn more about Soulplant Apothecary or to browse all of the great products created by Kristijana, visit her Etsy shop here.

More self care rituals that are easy to adopt.

• Spend a few minutes, either at the beginning or the end of the day, to write in a journal. This will help you visualize the achievement of your goals and be more mindful.

• Take a mid-day walk at lunchtime to boost your energy levels.

• Turn off your ringer and take a break from your phone. No one should be tethered to a phone 24/7. Choose a time frame out of everyday to disconnect from all your digital devices and just sit outdoors, watch the clouds and take in the view.

• Pick a day to say no to social media each week. Instead, invite a friend or neighbor over for a cup of tea and engage in a real conversation about something other than the news.

• Reduce stress with simple activities such as spending time with a pet, painting a picture, making soap, planting a flower or even dancing – like no one is watching, of course!

What are some of your favorite ways to practice self care? I’d love to hear your tips for reducing stress, practicing mindfulness or simply how you take time out for yourself each day. Alternately, if you are currently struggling with where you are in life, I recommend reading my article titled, You Are Not a Failure (Tips to Change Your Perspective & Get Your Mojo Back.)

To receive updates from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find and follow me on PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’ and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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You’re About to Discover Your New Favorite Tea!

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Whether you’re new to drinking loose leaf teas, or you’re a self described tea connoisseur, you’re going to love the natural, organic loose leaf teas from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Find your tea soulmate with this genius tea quiz from Mountain Rose Herbs based on your tastes and lifestyle. The tea soulmate quiz asks questions based not just on your favorite flavors, but also where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, you're sure to find the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle.

With a wide selection of every kind of organic loose leaf tea imaginable, it’s hard not to find a tea that you love. However, if you’re still on the hunt for that perfect tea that fits both your tastes AND your lifestyle, then you must take Mountain Rose Herbs new tea quiz to find your tea soulmate!

I’ve been shopping with Mountain Rose Herbs for over a decade and I’ve never once been disappointed by the quality of their products. I first became a customer in what I like to call my “market days.” I would shop from their selection of organic ingredients that included unrefined butters, clays and carrier oils for my soapmaking recipes and skin care products that I sold on my local city market.

Rarely, however, did I consider purchasing from their wide selection of organic loose leaf teas. What a mistake! After taking the new tea soulmate quiz from Mountain Rose Herbs, I found my new favorite tea!

Discover your favorite organic loose leaf teas! Take the tea soulmate quiz to find the perfect organic, loose leaf tea for your lifestyle! Your perfect tea isn't just based on your favorite flavors. It's also about where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, discover the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle now.

Take the tea soulmate quiz!

Mountain Rose Herbs tea soulmate quiz asks questions based not just on your favorite flavors. It also asks where you enjoy drinking your tea most. How you like your teas? Who are you drinking that cup of tea with? And why do you reach for a cup of tea over another beverage?

So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, you’re sure to find the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle. With 32 different teas featured in their quiz, you’re not only going to discover your new favorite tea – but possibly several new favorites! Simply take the tea quiz more than once and change up your answers to find the perfect tea to fit your mood.

Find your tea soulmate with this genius tea quiz from Mountain Rose Herbs. Discover your favorite organic loose leaf teas! Take the tea soulmate quiz to find the perfect organic, loose leaf tea for your lifestyle! Your perfect tea isn't just based on your favorite flavors. It's also about where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, discover the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle now.

My tea soulmate.

My tea soulmate was turmeric chai. This spicy, warming herbal chai tea is caffeine free, making it the perfect tea for chai enthusiasts who have cut caffeine from their diets. Especially delightful as we start transitioning into cooler nights this fall, the turmeric in this organic tea, gives this brew an exotic, piquant flavor. It also highlights the other earthy spices found in this chai tea blend.

I love the pinch of cayenne that gives this tea blend a spicy bite! And while this organic chai tea is delicious when brewed with water, it’s also delightful brewed with milk or your favorite milk substitute. Think of it as a flavorful twist on golden milk.

As I’m a bonafide turmeric junkie, this tea is a perfect fit for my healthy lifestyle. (You can find all of my favorite turmeric recipes here.)

Discover your favorite organic loose leaf teas! Take the tea soulmate quiz to find the perfect organic, loose leaf tea for your lifestyle! Your perfect tea isn't just based on your favorite flavors. It's also about where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot or iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, discover the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle now.

