Homemade Body Butter

I’ve been using coconut oil as a body moisturizer for awhile now. I would grab some straight from the jar and let it melt a little before spreading it onto my skin. It smells good and feels great but it would leave my skin greasy until it was fully absorbed, hours later.
I recently discovered that you can whip solid coconut oil into a rich and luxurious homemade body butter. Since coconut oil in body butter form spreads much easier, I find that I use less which leaves my skin soft and moisturized without feeling so greasy.

Homemade Body Butter - Whipped coconut oil with grapefruit oil - Sprightliest.com

Whipped coconut oil can be used on its own or you can add your favorite essential oils to the mix for the added aroma and benefits.
For my first batch of homemade body butter, I added grapefruit essential oil. Grapefruit oils’ many benefits include: an invigorating scent that can aid in uplifting the mood, having increased energy, dissolving headaches and boosting the immune system. It’s also known to help with water retention and cellulite.

Homemade Body Butter - Whipped coconut oil with grapefruit oil - Sprightliest.com

*Use caution if you use the body butter on your feet or in the shower/tub as it is oil-based and can make surfaces slippery.
Where can you buy coconut oil?
Coconut oil can be purchased online or at your local health food store and some grocery stores also carry organic coconut oil.
Personally, I use Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s unrefined, non-hydrogenated, cold-pressed coconut oil. Nutiva Coconut Oil is also gluten-free, Non-GMO Project verified, USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified.
Disclosure: Please know that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. It costs you nothing extra and it’s a great way to support me and my blog :). I only promote products that I believe in or have used myself.

Coconut Oil: Not just for the skin!

Coconut oil not only makes an awesome homemade body butter but it’s also great to use for cooking and baking. I’ve used it in place of butter in some of my recipes (Butternut Squash Muffins, Chocolate Lava Cakes) and have had great results. I actually prefer the slight coconut taste, especially when paired with chocolate!
Homemade Body Butter
A rich and luxurious homemade body butter. This DIY body butter is made with whipped coconut oil and grapefruit oil.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (measured in solid form)
  2. 25 Drops Grapefruit Essential Oil (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add coconut and essential oils to a mixer.
  2. Whip together until the oil holds peaks, about 5 minutes.
  3. Store in a covered container.
Notes
  1. *Only solid coconut oil will whip.
Sprightliest http://kaicreatives.com/

Workout Websites

Workout Websites
Let’s talk about….exercise!
It’s so hard for me to stay motivated to do a daily workout, but I always feel so much better after a good workout. I’m more energized by getting the blood flowing and the muscles all warmed up. The hard part is just actually doing it.
I seem to follow a pattern. In the first week or two I will do a daily workout, then I will slowly start slacking off and only workout every 3-4 days.
Being in front of the computer for the majority of my day, I know I need to move more. I do take daily walks, but to really stay in shape (physically and mentally) it’s nice to have a good workout.
The problems I have are boredom and lack of motivation. When I have a wide variety of workouts to choose from or if the workout is remotely fun, I’m more likely to stick with it.
Here’s a list of workout sites that offer different home workout routines and help me stay motivated. The best part about all of these workout websites is they are free.

Workout Websites

1) Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training) Workouts

Dailyhiit.com
The Daily Hiit brings a new workout everyday. They offer a variety of workouts with a different focus each day like; working on the core, doing repetitions or a full body burn. Most of these workouts are short and can be done in under 20 minutes. They are intense, but short.

2) Yoga

30-Day Yoga Challenge
I love doing yoga as it really makes me feel more calm and centered. It’s great to do on it’s own or combined with a Hiit Workout.
I found this 30-Day Yoga Challenge with Erin Motz and have been doing it everyday. I like the style of these videos, but would like to find full-length yoga videos.

3) Pilates

Blogilates
It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Blogilates workout, but I remember doing a leg one and my legs were on fire! She has tons of videos and a monthly workout calendar and also healthy meal ideas. These are fun workout that you will really feel!

4) All Types of Workouts

Fitness Blender
Fitness Blender has a variety of workouts that are search-able by difficulty, type of workout, area of body you want to work on, equipment used, calories burned or length of workout.
What are some of your favorite workout websites or videos?

