Easy DIY Coffee Body Scrub

Easy DIY Coffee Scrub

When I walk though the drugstore beauty aisle, I can’t help wishing there were a map directing me to the exact products I need for my ideal beauty results. “HERE!” it would read, above a thick, red arrow pointing to my perfect shampoo/conditioner combo. Alas, such a map doesn’t exist. So, last month, after years of feeling frustrated by the unfulfilled promises of beauty marketing, I decided to make many of the products I would normally buy in stores.

Rather than leaving your skin and hair health to a manufacturer unfamiliar with your specific needs, d.i.y beauty recipes allow you to tailor your products—choosing which ingredients to include or exclude, modifying and adjusting as needed.

This week, we’re sharing a simple body scrub recipe, adapted from Homemade Beauty.

d.i.y-scrub_2

You will need:
½ cup coffee grounds (used are fine)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:
Mix all three, adding and subtracting ingredients as you see fit, store in a container for a few days.

You can substitute ingredients, but for an effective scrub you will typically need 1-2 exfoliants, an oil (olive, coconut, almond…), and a fragrance (optional). For scrubs, I prefer coffee grounds as an exfoliant base over sugar because of the texture and antioxidant properties. For a coarser texture, try grinding the coffee beans yourself. Happy scrubbing!

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5 Ways to Make Chores More Fun

Make Chores More Fun

Hey you! I see you scrolling around online, putting off a few of those unpleasant tasks for just a little longer. Procrastinate just log enough to finish this article, because when you’re done, you’re going to be excited to put down your device and get to it!

Turn your morning run into a game

People say that you’ll eventually learn to love running. While you’re waiting for that to kick in, turn your morning jog into a game. Check out these apps that gameify your workout. Zombies Run! is a fun way to get in shape and remain sharp in the impending apocalypse. Too scared for monsters? Check out PaceDJ, this app selects music from your library that is the correct tempo to keep a good pace in your workout. 

Upgrade your bag lunch

There is no excuse for a dull lunch, and now that you’ve freed up some calories lets upgrade that boring turkey, cheese on white. Put some creative energy into your meal. Invest in some quality ingredients; They are your paint and you are the artist. Take pride in your creation so that you actually look forward to eating your lunch and creating new ones. You’re going to be the envy of the office when your coworkers see your culinary masterpiece. 

Ditch the sweats

Studies have shown that the clothes you wear directly affect your mood. Ditch your pit-stained baggy tee and holey old shorts for something that feels like you! There’s no reason that you can’t be comfortable and fabulous while you work on laundry, scrub the toilet, and vacuum. Throw on some bottoms with a fun print or try this flattering yet comfy romper. Mix things up with a snarky graphic tee that you would never wear in public. 

Plate with greatness

Throwing a weeknight dinner together can be a bit of a drag, but you’re bringing nourishment to your family and that should be celebrated! You chop, sauté, steam and bake. You are a chef! Improve your cooking experience by hosting your own cooking show. Whether you do this in your head or out loud, I won’t judge. With food, presentation just makes the dish seem so much more savory, even if it’s just amazingly presented junk food.

10 minute pick up jam session

Grab your phone, set a timer, pick your perfect song or playlist and have a high energy pick up session. When you put a time limit on an unpleasant task, it turns into a game and ends up getting done a little faster. Add some totally rad 80’s songs to the mix and you’ve turned cleaning into a party. Choose the right songs and you might even get some participation from the kids too! 

But if you REALLY want to change the way you think about the daily tidying grind, read The Life‑Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The KonMari Method really is life changing!

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Worth the Click

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This week on the internet: Resolutions, clean eating, and fitness plans.

(Yeah, not our favorite time of the year either.)

 

On attainable New Years resolutions. (Catherine Nicole blog)

Profile of Ashima Shiraishi, one of the world’s strongest female rock climbers. Oh, and she’s 14.  (New Yorker)

Thinking about trying out a new look in 2016?Take a looksie at this piece by Laia Garcia. (Lenny Letter)

One designer finds inspiration in Ethiopian culture – and credits and employs the people who inspire her. (New York Times)

Looking for a healthy recipe to kick start your new year? Check out this super simple broccoli bowl. (The First Mess)

If broccoli’s not your thing, how about peacock pie? (NPR)

Workouts to do while watching netflix – our kind of exercise! (Apartment Therapy)

Ever dream about an alternate universe where the Babysitter’s Club books were still relevant? I do. (The Hairpin)

5 Creative Ways to Ask Someone to Be Your Bridesmaid

how-to-ask-bridesmaid

Let’s be honest, a big part of the excitement of getting engaged is knowing you get to plan a wedding and, for a brief moment (before budget and other people’s opinions creep in), you get to deselect “Secret” on your Pinterest wedding board and audit all the ideas that have been prematurely pestering you for months/years/ever. Amongst the initial planning steps is inviting friends and family to participate. Asking someone to be a part of your big day can feel odd though. After all, there are a lot of women (or men) you could choose to be part of your cohort, and you want the ones you do pick to know how important they are to you. It’s a big honor to be someone’s bridesmaid. It can also be a big time—not to mention, financial—commitment; words might not feel like enough.