What makes loose leaf teas special?

If you’re new to loose leaf teas, then you probably don’t realize what you’ve been missing. Compared to tea bags, which commonly contain what is referred to as “tea dust,” loose leaf teas are like the caviar of teas.

What really sets the teas from Mountain Rose Herbs apart, however, is their quality. Not only are their loose leaf teas made using organic tea leaves and herbs, you know you’re always receiving the freshest, pesticide free botanical tea blends. So you get all of the healthy benefits of drinking tea, without any of the things you DON’T want in your teas.

How to brew loose leaf teas.

So, just how do you blend that perfect cup of organic loose leaf tea? To brew Mountain Rose Herbs turmeric chai tea, heap one tablespoon into your preferred strainer. Then pour 8 ounces of boiling water over the tea. Steep for 3-5 minutes, or until desired strength. Then simply strain and enjoy.

Or discover three more ways to enjoy your turmeric chai tea here.

To learn how to brew your other favorite types of loose leaf teas, be sure to check out this guide to tea brewing.

Find your tea soulmate with this genius tea quiz from Mountain Rose Herbs based on your tastes and lifestyle. The tea soulmate quiz asks questions based not just on your favorite flavors, but also where, how, who with and why you choose to drink tea. So whether you enjoy your tea hot iced, with or without friends, in a valley of wildflowers or in an urban sanctuary, you're sure to find the perfect tea to fit your lifestyle.

So, the only question left is, which tea is about to become your new favorite? Find your tea soulmate now!

To discover more about tea, including recipes and tea infused products, be sure to follow my Everything Tea board.

You can also follow me on PinterestG+FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Alternately, you can subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

The Best & Only Body Butter Recipe You’ll Ever Need (Without Shea Butter OR Coconut Oil!)

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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This natural bacuri body butter recipe is the best and only body butter recipe you’ll ever need! Formulated to moisturize and nourish dry and maturing skin, this non-greasy bacuri body butter recipe is crafted using three simple ingredients from the Brazilian Amazon forest. Each of these unrefined, cold pressed ingredients possess unique anti-aging skin care properties. So skin looks and feels younger with every use.

This natural bacuri body butter recipe is the best and only body butter recipe you'll ever need! Formulated to moisturize and nourish dry and maturing skin, this non-greasy bacuri body butter recipe is crafted using three simple ingredients from the Brazilian Amazon forest that possess unique anti-aging skin care properties. So skin looks and feels younger with every use.

Let’s talk about aging.

I was looking at my hands the other day and I thought, OMG. I have crepey skin! I mean, I guess it was bound to happen at some point. No one has yet to figure out how to stop the aging process. (And if someone ever does, I’d like to go back ten years and push the hold button there.)

I’ll admit I’ve been freaking out about this aging thing. My thirties were fine. I’ve always looked younger than I really am anyway. However, my forties are a different story. And with everyone using filters on their facebook and instagram selfies, it feels like we’re supposed to look young regardless of how many years pass. It’s no wonder that being bombarded with these expectations of youth that we begin to feel insecure as we age.

My forties have been more challenging for me than any other decade. So if you’re rounding that bend, please know that you definitely are not alone. I feel like I’ve been spending an insane amount of money on beauty products to try to gain that filtered photo look. And I’m still wrangling with my own inner voice to age gracefully. Unfortunately, I still haven’t found a way to reconcile how I look with how I feel I should look.

I can’t be the only one determined to start a savings account to have my chin (waddle?) sucked out when I hit my mid-50s. Which, incidentally, is how you get those high, defined cheekbones as you age. It all just starts to slide downward and pool under you chin.

I don’t have the answers to boost my self-esteem or yours at the moment. However, I do think it’s important to address aging. Aging happens to everyone. Yet, I think we often feel alone in how we address our own aging process. We struggle with it inwardly instead of joking about it with our inner circle. We try to hide every wrinkle and erase every age spot instead of embracing the new beauty we are becoming. And we are beautiful.

We women, we create life. We bring joy, passion and heart to the world. We love deeply. We live with intent. So what if our tits hang past our bellies and our butts go flat. We are capable of creating magic.