Where the Sidewalk Ends…

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Yesterday, I took Finley out for his evening walk. We usually walk until we reach the point where the sidewalk splits and you have to cross the street if you want to stay on the sidewalk. As we were approaching the part where it splits, I thought to myself, we made it to where the sidewalk ends - time to turn around. It also made me think of the book and poem titled “Where The Sidewalk Ends”, by Shel Silverstein:

“Where the Sidewalk Ends”

by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

Source: Silverstein, Shel. “Where the Sidewalk Ends”. Poets. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web 12 August 2013. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20541

Where the Sidewalk Ends

I used to enjoy reading Shel Silverstein’s poems when I was younger as most of them were fun and imaginative. One poem in particular that I liked and still remember is:

“Sick”

  by Shel Silverstein

“I cannot go to school today,”
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more–that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut–my eyes are blue–
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke–
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is–what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”
Source: Silverstein, Shel. “Sick”. Poets. Academy of American Poets, n.d. Web 12 August 2013. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16480
Funny how certain things you see or hear trigger those memories you have tucked away in your mind.
And since it’s Monday…I think I’ll go out and play…in the kitchen. I just got some fresh peaches from the Farmer’s Market so I’m working on a recipe to share with y’all. If all goes well in the kitchen, tune in Wednesday for the recipe!

How to Avoid GMOs

butterflyReading and learning about our food industry can really be quite depressing. All kinds of preservatives, additives, colorings and synthetic ingredients are found in so many of our packaged foods. Is it really necessary to add yellow food coloring to a jar of pickles? I think I’d much prefer the natural coloring to the neon yellow, plus I won’t have to worry about all the side effects food coloring has been linked to.
Another growing concern in the food industry is genetically engineered or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to the NonGMO Project, as much as 80% of packaged foods contain genetically modified ingredients. That is a huge number. Even if you avoid processed foods you still run the risk of your produce being genetically modified or the meat and animal products you purchase may contain them from the animals being fed genetically modified food. Non-food items such as shampoo, soaps and detergents may also contain genetically modified ingredients.
Little research has been done to know what side effects GMOs can have on the body and the environment. The worst part is these foods and products aren’t required to be labeled as genetically modified, so we don’t really know what we are getting.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have mandatory labels for not only how something is grown or made- be it organic, conventional, genetically altered or with synthetic fertilizer and pesticides – but the labels should also list the country of origin.
I’ve noticed many products will only show the distributor or packaging company, which is not necessarily the same as the country it originated from. I personally would like to know what I am eating and where it came from.
Below are some helpful tips on how to avoid GMOs.

KNOW WHICH PRODUCTS ARE HIGH RISK FOR BEING GENETICALLY MODIFIED

Crops: Alfalfa, Canola, Corn, Cotton, Flax, Papaya, Rice, Soy, Sugar Beets, Yellow Summer Squash, Zucchini.

Animal Products: Milk, Meat, Eggs, Honey and other Bee Products can also contain GMOs from feed or other sources.

*According to the NON-GMO shopping guide only a small amount of FRESH fruits and veggies are genetically modified with the highest risk being zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet corn and papaya that comes from Hawaii or China. Keep an eye on packaged, frozen and canned fruits and veggies as they may contain added GM ingredients even if the fruit or vegetable itself hasn’t been genetically altered.


BEWARE OF HIDDEN AND DERIVATIVE GMO INGREDIENTS

The following are just some of the items that have the potential to be genetically modified. Many of these ingredients are found in so many foods and some are also used in home cooking and baking. For a complete list see: NON-GMO Shopping Guide.

Aspartame, baking powder, canola oil, citric acid, confectioners sugar, corn flour, corn oil, cornstarch, condensed milk, food starch, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, glucose, milk powder, mono and diglycerides, sorbitol, soy milk, soy protein, soy sauce, sugar (unless it is cane sugar), vegetable oil, vitamin b12, vitamin E, whey, whey powder, xanthan gum


BUY ORGANIC

Look for USDA Certified Organic, or other Organic Certifications such as CCOF and QAI

Foods that have the USDA Organic Seal must follow growing guidelines so that the food is free from antibiotics, radiations, conventional pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and they cannot be genetically modified. There are different “levels” of organic labeling.

100% Organic – All ingredients must be organic.
USDA Organic – At least 95% of ingredients must be organic.
Made with Organic Ingredients – At least 70% of ingredients must be organic.

Now, after reading this I wondered about the remaining percentages in products that don’t contain 100% Organic ingredients. Here’s what I found on the USDA’s Blog:

“When packaged products indicate they are “made with organic [specific ingredient or food group],” this means they contain at least 70% organically produced ingredients. The remaining non-organic ingredients are produced without using prohibited practices (genetic engineering, for example) but can include substances that would not otherwise be allowed in 100% organic products.”