So, whether you’re trying to convince your ambivalent, marriage-sour cousin to be your maid of honor, or simply want to send your future bridesmaids a little love and appreciation, here are a few thoughtful and creative ways to pop the question.

  1. Sometimes simple is best.  Send the question on cute cards like these Will You be my Bridesmaid cards:
    bridesmaids stationaryjpgWill you be my bridesmaid card

 2. For the friend with the sweet tooth, how about these custom bridesmaids cookies?

Will yo be my bridesmaid cookies

3.Set the party mood with these confetti pops.

Will yo be my bridesmaid confetti pops

4. Worried about being a bridezilla? Apologize beforehand by making (or selecting) a survival box.

Will yo be my bridesmaid invitation boxes

5. Booze. Nuf’ said.

Will yo be my bridesmaid wine labels

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How to Make a New Year’s Resolution That Sticks

new-years-resolutions

As life experiences slowly and subtly stretch, mold, grow, deconstruct and reassemble me, it would be natural to not notice if I were to veer slightly off my intended path over a lengthy period of time. Thankfully, however, every 365 1/4 days, I’m reminded that I should reflect on where I’m going with a generally, and now formerly, indifferent tool called a New Year’s Resolution.

For many years this tabula rasa amounted to an empty self-promise to “eat healthier”, “exercise more” or, most prominently in the early 2000’s, “quit smoking”. But these vague and overly ambitious resolutions were destined for failure as they in no way stood out from the nebulous intentions I had earlier that week, month or year.

Then one year, wizened to my history of false self-promises, I decided to try something different: one very specific and doable intention that I’d keep in mind all year. My New Year’s Resolution that year was to “like all foods”. No longer could I decline blue cheese or pickles on the grounds that I’ve just never liked them. Every time I crossed paths with a previously revolted food item, I would have to give it a real chance. Sometimes that would mean getting the best blue cheese and eating it on the best bread with a glass of white wine. And then I’d get it. I’d understand that a whole new world opens up when you add a pickle to your cheeseburger or have feta cheese in its appropriate context. Resolution accomplished! I was still dispelling old notions of hated foods in the Fall and realizing I had finally come up with a New Year’s Resolution that worked. Do I like ALL foods now? No, but I’ve reduced my dislike list by about 80%. So I kept this New Year’s Resolution formula up for years.

2012: Like All Foods

2013: Don’t Be an Asshole …aka Don’t gossip, pretend not to see people you don’t feel like talking to, or make empty ‘Shouldvitations’ (ie, “We should totally hang out soon”).

2014: Unplug it ….aka, keep tabs on technology usage.

2015: Straighten Up Everything but the Curls …aka Make the full grown-up transition to someone who cleans and straightens up every day. Also, I’ve been straightening my hair since I was 14, and I still wear it pulled back every day. Enough.

The start of a New Year is a beautiful thing if you look at it the right way. It’s an excuse to examine who you are in your most current state and what simple change you could make to be a better and happier person. Is losing 15lbs in 2016 important to me? For sure. But it’s not my resolution. This year, I resolve to Listen Up. It may not make these jeans button up more easily, but I think it’ll make me a better wife, mother, entrepreneur and friend.

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Recommended Reading

holiday-reading-list

Stuck at the airport? Have a little free time before returning to work? Or maybe your New Year’s Resolution is to finish some of those books on your nightstand. Whatever the case, if you’re looking for a good read, take a peek at some of our recommendations!

A Manual for Cleaning Women, Lucia Berlin

Although she passed over ten years ago, a new collection of Lucia Berlin’s short stories was released earlier this year—the stories explore the rich, varied worlds of women on the periphery of society.

A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James

The winner of this year’s Man Booker Award, A Brief History of Seven Killings fictionalizes the political conflict and gang wars of Jamaica in the 70s.

On The Move, Oliver Sacks

Shortly before his death earlier this year, Oliver Sacks released a memoir chronicling his career and work as a journalist and neurologist.

Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehesi Coates 

Inspired by James Balwin’s “The Fire Next Time”, Ta-Nehesi Coates’ Between the World and Me provides keen insight into 21st-century race relations. Winner of the the 2015 National Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Beloved Dog, Maira Kalman

Legendary illustrator Maira Kalman recounts her relationships with dogs in this vibrantly illustrated memoir.

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Adult Coloring Books and Their Lure

adult coloring books

There are certain outlets we turn to in times of high-stress: Netflix, sweets, yoga, chamomile tea, (happy hour), and now…coloring? Yep, coloring. The favorite childhood past-time has struck gold in the adult market over the past couple years. And in the midst of increasing anxiety and tension, is it any wonder why adult coloring books have become so popular?