Still, crepey skin straight up sucks. Magical or not. And as our hands seem to be the telltale sign of a woman’s true age, I of course made a recipe for that. Chuckle if you must; my BFF does. But this stuff is the absolute best and only body butter recipe you’ll ever need.

The Best & Only Body Butter Recipe You'll Ever Need (Without Shea Butter OR Coconut Oil!)

The best AND ONLY body butter recipe you’ll ever need.

The secret to this amazing bacuri body butter recipe lies somewhere deep within the heart of the Brazilian Amazon forest. Crafted using three simple ingredients found in Brazil, this natural bacuri body butter recipe is, by nature, a magical product for maturing skin.

Bacuri butter, tucuma butter and brazil nut oil come together in my bacuri body butter recipe to form a nourishing, non-greasy body butter. While I don’t have the answer to the mystery about how these plants came to have so many beneficial skin care properties, what I can say, is that these ingredients have the perfect properties to soothe, nourish and condition aging skin. So not only does skin look youthful, plump and healthy, it also feels that way.

About the ingredients in my bacuri body butter recipe.

What is bacuri butter?

Bacuri butter is the most magical of all beauty butters. A highly emollient and moisturizing butter, this product is derived from the seeds of the fruit that grow on the Bacuri tree. Found in Northern Brazil, where the bacuri fruit is harvested in the wild, this dark brown solid butter is extracted from the seeds through the cold-pressed processing method.

Bacuri butter is a semi-solid with a melting point similar to shea butter. Therefore it makes a suitable substitution for shea butter in any homemade body butter recipes. Unlike shea butter, however, bacuri butter offers more in the way of anti-aging skin care benefits.

Bacuri Butter: The Most Magical of Beauty Butters for Natural Skin Care Recipes. Unravel the mystery behind bacuri butter and discover how this prized beauty butter from the Brazilian Amazon Forest can transform your natural beauty and skin care products. Plus learn how to make a natural bacuri body butter recipe to promote skin health and reduce the appearance of aging.

Bacuri butter is suitable for all skin types, including oily and sensitive skin. It doesn’t feel greasy. Instead, bacuri butter leaves skin feeling velvety smooth upon application. When used in anti-aging skin care formulations, bacuri butter lends the finished product its firming, moisturizing, astringent and soothing skin care properties. Additionally, bacuri butter promotes cellular turnover vital for younger looking skin. It also helps to stabilize skin’s elastin and boost collagen production.

Because bacuri butter has a pleasant, moderately strong natural scent, I chose to leave my natural bacuri body butter recipe unscented. So the natural sweet and earthy scent of bacuri butter shines through. (Learn more about bacuri butter here.)

What is tucuma butter?

Another amazing product sourced from the Brazilian Amazon Forest is tucuma butter. The hard butter in my natural bacuri body butter recipe, tucuma butter comes from the seed of the native Tucuma palm tree. Similar in composition to another Brazilian butter called Murumuru Butter, this butter is also a great ingredient for anti-aging products due to its moisture binding properties and chemical makeup.

Tucuma butter has a natural gloss and is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that help to combat the free radicals that lead to aging. It’s also rich in essential fatty acids which not only promote cell regeneration, but also help to protect and moisturize dry and maturing skin.

What is brazil nut oil?

Known as para-nut, castania and chestnuts of Brazil, brazil nuts are native to South America and are found primarily in the Brazilian Amazon forest. As the name implies, brazil nut oil is sourced from Brazil nuts and is prized for its emollient and moisturizing skin care properties.

Commonly used in the cosmetic industry as a key ingredient in anti-aging products, brazil nut oil also has anti-free radical and antioxidant properties. It contains 75% unsaturated fatty acids in addition to vitamins A and E. Brazil nut oil is also considered one of the best natural conditioners for damaged and dehydrated hair. (If you are allergic to tree nuts I recommend substituting the brazil nut oil with passion fruit oil in my bacuri body butter recipe.)

The Best & Only Body Butter Recipe You'll Ever Need (Without Shea Butter OR Coconut Oil!) This natural bacuri body butter recipe is formulated to moisturize and nourish dry and maturing skin. Crafted using three simple ingredients from the Brazilian Amazon forest, this natural body butter recipe is non-greasy and contains unique skin care properties that make it the perfect anti-aging body butter!

