Cool Places for Summer Travel

May 28, 2019


Some people seek a laid back vacation at the beach, others seek fun vacations such as Disney World or a Dude Ranch and then there are those that seek the cold. These summer adventure travel trips are for them.

The Dolomites: Head for the hills when the valley cities like Verona turn to open-air saunas. Mountain temperatures are lower and the nights cool. Choose a resort town such as Cortina or a small city like Bolzano, in the Upper Adige. Or pick a small village in the Cadore valley and hike along the mountain trails.

The Val d’Aosta: North of Turin, along the Swiss border, are two of Europe’s most famous and beautiful mountains, the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. Italian towns on their southern slopes get the cool mountain breezes. To the south are the peaks of the Gran Paradiso National Park, where walking trails along the high ridges and green wooded valleys seem designed for hot summer days.

The Canary Islands: Land of Perpetual Spring is how these Spanish islands describe themselves, and it’s close to true. Trade Winds keep them moderate while Europe swelters. Both Tenerife and Gran Canaria have central mountains where the breezes are even cooler.


The Pyrenees: Summer is a good time to explore the mountains between Spain and France, visiting Basque country and Andorra. Stick to the highlands, though, since the valleys can be blistering. Somewhat cooler are cities on the Atlantic coast, such as Bilbao, whose summer average high is in the 70sF. But that doesn’t stop the occasional heat wave when temperatures push into the 90s.

The Northern Portugal Coast: Atlantic beaches are cooler than Adriatic or Mediterranean, so you can always cool off in the waves in northern Portugal and Galicia. North of Lisbon the entire coast is a string of beaches. Choose those that are protected by headlands and be careful to observe the flags that warn of dangerous surf and riptides before going into the water. This is the downside of beaches washed by the open ocean.



Serra da Estrela: Portugal’s mountains offer breathtaking scenic drives and friendly villages with low-key resort facilities. Castles crown some of the towns (one of the finest is in Linhares) and the pace of life is charmingly old-world. Stay in the park itself or in the nearby town of Belmonte, which has a castle of its own. The Pousada there sits on a breezy height overlooking the valley. The summer wine of choice in Portugal is chilled Vinho Verde, a light white wine that goes well with hot-weather meals.

The Pindus Mountains: In northern Greece, attractive and interesting lakeside cities such as Ioannina and Kastoria benefit from a slightly higher elevation and the cooling proximity of water. It can be May or even June before the snow melts from the tops of the Pindus peaks, and as well as being cooler this region is also a less-visited yet stunningly beautiful part of Greece.

Summer is a great time to travel aboard and take in the beauty of other countries and cultures. Don’t wait; plan your cool adventure travel destination now.

Your Smile Health with Smile Health Dental Plans



Hey there y'all! I hope you all are having a wonderful week! Today I'm wondering do you have any tips to keep your smile healthy? We started dental care with our children at an early age because we believe a healthy smile is important. We also know that we cost of dental care can be very expensive! That's why we are thrilled to be teaming up with Smile Health Dental Plans to show you how it can be affordable.



Everyone knows it’s important to go to the dentist to have healthy teeth, gums and a winning smile, but did you know that the health of your mouth, affects every part of your body?

It’s true. It’s not only what we put in our mouth that matters but how we take care of it, that leads to a healthy heart, mind, and body. Good oral health can limit your exposure to heart disease, stroke, and memory loss. This is why it’s so important to start taking care of your oral health early, a healthy mouth equals a healthy you!

The people at Smile Health Dental Plans know this and they have come up with one of the most simple and affordable Dental plans on the market today!

Smile Health Dental Plans would like to know how you take care of your oral health and what you do to ensure a healthy smile!

Check out their website at https://smilehealth.com.

About Smile Health Dental Plans: 
Smile Health Dental Plans are an affordable alternative to traditional dental insurance. Members pay an annual fee to receive discounts all year long. And with Smile Health Dental Plans there are no hidden costs, just savings of 20% or more on many preventative, restorative and cosmetic dental treatments. You get immediate benefits, no health restrictions, no waiting periods, no claims, no maximums, and more!