LOOK FOR NON-GMO

Some brands will now have Non-GMO listed on their packaging. There is also a NON-GMO Project Verified Seal for products that have been verified through this organization.

LOOK AT PRODUCE PLU NUMBERS

Keep in mind that the PLU label is not always reliable since the labeling is optional and there is a chance for mis-labeling:

A 4 digit number is conventionally grown
A 5 digit number beginning with an 8 is Genetically Modified
A 5 digit number beginning with a 9 is Organic


AVOID PROCESSED PACKAGED FOODS

Cook your own meals to cut down on the artificial ingredients and preservatives you get from processed foods.

BUY LOCAL

Shop at your local Farmer’s Market and ask them how the food was grown.

PLANT A GARDEN

For ultimate control and the freshest ingredients, grow some of your own crops.

My goal is to share this information so you will know what to look for if you choose to avoid GMOs. I know not everyone can afford to buy all organic products or wants to remove all processed foods from their diets. In fact, it can get overwhelming trying to change everything overnight. I’ve been taking small steps to avoid GMOs and move away from processed foods as much as possible. What you eat and the products you use are a personal choice. Having the information will at least give you some options.

Free Printable Shopping Guide to Avoid GMOs
Click here for a free printable PDF so you know what to look for when you are grocery shopping.


Sources and helpful links for more information:

Non-GMO Shopping Guide – Extensive printable shopping guide that lists brands that are NON-GMO verified. They also have an app for your smart phone.
Institute for Responsible Technology – Educates, investigates and creates reports about GMOs and their impact.
Non GMO Project – A 3rd party verification/labeling organization for GMOs. Also has information and a list of products and brands that are verified non-GMO.
HelpGuide – More information about Organic Foods, Pesticides and GMOs.
Snopes – Information about PLU Numbers
USDA Blog – Information on Organic Farming

Finley Friday!

finley5

Finley is a secret trick rider!

What’s better than looking at cute dog photos? Looking through your own dog’s cute photos!
I was browsing through my pictures the other day and saw all these cute and funny moments I captured of my dog, Finley.
I don’t know what I would do without my little fur-ball of joy. He makes me laugh all the time with the funny things he does.
I believe everything happens for a reason and I believe he came into my life to bring me joy and happiness. Dogs have been shown to improve our moods, lower our stress and even raise our exercise levels.
I decided to share some photos of him and dub this Finley Friday!
finley2

Finley watching daddy surf

“My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.” -Edith Wharton
finley3

All that talking on the phone and watching TV tired him out!

“Whoever said diamond’s are a girl’s best friend, never owned a dog” -Unknown
finley

Someone scratch my belly, please?

“The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment.” -Robert Falcon Scott
finley6

How can anyone say no to this cute face!