Natural Bacuri Body Butter Recipe

© Rebecca D. Dillon

Ingredients:

1.25 oz. unrefined  bacuri butter
1.5 oz. unrefined tucuma butter
.5 oz. unrefined brazil nut oil

Instructions:

You will need a digital scale to make my natural bacuri body butter recipe. (I like this one as its both durable and suitable for a variety of skin care recipes including homemade soaps.)

Begin by weighing out each of the three ingredients and combine in a double boiler. Heat until melted, then mix well to combine.

Pour the melted body butter into two 2.3 oz. glass jars (like these from SKS Bottle & Packaging.)

The Best & Only Body Butter Recipe You'll Ever Need (Without Shea Butter OR Coconut Oil!) This natural bacuri body butter recipe is formulated to moisturize and nourish dry and maturing skin. Crafted using three simple ingredients from the Brazilian Amazon forest, this natural body butter recipe is non-greasy and contains unique skin care properties that make it the perfect anti-aging body butter!

Allow the bacuri body butter cool completely, then screw on the lids. Label as desired for personal use or gifting.

(It is important to note that this butter will only stay solid in a temperature controlled environment of 75°F or less. For warmer temps, I recommend adding .25 oz. of either beeswax or emulsifying wax and experiment from there for the perfect solution.)

If you like my natural bacuri body butter recipe, then also be sure to try my bacuri butter body balm recipe!

You can buy unrefined fair trade and sustainable ingredients for my bacuri body butter recipe online from Paris Fragrances.

For skin care recipes similar to my natural bacuri butter body butter recipe, be sure to follow Soap Deli News on PinterestG+FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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Tips for Staying Healthy As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

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Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Following is my collection of tips for staying healthy (and organized!) as the kids head back to school this fall. So you, and your kids, can stay on top of your game.

Tips for Staying Healthy (And Organized!) As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Discover my collection of tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. So you and your kids can stay on top of your game. #backtoschool

Last week I mentioned that my son is starting his senior year of college. So back to school is extra exciting for me this year. Even more exciting is that Cody (my son) is going to the first person on my side of the family to ever go to grad school. However, if your son or daughter isn’t quite there yet, I still wanted to share some great back to school ideas for you as well.

I remember when my son was in elementary school. Every single viral infection or stomach bug that made rounds at school, made its way back into our home. And it never failed, the sound of him puking would wake me up from a dead sleep every single time.

Even after Cody graduated high school there were still back to school germs to contend with. My coworkers at the time had school aged kids. And from time to time they would find their way into the office – especially during summer or sick days. I like to think they contributed to the mighty immune system I seem have now.

Of course, if you’re working full time and you have kids in school, you can’t really afford to get sick. So I’ve pulled together a few tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. After all, you have enough to worry about when school starts. With all the after school activities, packing lunches, and helping with homework, the last thing you need to worry about is the next virus squirming its way into your home.

Tips for Staying Healthy this Fall

Tips for Staying Healthy (And Organized!) As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Discover my collection of tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. So you and your kids can stay on top of your game. #backtoschool

This amazing hand sanitizer is Queen.

Because back to school means lots of germs, hand sanitizer is a great way to keep dirty hands germ free. I know as well as you do that kids hate to wash their hands. Which is one of the reasons I love the Grove Collaborative hydrating hand sanitizer spray.

This hand sanitizing spray makes disinfecting hands seem like less work. It also won’t dry out your kids hands with excess use like drugstore brand gel hand sanitizers. This awesome spray has coconut oil (for those of you who are a fan!) for extra hydration. And it’s scented with natural essential oils, not a synthetic fragrance. (Keep reading to learn how you can get Grove’s hand sanitizing spray free!)

Simply toss a bottle of hand sanitizing spray into your kids’ backpacks so they can clean up before lunch or snack time. And be sure to keep one in the car, too. It’s a great way to disinfect their hands after school or after sports practice. If time is of the essence, you can worry about one less thing by setting up disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer to autoship monthly from Grove Collaborative. That way you never run out and you save a trip to the store.

Encourage hand washing with this simple idea.

Of course, sometimes, kids HAVE to wash their hands. With younger kids especially, this can be a struggle. The solution? Let them pick their favorite scent to keep by the sink! Kids especially love Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap in lavender and lemon. And, they can make their soap even more special by decorating the bottle with their favorite stickers.