We are teaming up with Smile Health Dental plans to give one reader a chance to win a “Your Smile Health = Your Body Health” Care Kit which includes:

1 – Oral B Vitality Electric Toothbrush
1 – Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste Travel Size
1 – Oral B Glide Floss
1 – Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Oral Rinse
1 – Smile Health = Body Health PDF pamphlet



Each household is only eligible to win “Your Smile Health = Your Body Health” Care Kit via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


 photo smile-health-download-450x583_zpshmbjq2vn.png

How To Care For Succulents

May 27, 2019



Succulents cover a broad spectrum of plants that are grown for ornamental purposes in your home and garden. These are plants that have thick and fleshy leaves, roots or stems that are so because they are storing moisture. As these plants come from arid desert and tropical areas, this is an adaptation that has made it possible for them to survive under harsh conditions. Some popular houseplants that fall under the succulent category include Aloe, lithops, haworthias, kalanchoe, and euphorbia. They do require a different type of care and circumstance than foliage houseplants but are just as easy to maintain in the home environment. As they are related to cacti, similar types of conditions are required.

Sunlight – Keep your succulent plants in a well-lit room that has west or south-facing windows. If you are growing them in an outdoor garden, then be sure to choose a spot that receives no shade. Give them as much direct sunshine as possible. Many succulent enthusiasts place them directly on the windowsill if the size permits them to do so.



Soil – The type of soil that you provide for your succulent is very important. You can certainly purchase ready-made succulent dirt from the store, or you can mix your own special kind at home. The recipe is as follows: one part general purpose potting soil, one part peat moss and one part coarse sand. Just be sure you use a clean, fresh product that doesn’t contain any contaminants.

Pot – When you are choosing a pot for your succulent plant, pick a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom. This will ensure that any extra water you give to it will drain out and keep the roots from being waterlogged. If you allow the roots to be exposed to standing water, then the plant will be at risk for developing root rot, a condition that will destroy the entire plant. Use a dish under the plant to catch the extra water and then dispose of the excess moisture 10 minutes after you do water the plant.

Water – Succulent plants do store water, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to provide fresh water to them on a regular basis. The key to knowing how much they need is in observing them periodically. Allow the soil to dry out completely for a few days before you provide any more. Pour water over the soil and soak it thoroughly until the water is draining from the bottom of the pot. In other words, don’t water too shallowly and be sure that all of the roots are provided with moisture. As stated earlier, throw out the extra water that drains out. When the plant is dormant in the winter months, you can water it less frequently. Do this by gradually increasing the amount of water starting in March and decreasing in October.

Food – You can use an all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer once per month during the growing season, from spring to fall, and discontinue feeding your succulents during the winter.

Wanna learn about succulents? We invite you to check out SucculentsBox.com. They offer 150 varieties of succulents and monthly subscriptions boxes so there's a wide selection to choose from. You can pick between a box with 1 to 4 plants delivered to your home monthly. I absolutely love the idea of getting a plant in the mail every month and expanding our indoor plants.


May with Gramma in a Box

May 24, 2019



Hey y'all! I hope you guys are having a great week! It's Friday! We have officially made it to the weekend! For us, it's also the very last day of school...YEP! School is out for Summer! We received our sweet teats box for the month of May from Gramma in a Box. In this months box, we received everything we needed to make 3 different types of treats along with very detailed directions on how to use everything in my box. Gramma in a Box is lots of fun for anyone that likes to do DIY projects and when you are done you have around 15 to 20 treats to enjoy. Everything was very well packaged as you can see in the photos above. While it's too late to order this box you have until May 3rd to order the next months box full of fun sweet treats from Gramma's home to yours!

So what's in the box?
Each month you will receive three cookie and candy crafts with almost everything you need for a fun activity for kids of all ages. All boxes include homemade cookies, frosting, and sprinkles as well as candy activities such as marshmallow pops, chocolate dipped pretzels and more. Enough for 15 to 20 finished cookie/candy treats each month. Most boxes have a holiday theme and the candy and cookie projects will reflect that theme.


The first project for the month was these super cute Pretzel Butterflies! They are the perfect mix of salty and sweet. 


