Friday, June 14, 2013

Dry Brushing

Here is a new beauty trick I just started doing, and I had to share it because it's fantastic! Dry Brushing is a technique that will get your skin feeling and looking great all over your body. It will also promote circulation and eliminate toxins. And it's so simple to do!

Vegetable Bristle Brush. This is what I use. It's very important to avoid a brush with synthetic fibers because that will irritate your skin. You can buy this one or another one, preferably with bristles made from vegetable fibers. 

Immediately before I shower, I take the brush and use short, firm sweeps along my skin. Two things to remember: Your skin and the brush MUST be completely dry (hence the name) otherwise it will stretch and tug at your skin, possibly damaging it. Secondly, always brush the skin towards the heart. I start with my feet, go up my legs, from my spine horizontally to my front, circle around my belly button, and from my hands to my shoulders. This takes about 2 minutes to do, then I hop in the shower and wash just like normal. After my shower I use body oil to moisturize.

The point of dry brushing is to exfoliate the skin and remove toxins. I've been doing it for only a week and I already have noticed a positive difference in my skin quality. I'm hoping it will help my postpartum belly get back to its original shape, and I will report more on that later (baby is still cooking inside me at the moment). But what I love about dry brushing -- besides the obvious benefits -- is the invigorating "rush" it gives me in the morning. Adding this to my routine really wakes me up and makes me feel refreshed. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hale's Printed Word

We moved to a completely new place surrounded by unfamiliar things. Hours away from family and friends. So it has been refreshing to discover something so familiar: To my delight, I found that the library is a 10 minute walk from our apartment. And to even further my happiness, I discovered that my favorite book of all time, The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, has a sequel! I read it in two days and it was perfect. The Palace of Stone was everything I hoped for and better. And that made me realize that perhaps it is time I read all of Shannon Hale's books. Now that I'm in my third trimester, I can do little else but take it easy. So reading is the perfect hobby for me! 

I'm halfway through reading this gem, Book of a Thousand Days. I love it because it is the same familiar style of writing that I fell in love with in the Princess Academy books -- but it has a completely different feel concerning the characters and situations. I have a hunch about how it will turn out in the end, but we'll see. It might be shocking. This one is for a more mature audience than the princess ones. Once I finish this one in a day or two I will move on to The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. She's my new favorite author! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Take on Pregnancy

I've been pregnant for 7 months now. I always wondered what it would feel like. To be honest, it is many things. It is beautiful, painful, and annoying. And sometimes, if I lay just right, I feel completely normal -- like the way I did before I ever had a tiny human growing inside me. But then I feel the twitching, dancing, and kicking from inside my abdomen, and I know for certain that I am carrying a second soul.

A second, very hungry soul.

I just want to snack and sleep all day sometimes. And hey, I'm pregnant. No one would judge me. And then there are days that I want to clean and bake and organize everything. People say that I'm nesting. I get compliments from complete strangers, and people I normally wouldn't talk to are suddenly very interested in asking me questions and telling me their personal experiences with pregnancy and parenting.

My husband, Marshal, offers to give me massages every single night. My last semester of college I could skip class without penalty due to morning sickness and need for sleep. It is all glorious and exhausting and wonderful.
You ever wonder why pregnant women are always holding their tummy? You would hold yours too, if there was a human inside of you squirming around all day. It's a feeling that has no words to describe it properly. I love it. But I will love it even more when the baby is out of me and my body can shrink back to its original size. I have no idea what is in store for me. A child is a huge responsibility and blessing. I'm just going to say, come what may, I will love this little person so so so so much. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Best You

It's fun to look back at memories of when we were little. This is a picture of me when I was about 10 years old, taken by my grandpa. When I was 10 through 13 years old, those were my best years. I was the most ambitious, creative, and talented. I wasn't afraid to be myself, and I thought that my ideas were highly valued. I was innocent and shy, but felt important. I wore hideous clothes and did my hair as awkward as I could because that's all I knew how. But I felt beautiful anyway. I miss that feeling. Growing up makes you less of who you are and more of what society tells you to be. So much so that I've forgotten who I am and how to be myself. I want to feel valued and important again. And I am. I have thoughts and ideas to contribute to the world that nobody else thinks of, because the world is not me. And the same goes for you. Only you can be the best you.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Finished the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy. Emotionally drained. I looked online for a reason the book could end so horribly, and then I came across this. The most sensical explanation that actually made me feel a little better! ***SPOILER ALERT***

 "It wasn't at all what I was expecting. I hated how her relationship with Gale got completely torn apart, and how when the final bombs went off in the capitol (I can't believe Prim died!!) she was unconscious and didn't even experience the Capitol's defeat. Really, what I was expecting was a really epic ending where she breaks into the Capitol building and epically defeats Snow....I also did not like how things completely broke apart after that. She's so emotionally drained and things get so rushed. When she returns to District 12 she just sits around in her kitchen all depressed. Even when Peeta comes back for her it's all really dead. And once again, I was so mad when things with Gale ended so awfully.

So it wasn't the ending I was expecting (or hoped for) but I do get what Suzanne Collins was trying to achieve in this last book. She clearly showed the traumatic effects of war, and that often both sides are responsible for unjustified deaths of innocent people (i.e. Coin's bombing of the children), and that even when an oppressive government is overthrown, it's impossible to just forget all the tragic loss that war has brought. That's why the author didn't include any scenes of happily rejoicing people despite their "liberation." In no way does she try to glorify war. She shows it as it is. She illustrates how it changes people and tears relationships apart.... All in all, Suzanne Collins makes you FEEL the effects of war. She drags you through suspense and excitement, despair and depression, and finally by the end of the book you feel emotionally drained.

Mockingjay wasn't what I was expecting or hoping for, but I definitely recognize Suzanne Collins as an incredibly talented writer, and one that shares important messages through her literary work."

-- world peace! on Yahoo Ask

I agree with this person 100%. It doesn't take away the fact that I am still emotionally drained! This is one of those books that you can't get out of your head. It haunts you days and days after you've finished reading it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Beautiful Things

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things


Monday, April 9, 2012

The Hunger Games

So I finally got my hands on the entire Hunger Games trilogy, thanks to my friend Shaina! I started reading this morning and decided to take a break at chapter 7. It's very good so far. It's gonna be tough to put this one down, but I need to get other things done! So I'll read one chapter every night before bed. I'm intrigued by the description of the culture in the Capitol. I already saw the movie, so of course I'm picturing everything the way someone else envisioned it. I wish I had read the books first so I could form my own ideas and cinematography in my head. But still, whoever was in charge of the vision in the movie did a great job!
If anyone hasn't read the book yet, I'm already recommending you read it! And I'm not even half-way through!