Tips for Staying Healthy (And Organized!) As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Discover my collection of tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. So you and your kids can stay on top of your game. #backtoschool

Don’t forget the teachers!

Teachers spend a lot of money out-of-pocket on classroom supplies. So donations of disinfecting wipes and tissues are always appreciated. You can help give back to your child’s teacher for all their hard work by gifting a few containers of Seventh Generation disinfecting multi-surface wipes. They’ll also appreciate receiving several boxes of Grove’s new paperless Seedling tissues for your kid’s classroom. These products are great at preventing kids from passing around the same germs over and over.

If you haven’t heard of Seedling by Grove, it’s a fantastic new brand of tree-free products that includes tissues, paper towels, toilet paper and napkins. Unlike other green brands of toilet paper and paper towels, Seeding products aren’t rough or scratchy. Rather than using recycled paper, Seedling products are made from a renewable proprietary blend of bamboo and sugarcane that creates a soft, luxurious product.

Tips for Staying Healthy As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall

Feed your kids healthy snacks.

One of the first questions kids ask when they get home from school is, “Hey mom, what’s for snack?” While you may be tempted to treat them to sugary snacks or potato chips, try giving them healthier options instead. Healthy snacks aren’t just a better food choice. Natural foods like veggies and fruits contain extra vitamins and minerals that also help to boost those budding immune systems.

So instead of buying those cookie or cracker snack packs when you’re at the grocery store, opt for grab-and-go snacks like cut up fruit, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, and veggies & hummus instead. Grove’s reusable storage bags are a great way to store individual snack-sized portions. Not only are they durable and easy to clean, they also won’t leak in your refrigerator.

Natural ways to fight back to school colds or flu.

Let’s face it. Even if you do take all of the preventative measures to prevent an illness, your kids are still bound to catch a cold at some point. However, with the overuse of antibiotics (especially in cases of viral illnesses in which they have no effect on) sometimes it’s better to try a natural remedy first. Natural remedies not only help to relieve cold symptoms, they can also aid in strengthening your child’s immune system. From soothing medicinal teas to immune boosting syrups, you can find my favorite ways to naturally fight off colds here.

Tips for Staying Healthy (And Organized!) As The Kids Head Back to School This Fall. Whether you're a stay-at-home parent or work full time, back to school can be a challenge for every type of family. So when someone in your family gets sick, it makes it hard to stick to a routine that works. Discover my collection of tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall. So you and your kids can stay on top of your game. #backtoschool

Manage stress better as a mom with natural supplements.

It’s not just the kids dealing with a lot of anxiety and stress as they head back to school. We moms can get overwhelmed too. It can be a real challenge fighting with your kids to get them out of bed in the morning. (I was a holy terror in the mornings growing up.) Or trying to figure out how to drop off and pick multiple kids up from sports or dance practice – when they all have to be there at the same time!

Unfortunately, not only is stress mentally exhausting, it can take a toll on your physical health as well. This in turn makes you more vulnerable to getting sick. So I help my body better manage stress with herbal supplements like ashwaghanda root. I also take a daily probiotic which helps to improve my overall health. Probiotics also naturally help to boost immunity. Therefore, by adding probiotics to your daily routine, your body is better able to fight off nasty germs you may come into contact with throughout the school year.

Grove sells my favorite brand of probiotics from Lovebug at 10% off. While I take Lovebug’s Here’s the Skinny daily probiotic, they also offer an immunity probiotic for little ones and a daily immunity probiotic for adults.

Another great way to reduce stress is by staying organized. So you’ll find some great tips to help you stay organized for back to school and keep up with household chores below!

Homemaking & Organizing Tips for Back to School

Homemaking & Organizing Tips for Back to School. #BacktoSchool can be a challenge for families. So when someone gets sick, it makes sticking to routine even harder. Discover my tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall so you & your kids can stay on top of your game.

Clean your kid-friendly spaces with non-toxic all-in-one products.

When things get hectic, multi-tasking cleaning supplies are a must. I love Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface spray because I can walk around the entire house and clean everything. It’s perfect for cleaning countertops, floors, toys, and even sticky lunchboxes with just one bottle.

If you’ve never tried Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products before, back to school is the perfect time to give these cleaning products a test run! First time Grove customers will receive a free Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning kit with an order of just $20 or more. This amazing cleaning kit contains one each of Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, dish soap and multi-surface spray PLUS a Grove hand sanitizing spray and my favorite Grove walnut scrubber sponges.