The second project was the Butterfly Bark! It looked so pretty, like a fairy treat!



The 3rd project is always yummy sugar cookies. This month they were Butterflies and Blossoms Cookies and Candy.

The Gramma in a Box subscription cookie craft boxes is so much fun. The price of the subscription boxes are amazing and you can try out one box before committing to a monthly subscription. Use the special coupon code 10off you can save $10 off your first box. That makes your first box only $10.00!



I absolutely adore this box! It's a great way to send anymore an interactive treat with love that can only come from a gramma. Just a reminder if you are thinking about ordering the Spring box you will need to place it by June 3rd. This would make a great box to share with anyone with summer break on its way!

We highly recommend visiting www.grammainabox.com where you can subscribe with an auto debit program for only $20 per month and the first box is only $10. There are several other options on her website as well. You can also follow her on Facebook Youtube and Instagram to see sneak peeks of the boxes for each month. We hope everyone had a prosperous month and as always, keep it Southern Y'all!

Enjoy Outside Entertainment with SunBrite TVs Veranda Series available Best Buy

May 23, 2019

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product.


Hey, y'all! I hope you guys are having a wonderful week! Can you believe this school year is almost over? Summer is almost here and for lots of us, that means outdoor entertaining. Whether you want to host a fun family movie night outside or have an outdoor party featuring the big game, the Veranda Series of SunBriteTVs is ready to make your favorite outdoor space a real destination. Watching TV outside is fun!


The Veranda Series of SunBriteTVs are designed specifically for outdoor use. They are engineered to survive just about any climate in North America, resisting the harsh effects of rain, snow, dust, insects, and extreme temperatures.


The SunBriteTV Veranda is a family of weatherproof televisions designed for full-shade outdoor spaces, like covered patios and screened-in porches.

Veranda comes standard with a direct-lit 4K UHD screen with HDR, which is up to 50% brighter than indoor TVs for improved viewing in brighter outdoor environments. It’s more durable, safer, and a better experience than using an indoor TV outdoors.

Now, the best seat in the house is outside.
  • Weatherproof TV built for full-shade outdoor living areas
  • Powder-coated rust-proof aluminum exterior protects internal components from rain, snow, dust, insects, humidity, and salt air.
  • Up to 50% brighter than indoor TVs for improved viewing in brighter outdoor environments.
  • 4K UHD with HDR
  • Large weatherproof media bay makes cable connections easy. It has plenty of storage room for many popular media players, and thick gaskets seal out moisture and the elements
  • Available in 43”, 55”, 65” and 75” sizes
Now is the perfect time to visit your local Best Buy to find out what all the 
SunBrite Veranda Series Outdoor 4K UHD TVs with HDR to offer! As always keep it Southern Y'all!

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World GIVEAWAY

May 21, 2019

How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on Digital 4/30 & 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ & DVD 5/21! See the official trailer here and enter to give the Blu-ray today.

Special thanks to Universal Pictures Home Entertainment for sponsoring this giveaway.


From DreamWorks Animation comes the highly anticipated culmination of one of the most popular animated franchises in film history.


Nearly ten years after the first movie wowed audiences around the world, Hiccup and Toothless return to captivating fans with an adventure of a lifetime in DreamWorks Animation’s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD. The final quest from Dean DeBlois’ (Lilo & Stich, How to Train Your Dragon trilogy) arrives on Digital and via the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on May 7, 2019, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD, and On Demand May 21, 2019 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Hailed as “the perfect conclusion to one of the best-animated trilogies of all time” (Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment) and certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes®, the film opened at #1 in over 40 markets. The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital versions feature over an hour of exclusive behind-the-scenes bonus content including an alternate opening, two DreamWorks animated shorts, deleted scenes and more.

To mark the film’s global 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM and DVD release, Universal has partnered with Facebook and Messenger to debut two exclusive adorable Night Lights (baby dragons) to train and an awe-inspiring in-store Augmented Reality (AR) experience. In pack, fans can unlock an exclusive code that reveals your very own Night Light that you can hatch, train, and send on adventures within the popular dragon Pets Instant Game available on Facebook and Messenger. Additionally, participating retailers around the world will unveil in-store displays that trigger a visually stunning AR adventure bringing Toothless and Light Fury to flight! Both the in-home and in-store experiences are compatible with iOS and Android devices, and users should download the latest version of the Facebook and Messenger apps.