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole” -Roger Caras

Cleansing with Oil – The Oil Cleansing Method

Oils for Skin - Oil Cleansing Method

A few weeks ago I came across an interesting article that uses oil to clean your face. I had previously been using Cetaphil face wash and Coconut Oil as a moisturizer. Even though Cetaphil is a “gentle” cleanser my face still felt dry and tight after using the face wash and I was getting pretty bad cystic acne. The theory behind the oil cleansing method is based in chemistry’s principle that like dissolves like. By cleansing your face with natural oils it helps to restore balance to your body’s natural oil production and can lead to healthier looking skin.
Whether this theory holds true or not is up for debate but I decided to give it a try. After using this method for a few weeks now I’m happy to say I have seen an improvement in my skin. I haven’t used it every night so I would like to give it more time to see if there is even more improvement. I did have a few blemishes pop up this week but they seem to last for a much shorter time and haven’t been as bad as they previously have been. Apparently there may be an adjustment period where the skin gets worse before it gets better as it it getting rid of all the gunk and build-up.
There are different oils you can choose from but the two I currently am using are Castor Oil and Jojoba Oil.
Beneficial Botanicals has a list of different oils and their comedogenic rank. I really love the smell of the Coconut Oil but with a comedogenic rank of 4, I realize it’s not the best choice for my face. I do still use Coconut Oil on the rest of my body for a luxurious moisturizer. I have really sensitive and dry skin so I chose the Jojoba Oil which ranks a 2 and is supposed to be good for sensitive skin. Once I use up the Jojoba Oil I want to try Shea Oil which is a 0.
Castor Oil - Oil Cleansing MethodSo far, the Castor Oil mixed with the Jojoba Oil seem to be doing well for my skin. Even my husband commented that my face was clearing up, so I know it’s working!
The oil cleansing method involves mixing a base oil such as Castor Oil with another carrier oil like Jojoba and then massaging it into the skin and applying a hot washcloth to steam your face and help open up the pores.
The types and amounts of oil you use will vary based on your skin type and you will have to experiment to see what works best for your skin but here is a general guideline:
Dry Skin: 10% or less of Base Oil to 90% Carrier Oil
Combination Skin: 20% Base Oil to 80% Carrier Oil
Oily Skin: 30% Base Oil to 70% Carrier Oil
The Oil Cleaning Method
Step 1 – Pour desired amounts of Castor Oil and Jojoba Oil into the palm of your hand and mix together.
Step 2 – Apply the oil mixture to your face with your fingertips and massage gently into skin using circular motions.
Step 3 – Place a washcloth under hot water and wring out. Apply the hot cloth to the face and allow it to steam face until it cools. Repeat 3-4 times and then rinse and wring the washcloth and gently wipe any remaining oil.
*If your face still feels dry you can apply a little more Jojoba Oil to moisturize.
*I use a clean washcloth every time to prevent spreading any bacteria.
In a few more weeks I will do a follow up post to see if there are any more changes/improvements to my skin!
What method do you use to clean your face? Have you tried the OCM?
More Information on the Oil Cleansing Method:
Crunchy Betty – The Nitty Gritty on the Oil Cleansing Method

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my Affiliate Disclosure.

Day 7 Exercise Challenge!

I made it to Day #7 challenge from the DailyHiit!

Today’s video was The Sexy Harlem Shake – HiitTabata #1.

It was another tough workout but I just took it one round at a time. I was able to do 12 rounds before I needed a little break and water. After just a minute or two of rest I started on the second half and I got through a few more rounds and then I started feeling a pain in my calf muscle. After some stretching and drinking more water I tried to continue but it still hurt so I reluctantly stopped. I was so determined to finish all 24 rounds but I didn’t want to risk injuring myself further so my final was 17 rounds. Tomorrow is rest day so I will have some time for my muscles to recover! Yay!

Day 5 & 6 Exercise Challenge

Below are the links to Day 5 & 6 of the DailyHiit 7 Day challenge. I pushed myself to the max and completed all rounds on both days. My muscles have been pretty sore, especially my arms and ribs so doing pushups or anything with weight is tough but I just tried to breathe through it and did the best I could do. It feels good to power through these challenges!

Day #5 of the DailyHiit 7 Day challenge was Hot Touch – HiitReps #7. I was able to complete it 3x through!

Day #6 Challenge Day Light – HiitReps #5 for 3 rounds!

 

 

Day 4 Exercise Challenge

I’m somewhat disappointed that I didn’t complete today’s DailyHiit challenge 3x through. But all’s not lost. I barely made it through round one and really didn’t think I could do another but after resting for a few minutes I pushed myself to just try it. I was much less enthusiastic and had to make some modifications on the exercises to be able to keep going but you know what? I’m proud to say I completed 2x even with modifications.

I’m just starting out so I have to give myself some credit for at least trying and doing the best I can do. The most important thing here is to listen to your body and when it’s had enough it knows. Hiit is designed to exhaust your muscles to the point of failure but for me this wasn’t the only issue. The cardio really was tough. I’m not used to that much high intensity so I need to work on building up my cardio endurance. Even though I wasn’t able to totally meet this challenge  I’m still ready to keep going and try again tomorrow. Maybe in the future I can try this one again and see if I can conquer it another day!

Day #4 Challenge – Ride It Hard – HiitMax #7

Day 3 Exercise Challenge

Today I wasn’t able to workout at my usual time so I really had to talk myself into it but I’m so glad I did! I got dinner started and as it was cooking I completed the Day #3 challenge video 3x through.

Today’s challenge was called Nut Up – HiitReps #11.

It sure was tough but I was able to push through. I’m starting to get excited about what results I will be seeing in a few weeks if I stick to a daily routine.

Starting an exercise routine is not only making me feel better but it is helping me make better food choices. For the most part I eat pretty good (except for my chip addiction) but after working out I find that I put more thought into my choices and have opted for more fruits, veggies and real food rather than processed and junk foods. Every little bit helps!