If you’re ready to get ALL of the shopping for your household down in one fell swoop, you’ll also get a free Grove cleaning caddy IN ADDITION TO your free Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning kit when you spend just $39. Sign up here.

Create a homework station.

Getting kids to sit down and focus on homework is hard enough without having to rummage through the junk drawer for a pencil sharpener. To streamline homework time, create a “homework station” by filling a caddy with supplies like pencils, sharpeners, tape, glue, crayons, colored pencils, and a stapler.

Homemaking & Organizing Tips for Back to School. #BacktoSchool can be a challenge for families. So when someone gets sick, it makes sticking to routine even harder. Discover my tips for staying healthy as the kids head back to school this fall so you & your kids can stay on top of your game.

Keep kids busy while you make dinner.

One of the biggest challenges as a mom is keeping the kids busy while you cook dinner. So how do you this without plopping them in front of a screen? Lately, I’ve discovered that kids LOVE dry erase markers and whiteboards. So have your kids write a pretend shopping list, draw, or practice spelling words or math facts while you’re in the kitchen. When they’re done, they can clean the boards with Grove all-purpose concentrate and a microfiber!

Choose the right tools for cleaning your dirty dinner dishes.

Kids or not, if your house is like mine, dishes seem to multiply when you’re not looking. Fortunately, Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap and Grove walnut scrubber sponges make quick work of greasy pans, crockpots, and lunch containers.

Save money on healthy & eco-friendly everyday products for your home.

School supplies can take a big chunk out of your budget. Grove Collaborative is a great way to save on back-to-school household and personal care products like tissues, hand sanitizer, and vitamins. I find that items are less expensive than our local grocery store, and you can often score free products with a minimum purchase. Plus, once you’ve submitted your first order, you’ll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you’ll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. Join Grove now and start saving.

Discover more back to school tips and ideas.

For more great tips for staying healthy and organized for back to school, be sure to follow my Back to School, Back to Work Pinterest board It’s filled with fun back to school supplies and office candy for the young and young at heart! Plus back to school DIY’s, teacher gifts ideas and printables.

Do you have great tips for staying healthy or keeping organized for back to school? I’d love to hear how you manage kids, housework and your day job without going nutty. So be sure to share your experiences and what’s worked for you in the comments! After all, coordinating with other moms and sharing ideas is another great way to not only save your sanity, but keep your household running smoothly as well.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitter and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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Online Dating in Your 40’s Is The Equivalent of Running Head First Into a Brick Wall

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My boyfriend and I both tried online dating. This was prior to meeting one another through, well, online dating. Apparently he stuck around because he thought it was refreshing that I wasn’t fake. There was no pretense. Just me in my, sometimes overwhelming and slightly obnoxious, glory. Greg and I have been dating for around five months or so. I can’t give you an exact time frame. Something that Greg is always (teasingly) giving me flak for.

Online dating in your 40s is the equivalent of running head first into a brick wall. It leaves you dizzy and confused, wondering just what the F happened. Everyone has baggage. Some people though, they have something inherently wrong with them.

The other day I asked Greg what he liked about me. You know’ what really made me special to him. I often give Greg flak for being absent from social media. Plus, poor guy, Greg has like one friend here, having moved from Atlanta. So I wanted to be sure he wasn’t hanging around because he was lonely or some silly nonsense.

As Greg has only been living in Virginia since December, it’s completely plausible that he’s with me through my indecisiveness and hormones for purely selfish reasons. Although, he did let me slather him in sunless tanner, take photos and then write a tell all.

Tell me why you love me.

“So. Why is it EXACTLY that you’re with me?” I asked the other day.

His first response? “Well,” he said, “you have a dog.”

Okay. I get that. My dog is pretty awesome. (He’s a dachshund after all.) So I guess I can let that slide. I mean, quite honestly, I would NEVER date a guy who owned a cat. Not that I hate cats. I just think dudes that have cats are a little off. Allergies aside, there’s just something weird about them that doesn’t mesh well with my personality. So when I was swiping left during this whole online dating debacle, then left again, then left again… (Le sigh.) Anyone who owned cats was an automatic no. Of course, mostly everyone else was too.

“So what else? You can’t JUST be with me for my dog.”