What began as an unlikely friendship between an adolescent Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon has become an epic trilogy spanning their lives. In this next chapter, Hiccup and Toothless will finally discover their true destinies: the village chief as ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, and the dragon as leader of his own kind. As both ascend, the darkest threat they’ve yet faced—as well as the appearance of a female Night Fury—will test the bonds of their relationship like never before.


The series director Dean DeBlois returns alongside the all-star cast. The film is produced by Brad Lewis (Ratatouille, ANTZ) and How to Train Your Dragon series producer Bonnie Arnold (Toy Story, Tarzan). www.howtotrainyourdragon.com

Cast of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

  • Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett, Kit Harington, Craig Ferguson, F. Murray Abraham
  • Written and Directed by Dean DeBlois
  • Based on the Books of Cressida Cowell
  • Produced by: Brad Lewis, Bonnie Arnold
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram| #HOWTOTRAINYOURDRAGON
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Blu-ray Combo Giveaway


Enter to win your own copy of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Blu-ray today! To enter to win, please comment below who you will watch this movie with.

One Winner will receive:
  • 1 Blu-ray Combo Pack of How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World



This giveaway is open to US residents only, ages 18+. It will close at 1:00pm EST on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Official Trailer



How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Activities Sheets

One Stop Shop For All Your Car Needs

May 17, 2019

Now that it’s officially the warmer months in most of the country, many families like myself are planning on long road trips with the kids, driving to playdates and swimming lessons and more! All of these activities for our kids require one thing; our car! The problem is we may not really think of our car is an essential but it is! Must of may feel intimidated by our car, I know I certainly do especially when things go wrong and I need it fixed asap. But who do I call? Who is going to help me quick as well as not hurt my bank account? I have the perfect solution to help you with all your car essentials.

Image: Urban Motor Works

Urban Motor Works is the answer my friend! Who are they? They were created to help body shops adapt to the changing collision environment that we see all the time. Liability on an automotive shop is actually at an all-time high right now and to guarantee quality and safety, Motor Works is there to provide you with the knowledge and start of the art equipment to help you with any repair or concern you may have with your vehicle. The shop is owned by 2 men, Cameran Kelly and Daniel Rohrer. Camera graduated with his BA from The University of South Florida and has been in the collision business for over 14 years, including 6 years as a paint technician and 8 years as an estimator/general manager. He also spent 7 years working with his business partner Dan. Everyone knows that Dan is the true car guru. He graduated as a Master Technician from NASCAR Technical Institute and has over 15 years of experience mastering a variety of repairs including suspension, structural, aluminum, suspension, and mechanical repairs. He is the leading industry with his technical background and IT touch.  

One way that Urban Motor Works puts themselves above the rest is that they will help strengthen your reputation and will guarantee the quality and safety of your vehicle. Not only do they help your own vehicle but they also are there to help smaller shops in the are as well. They work with shops to help maximize their profits by using what's called a sale adjustment technique. This allows you to get around the no markup and or max markup restrictions. UMV creates an advantage by using the estimating software that most hops use to help bill you properly with operational labor times that your insurance companies will approve. They also have low overhead costs which allows them to work with shops on labor rates. The owners of UMV have had years of experience as I stated above, and are extremely successfully blending their work within a collision business. They also spare no expenses when it comes to tools and equipment which we can all appreciate to ensure that your car is getting the highest quality repair. They also guarantee that the quality of their work is at par with the best within their field. They provide training to all of their employees to make sure they are updated on the skills needed to address the ever-changing technology in the car manufacturing industry. They are also a licensed company which has all the necessary certifications to run their facility. With amazing manpower as well as top of the line equipment, they offer a warranty on all of the work they do as well as offer free estimates before you make a decision.