Coloring books are certainly a creative outlet, but it’s the relaxing, almost methodical, act of filling in lines that supersedes the pressure to create a finished product. Call it the power of mindful distraction, or a response to tech exhaust. Or, maybe, part of coloring books’ re-discovered appeal can be attributed to their new, complex designs. Gone are the bucolic, paint-by-numbers landscapes and ultra simplistic shapes that used to dominate adult art kits.

More sophisticated designs also call for higher-quality tools. Prismacolor pencils and watercolors, once reserved for artists and illustrators, have now reached less-intimidating levels of accessibility. Ultimately though, coloring books allow for experimentation—whether in color choices and combinations or materials. There are few ways to fail when coloring.

Adult Coloring Books

So, want to give the trend a try but don’t know where to start? Check out our list of recommended coloring books! 

Enchanted Forest, Johanna Basford

Fantastic Cities, Steve McDonald

The 1990s Coloring BookJames Grange

Secret Garden, Johanna Basford

Outside the Lines: An Artist’s Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations, Souris Hong-Porretta

Coloring Mandalas, Susanne Fincher

Art-thérapie: 100 coloriages Anti-Stress, Hachette

Colour Me Good-Ryan Gosling, Mel Elliott

Lisa Congdon Coloring Books, Lisa Congdon

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5 (Semi-Lazy) Ways to Present a Printed Gift Card

5 Ways to Present a Printed Gift Card

You’ve bought someone a gift card for something they’ll really love, but the idea of folded up printer paper under the Christmas tree doesn’t seem to speak to the gift’s value nor the sentiment behind it. Here are some extremely easy ways to jazz it up. If it’s from your kid, it won’t even look that shoddy.

  1. Roll it up and tie a ribbon around it like a scroll. Add a note to the printout with ridiculous old-timey language, like “Here ye, here ye. On this 25th of December Two-Thousand Fifteen, I present you with a gift certificate for the jewelry of your choosing”.
  2. Repurpose one of the Amazon boxes that you still haven’t broken down and recycled. Wrap the box in paper and throw in a bunch of candy with your gift card.
  3. Roll it up really thin, slide it into a balloon and wrap the balloon. POP! A sweet gift!
  4. Tootsie Roll Style! Roll it up and tie the ends like a large and festive candy that you can trade in for jewelry or a massage.
  5. Decorate a paper bag. Take trimmings from your tree and fashion them into a mini tree glued onto a paper bag. If your tree has a lot of sap, you won’t even need glue! You could also squirrel away the ends of the ribbon from other people gifts and make a tie to go through the bag.

For the more craft-minded gift-givers, you could always try this printable pillow box or this printable pyramid box.

Don’t have that gift card yet? Get one from us!!

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Worth the Click

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This week on the internet: Cheese, gingerbread, and feminist gift guides! (Clearly, we’re ready for the holidays).

Nobody does the holidays better than David Sedaris. Check out his work here and here. (NPR; This American Life)

The history behind your favorite seasonal sweet. (PBS)

Article about Tracey “Africa” Norman, the first black trans model.  (New York Magazine)

Cheese—the answer to all your holiday potluck dilemmas. (Lucky Peach)

Huffington Post lists their feminist gift picks. (Huffington Post)

Treat yo’self to this Gingerbread Oatmeal Face Mask. (Free People Blog)

These amazing boob planters may not have made it onto Huffington Post’s Feminist Gift List, but they definitely make ours! (Group Partner)

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How to Choose Jewelry (For Someone Else)

catherinenicolejewelry-guide

The holidays are in full swing and, if you’re anything like me, you still haven’t completed, much less started, your christmas shopping. Jewelry often makes for a personal, intimate gift, so long as you get it right — daunting business when there are so many ways to get it wrong.

Everyone’s taste is unique. So, instead of abiding by the common jewelry-picking tropes (gold for brunettes and olive-toned women, smaller earrings for older women), we’ve outlined some guiding points for gifting jewelry based on personal taste rather than blanket rules and latest trends. Here are some things to look out for (if she’s online you can stalk her images):

Gifts for Her

  1. Does she wear silver or gold? Start with this question as a jumping off point–A lot of people are particular about the kind of metal they wear.
  2. What kind of jewelry does she gravitate towards? Earrings? Necklaces? Rings? No point getting someone a slinky bracelet they’ll never wear.
  3. What shape or size jewelry do they wear? Big, chunky and bold, or small and delicate? Do they veer towards simple or statement pieces?
  4. Are they drawn to any specific stones? If you’re not sure, think about their favorite colors.

All this information should give you a pretty good idea of what kind of jewelry they might like, but, should you need a little more guidance, check out our recommended gift items or send her a link to create a wishlist.

wishlist-image

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