(My dog on the other hand thinks he’s people, so he’s finding the whole first answer thing totally plausible. However, here I am thinking that his next answer better be something about me specifically or I’m walking right out that door.)

“I really like that you’re outgoing. It helps me out because I’m shy and don’t know what to talk about in a lot of situations.”

Whoa. Hold up. Let’s stop right there before you dig this hole any deeper. These answers weren’t exactly what I was going for. For someone who doesn’t forget birthdays or holidays, is generally romantic and occasionally passionate, I was expecting a much different answer. But hey. He likes Star Wars and he can cook. Which, according to my friends, are apparently two very desirable traits to have in a boyfriend. (Or anyone for that matter.)

So, just how did I get here? Well, that requires a little back story.

Into the (not so) way back.

My BFF Bambi (who is not a stripper but an educational director at the zoo – and yes, that is her real name) had been on OK Cupid after she and her second husband split. He was a nightmare, unfortunately. Both a drug addict and emotionally abusive, this guy actually treated Bambi worse after she developed breast cancer. Luckily the judge had enough sense to see this and ordered him removed from the home.

Prior to that, however, she had been staying with a friend for her own safety. All while she continued to pay the mortgage and all of the utilities on her house while her ex-husband lived in her home, rent free. Within that time frame that she stayed elsewhere, he not only stole from her, he also quit his job. He trashed her house and even went so far as to hook up with a fellow addict. A girl with an active felony arrest warrant for both for heroin and gun charges.

When Bambi’s ex, who quickly exhausted his own friend’s patience, finally moved back to Wisconsin to stay with his parents, it was one of her best days ever. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, her rebound was a two-faced liar and a possessive control freak. Which proves just how easy it is for any of us to fall back into that trap of emotional abuse. (Much like I did, myself.)

However, like me, Bambi is a fighter. She’s a scorpio and I’m a gemini. Together we’re tough as nails. But most of all, we are survivors.

Online dating in your 40’s is its own special version of hell.

As Bambi had been married for the past ten years, she was not in the know when it came to “modern day” online dating. So she asked me for suggestions. I gave her a few of my usual go to online dating sites and she signed up.

Then my own marriage, of just six short months, fell apart.

Bambi had been on a few dates prior to me moving in with her over Christmas weekend. My husband of six months and I split just a few week prior to that. I started therapy around the same time. So, as is the way of women, Bambi and I, both freshly single, found ourselves sharing too much wine one evening while simultaneously talking and laughing, discussing her dates and other general gossip that two best friends share.

This inevitably led to a discussion of online dating sites. Which were the best, which were the worst, and which ones had at least 3-5 people we knew. Bambi was particularly a fan of OK Cupid because of their detailed and EXHAUSTING list of personality and lifestyle questions. So, while in the midst being half drunk (okay we where schmammered) on wine, I signed up and we started answering question after question on my profile, together, laughing all the while.

While Bambi eventually met her now current boyfriend, it took me a while to catch up with her. Likewise, her online dating experience was not like my online dating experience. Because mine was a complete and total nightmare.

Let me tell you a little something about dating in your 40’s. Online dating in your 40s is the equivalent of deliberating running head first into a brick wall. It leaves you dizzy and confused, wondering just what the F happened. Everyone has baggage. However some people out there, well, they have something inherently wrong with them.

Don’t get me wrong. I am, or was, just as F’d up as the next person. I have my own baggage from some pretty messed up relationships that left me with me with my own set of PTSD symptoms. I mean my first husband contributed to me developing agoraphobia. He used to sneak into the bathroom while I was showering and scare the crap out of me – over and over – and even if I locked the door. So going into this whole online dating thing was like pulling out a bag of tricks and seeing which “me” was going to come out as a result.

Anxiety is a bitch. Online dating with anxiety is a bigger bitch. So I drank too much on first dates. And third dates. Basically, I relived the same cycle of madness from previous failed relationships until I found a holistic therapist that actually helped me. It wasn’t until Greg that I really started to pull my shit together. Everything before Greg, however, was a total mess. So I documented the hell out of my most interesting online dates in what I call “The Dating Files.”

Online dating in your 40s is the equivalent of running head first into a brick wall. It leaves you dizzy and confused, wondering just what the F happened. True stories of terrible online dates. #dating #onlinedating #disasters

The (online) dating files.