One of my personal favorite things about Urban Motors is their spacious area and reliable service. Did you now that Urban Motor works is the leading company that clients go to when they have a problem with their vehicle and that's because the company offers to cover for different types of cars all at once. They have a work area which allows them to get as many cars possible due to the setup of the space and the technology. It ensures that they can operate and accept more jobs than other body shops in the area. Don’t be alarmed that they feel overwhelmed with all of the cars in and out of the shop because they hire only the best to get the job done correctly. The work area also allows them to not only private clients to work on but commercial clients as well.


So, if you’re planning on those long road trips or the hustle and bustle that the summer offers with you and your kids, you’ll want to make sure your car is up to date with all of its needs. You’d be lucky to take it to Urban Motor for any maintenance needs you need. Make sure to give them a call if you are in the local Atlanta area to have it as your one-stop shop for present and future needs!

6 Ideal Patio Ideas For Your Backyard Ideas For Your Backyard

May 16, 2019



Looking to put in a new patio for the summer, but don’t know what to do? Patios can be a big decision because they are permanent. Sometimes deciding on what looks best or fits best is difficult. The outcome though is almost always stunning.

Out of all the ways to build a patio, concrete is the best and most pleasing. And, there are quite a few ways you can make your concrete patio look stunning for the summer.

Traditional Square or Rectangle Patio with plants to accessorize

You can make a simple rectangular or square slab of concrete if you are not looking for an elaborate patio. You can simply decorate your patio instead of having all kinds of intricate patterns in the concrete.

Depending on where you live and where you are looking to place your patio, you can add plants of your choice around the sides, or in different places on your patio. But the plants you will for Vancouver real estate vs. the plant you will use for Phoenix houses are completely different. 



Concrete Patio with a Stone Outdoor Kitchen

You can add an outdoor stone kitchen with stainless steel appliance. Your outdoor kitchen can be built into a hillside, or you can choose to make a sit-down area with it.

Some shapes that are ideal for the sit-down outdoor kitchen is either a U shape or round arc.

Concrete Patio with a Fireplace and Loose Stone

You can build a fireplace and surround it with loose stone. It’s an ideal look for any patio. You can make some cement slabs to accommodate seating, and then surround the seating with loose rock.

You can go all out and add a pergola over your outdoor kitchen or seating area. And, don’t forget to accent the space with plants and landscaping. It will give it a vibrant and natural feel.


Throw in a few garden lights. They make your patio functional at any time, including those late-night cookouts.

Shaped Concrete Patio

Feeling more ambitious? You can take on the more complex patterns of concrete. A lovely shape and ideas to do is creating arcs and circles while leaving gaps in-between to place a loose stone of your choice.

Tinted Concrete Patio

You can tint your concrete from the original light gray to many darker or browner colors. White stone tends to contract the colors and looks great if you pour multiple slabs.

Stone Patio with Fireplace

Stone patios tend to have lots of patterns to them, so decorating doesn't always have to happen. In this design, you can make your patio a circular shape with walkways coming off it. On whichever side you'd like, add a stone wall with a built-in outdoor fireplace or oven.

Add stone seats around the fireplace that you can put cushions of your choice on, or just be able to sit down in.

Add some plants on the back side of your wall if it’s built into a hillside, or just place some on the sides of your patio, and that wraps up your ideal stone patio.



Conclusion

Creating the perfect outdoor space can be challenging. But, depending on your taste and style, there is a design out there that will work for you. The best way to decide is to take some time and explore different ideas. But, the first step is to determine if you want concrete or stone.

Commit to your choice and start searching, your ideal patio is out there. Find it, build it, and start enjoying that outdoor space. 

Easy Pineapple Pretzel Salad Dessert


Hey y'all! Are you in the mood for something that is both sweet and salty? If so you really want to check out this Easy Pineapple Pretzel Salad Dessert! Let's face it, in the south, we look for any reason to call something a salad, even if it is a salad dessert! This dessert is perfect for family gatherings and potlucks this summer or anytime. It's light, refreshing and uses a few simple ingredients! The great thing is if you are not a pineapple fan you can always change it up and use another canned fruit...oranges? cherries? apple? Almost anything would be the perfect fit for this creamy goodness. It's definitely a keeper in our books, it will quickly become a family favorite!


Pineapple Pretzel Dessert



Ingredients:
     1 cup crushed pretzels
     1/2 cup melted butter
     1 cup of sugar
     8-ounce package cream cheese
     1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
     1 container (12 ounces) Cool Whip, room temperature
Pretzel topping directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Mix melted butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar
  3. Mix in the pretzels
  4. Spread onto a baking sheet
  5. Bake 6-9 minutes
  6. Let cool
Dessert directions:
  1. Using a large bowl, electric mixer, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until creamy.
  2. Fold in pineapple and whipped topping.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Right before serving, break pretzel mixture into small pieces and stir into pineapple mixture. Serve immediately.

Click and save this printable recipe card below OR pin for later! 

The Full Guide To Natural Skincare

May 15, 2019

It does not matter how old you are or what type of skin you have, natural is best when it comes to skincare. Read on to discover everything you must know.


Reasons To Buy Handcrafted Soap

If you buy handmade soap, you will experience more benefits than you may initially realise. Some of you may have never considered purchasing handmade soap before, preferring to stick to the soap that is available in the big supermarkets. However, there are many benefits to gain by going down this route, as you will discover below.

Firstly, you will benefit from all of the wholesome and natural ingredients you need. The majority of commercially made soap bars are made using synthetic detergents or chemical additives. These can be harmful to health while they can also create rashes and dry out the skin. They are definitely not advisable if you had newborn eczema and this condition has stayed with you, or if you have had any other type of skin problem or irritation. In fact, such products can often cause skin issues!

Instead, with natural skin care products, you know that your skin is going to be getting essential the vitamins and nutrients. You will experience a good cleanse without your skin being stripped of its natural oils. A lot of handcrafted soaps are made using essential oils to give it a luxurious scent, such as lavender oil and ginger oil. Of course, commercially made soap can also smell nice, but more often than not fragrance oils will be used, and these are considered a synthetic ingredient. You can expect a much higher level of quality when you go down the handcrafted route. You know the soap has been made in-house with a great deal of love and care. These types of businesses take much more pride in the items they create; it is an art. Soap makers are experts in manipulating the scent, shape, and colour of soap to product stunning bars that are beneficial but look and smell great too.

The Value Of Glycerin

As you can see, you are advised to stay away from the commercial, mass-produced soap bars for a whole host of reasons. One of the main reasons is the fact that you will be stripped of Glycerin if you go down that route.

Glycerin is a natural emollient that significantly increases lather and ensures the skin benefits from a gentler and milder soap. When you purchase handmade soap, you can be sure that it will retain all of its natural glycerin. However, the same cannot be said for commercial, mass-produced soap, even those that are expensive in price.

Why? Well, as Glycerin is such a valuable ingredient, big cosmetic companies and such like will extract it and they will incorporate it into their skin creams, conditioners, and lotions. This is because the profit margins are a lot higher on these products. Thus, you are left with a soap that is harsh enough to strip the resident bacteria and essential oils that your skin needs. This means that the soap does not have its natural moisturizers, and, therefore, when you use it, your skin will become dry. This highlights why it is vital to choose natural skin care products. You know that all of the ingredients are safe, pure, fresh, and clean, and you can be confident that your skin is getting all of the good stuff it needs.

Organic Shea Butter

Organic shea butter has become one of the most sought after natural skin care products in the recent self-care revolution. Though it’s only come to prominence commercially in the west during the last few years, it has been used widely by African people for centuries, applying it to both their skin and their hair due to its multi-healing properties. Shea butter has now replaced many previously loved beauty items that’ve taken pride of place in British bathroom cabinets, so what is exactly in shea butter that makes it so popular?