While Bambi and I were both able to navigate our way into healthy, happy relationships, there is some unfortunate drama that preceded those accomplishments. Here are a few of the worst.

Entry #1:

Sometimes swiping left works. Other times weirdos message you and you have no control over it. There was one guy with one of the worst dating profiles I’d ever seen. He told me that I would be perfect if I only smoked. He was non-mobile and a drug user, so, for me at least, I think the whole “non-smoker” thing worked in my favor.

Entry #2:

Another guy that I messaged a few times seemed normal, Not to mention successful. Just before we met for the first time however, he asked if I had a problem dating married men. I blocked him immediately afterwards.

Entry #3:

The first guy I went on an actual date with, after joining an online dating site, was an alcoholic musician. He claimed to have Lyme disease. Although he did lack the deteriorating health symptoms of undiagnosed Lyme. My guess is he actually has fibro. Buy hey, who am I? That being said, I understood the self-medicating thing to deal with pain. Unfortunately, I really think this guy just had a death wish. Not only did he love to drink and drive – because when did he not drink? He also never buckled up.

He wrote me the most beautiful song for Christmas about a week after we met. Regrettably this guy was not only a musician, he was also a narcissist. As if the alcoholism wasn’t bad enough (he’d crush beers in the morning to avoid DT’s) he made me cry three times over a four week period. The kicker with this guy was, on his online dating profile, he described himself as the perfect Southern gentleman.

There was also the story (and he LOVED telling stories about himself to anyone who would listen) about him drinking beer on his drives from Virginia to Tennessee. He’d occasionally take his elementary school aged daughter on these trips. To save time, and avoid stopping for pee breaks, he’d also have his daughter hold a soda bottle for him so he could pee while was driving. Yeah. No words.

The only good thing that came out of the few weeks I hung out with this dude was that Bambi was able to get her water heater, dishwasher and garbage disposal fixed. (Side note: Musicians, no matter how F’d up, are harder to ditch. My second husband included.)

Entry #4:

This next guy was an even bigger doozy than the last one. It started out with him telling me that I should talk to him on the phone because, back in my day, there no texting. Somehow, and it was probably the dry sense of humor, we did date ever so briefly. He was an even worse alcoholic than the first guy, with an unhealthy co-dependency on his younger brother.

We’d meet up for brunch on the weekend. What this actually meant was he was going to be wasted by 11:30am and he’d forget about eating entirely. He also forgot to shower. Or just didn’t care. He kept airline flight bottles of vodka in his car to drink on breaks. He was also waiting on a court date for his second DUI. And he’d scream at me just to turn around and beg me not to leave. If he thought I was mad the phone calls and texts were incessant.

I finally had to block him in the end. Sadly this was after having to give him a shower because he wasn’t physically capable and then help him locate his car the next morning.

Entry #4:

And then other guys still were simply just annoying because they were so indecisive. You can have a great white collar job, kick ass hobbies and be attractive, but if it takes a week and a half for you to plan a dinner date, I have to take a pass.

Final thoughts (and online dating advice.)

Someone once told me (see entry #4) that his Dad gave him this advice. “The quickest way to get over someone is to get back under someone else.” This is terrible advice. It’s also likely one of the reasons online dating can be so disastrous. This guy’s dad was not only emotionally and physically abusive, he also cheated on his wife on a regular basis. So you can see how unhealthy relationships lead to more unhealthy relationships in a cycle that never ends.

If you’re dipping your toes into the online dating pool and it feels like a trip through wonderland – raise your standards. Change your behaviors. Also, from personal experience, if you’re really angry about your last relationship, you won’t find happiness until you’re able to let that anger go. It’s a hard lesson. As is learning to change the thoughts and patterns of behavior that landed you in that mess to begin with.

Quite honestly, I met Greg because I started choosing guys who “weren’t my type.” And I almost missed out. Because, for me, it didn’t start out with that instant connection – that spark – that I was used to. Instead it was slow and steady. There was no rush to live life to the fullest like you’re speeding on coke because you could die at any moment. I had to step back, relearn and then move forward.

Finally, my therapist recommended the book, Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life. If you find you’re also part of an unhealthy cycle, this book will help you see the other side of that so you can finally break free.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in my article titled, You Are Not a Failure.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

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