First thing’s first: we have to acknowledge the history of handmade body butter to truly understand its potential. Interestingly, its usage can be tracked as far back as Ancient Egypt, with reports that Egyptian people stored the butter in jars for cosmetic usage. Egyptians famously believed that an unclean body was a sign of impurity, so as a civilisation they were mad for shea. African people also used shea butter to help combat the dryness of their skin and hair inflicted by the continuous dry winds that are very common in this geographical location, in addition to the ravenous heat of the sun. Seeing as shea butter’s essence is taken from the nuts produced by the West African shea tree, it is nothing but completely and utterly natural. To extract the essence, the shea butter was traditionally harnessed by drying the nut and then grounding it into a fine powder. The powder was then boiled in hot water until a substance formed at the very top of the water – the shea butter itself. It then solidified and was ready to be applied to various parts of the body to ensure that it remained healthy. Though in modern times, the ingredients can be extracted from the nut by using various methods such as cracking, crushing, grinding, roasting and separating the oils. Through these contemporary techniques and international trading, we too can harness its unrivalled power and relish using natural body butters such as shea.

Although we don’t have the staggering heat and dry winds to worry about like the Egyptians and the people of Africa, we do lead overly hectic lives in the modern day. This inevitably leaves our skin in a constant state of disrepair. One of the reasons why shea butter is used as a primary ingredient in many beauty products – and why it also has become so popular – is that it’s intensely rich in moisture. And if there’s one thing that your skin desperately needs to remain healthy, it’s moisture. Shea body butter can easily transform the hardest, driest skin into skin that has a radiant glow and is luxurious to the touch. It’s also been scientifically proven that organic shea butter is somewhat of a miracle ingredient. Studies show that it can be used as an anti-inflammatory cream and can provide positive results for those who suffer from arthritis, stiffness or rheumatism. Additionally, it can be of great help to those who have common skin problems such as acne, scars, and eczema. Doctors actively recommend using shea butter as it helps with cell regeneration. But, not only does it regenerate the skin, it also helps to revitalise it. Shea butter is inherently filled with a ton of vitamins such as vitamin A that naturally help to fight blemishes from appearing at the skin’s surface.

Natural Lip Balm

Natural lip balm is most definitely one of the best creations when it comes to natural skin care products – but it’s also one that’s very often overlooked. Most consumers tend to pay hundreds of pounds each year on products that go inside the mouth. Toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, tongue scrubbers – you name it – but what’s on the outside is just as important. And seeing as your lips are one of your body’s most susceptible areas, as they are always open to the elements, they need to be kept in tip-top shape at all times, come rain or shine. Here’s a short guide on the importance of using organic balm.

You may have used lip balm before, but you may not have known what was actually inside the mixture itself. Most lip balms (especially ones made by high street chains and big-name beauty brands) add petroleum to the list of ingredients. Petroleum jelly is a type of oil derived from beneath the earth’s surface and is classified as a fossil fuel, not something you really want to be placing close to your mouth once you stop and think about it. It first came to products back in the 19th century, but two centuries later it’s still being used in certain mass-produced cosmetic lines. Essentially, it just adds a layer of grease to your lips and provides no health benefits at all. Though in recent years, beauty companies and consumers alike have been turning away from it and have instead been looking for healthier and superior alternatives – such as beeswax. Beeswax, a type of wax produced by honey bees, is a much healthier ingredient and can be used in natural organic lip balm. Beeswax has been used for centuries to create cream and salves, and unlike petroleum, it actually helps retain the moisture of your lips, stopping them from drying out. But that’s not all when it comes to using organic natural lip balm. It’s also crammed full of essential oils such as almond oil, coconut oil and a great number of fruit oils so your lips are not only protected from the weather’s harsh elements, but they’re also rejuvenated by proactive, nourishing vitamins.

When using some of the finest natural lip balms, you can expect a fortifying experience that will make your lips feel as good as new – but one of the first immediate changes will be how much you apply. Due to the harsh ingredients that are put into non-organic balms, reapplication is necessary as the chemicals actually cause dryness – which defeats the whole purpose of buying the cream in the first place! But when they're created from pure sources, the oil acts as a natural moisturiser and the wax acts as a protective barrier akin to sunscreen, so you don’t need to constantly reapply. Not only is this better for your lips (and especially so if they are chapped or cut), but it also means that you’ll be saving your hard earned money as you won’t be wasting it all away. Something else to expect is that natural lip balm can either be unscented or scented from the oils, so you know that it won’t contain any chemicals or unnatural additives.

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