Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Gratitude Review: August

bookshelves     It’s August in the Southwest. You know how I know? Because my skin hurts when I go outside. Yikes! It’s not all bad, though. I’ve crossed a few books off of my summer reading list and that makes me pretty dang happy. There were a few more highlights that kept me joyful this month, and I wanted to share them with you.

d shoes

My favorite guy is celebrating a birthday this month. He is a modest fella, so I won’t embarrass him too much, but I’m daily thankful for the presence of this wonderful man in my life. We never stop laughing. He has the best heart, the greatest work ethic  I’ve ever seen in another human and he is smarter and more talented than he will take credit for. I’m a lucky lady.

posters

I’ve been slowly Konmari-ing my apartment and in my straightening, I found a list a mile long of songs I’d intended to add to a playlist, so if you’re still following my High Vibe Playlist, I added several for your listening pleasure. Rediscovering some of these gems has been a real trip. I’m thankful for each memory they brought back.

smoothie graphic

I have been working on my adrenal health for the past couple of months and I think I am really starting to turn a corner with my energy and mood. I’d been so exhausted and down that I was going to bed at 7:30 each night and just didn’t feel like myself anymore, so I knew I needed to do more than I was currently doing with my routine. I had a fantastic Craniosacral treatment earlier this month, and I’m using an endocrine balancing essential oil blend and a wild yam serum that have helped me tremendously. I’m feeling a lot more functional and have had some great bursts of creativity! I’m thankful for my health every day, but especially these days. Sometimes you don’t know just how bad you felt until you don’t feel that way anymore.

So, what’s been happening in your neck of the the woods? Are you celebrating any milestones? Did you just come back from a blissful vacation? Share your latest successes in the comments below so we can join in your joy!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

 

 

Tutorial: Mountain Man Beard Balm

family ingredients     The greatest guy I have ever met has a birthday this month so I wanted to make him something special to keep his wild, manly beard under control. Enter my Mountain Man Bead Balm! I whipped up this easy, 5 ingredient balm yesterday, and had it in his hands just in time to wrap it up with his other gifts. Here’s how you can make it yourself:

Ingredients –

  • 1 ½ tsp.Shea Butter
  • 1 Tbs. Beeswax
  • 1 tsp. Argan Oil
  • 1 tsp. Jojoba Oil
  • Essential Oils of Your Choice

I recommend that you designate an old spoon that you don’t really care about for your DIY recipes, because it’s going to get waxy and you will have to scrub a bit to get it clean. Don’t use your nice flatware! I used a pair of takeout chopsticks to stir mine and it worked great.

****Optional: A double boiler. If you don’t have one, I’m going to teach you how to make this recipe without one.

Using a large glass bowl, I added my solid ingredients. I had to use a cheese grater to get my beeswax off of the large chunk I bought. You might be tempted to just chop it into small chunks, but resist the urge and use the grater until you get the amount you need. It will melt much faster and your other solids won’t burn in the process.

beeswax

Fill a pot about half full with water and let it boil on the stove. The right size pot is one that you can sit your bowl on top of where it will rest, but not fall in.

jojoba

Add your liquid oils to your mixture and set your bowl on top of your pot until they are melted.  Once they are all liquidy and melted into each other, add your essential oils.  I used Black Pepper, Cedarwood and Bergamot.  I used 10 drops total, 2 black pepper, 3 bergamot and 5 cedarwood. Stir with a spoon and CAREFULLY remove your bowl from the top of your pot. Use potholders and stand back a little because very hot steam is going to escape from the pot. Then it’s as simple as pouring from your bowl into your cute little metal tin and letting the bad boy cool and solidify.

black pepper

Mine set pretty quickly, but I did give it a full 12 hours before I handed it over to my guy, just to be sure it was nice and solid. It was a big hit! He had one note for me that I’m going to take under consideration for next time, apparently it does get pretty dang solid and it takes some friction to melt it, so I think I can counter it with just a dab of coconut oil next time, as that tends to soften things up a little.

beard balm

I want to hear from you! If you make this recipe, let me know what you think of it and what essential oils you use, too!  Leave your comments below and photos below!

 

P.S. If you’re looking for an inexpensive and fantastic place to get organic and wildcrafted ingredients for your recipe, I get mine here. This is an affiliate link, but I’d be shouting their name from the rooftops even if it wasn’t!

Mosquitoes Bite: Repel Pests and Calm Skin Naturally

sunny sunflower  Hey There, Well-Beings! 

I wrote another article for this month’s issue of Inner Child Magazine and wanted to share it with you. This one’s all about what to do when bugs are bugging you! I hope you find it helpful and that you have a wonderful week ahead!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

————————————————————————————————————

There’s so much to enjoy about summer: The longer days, dinners out on the patio, and drinks with those little umbrellas. There’s also at least one thing that really bites: Mosquitoes!  Whether you’re outside tending to your garden, taking a dip in the pool, or headed for the hills for a day of hiking, you’re going to encounter these pesky pests. The good news is there are natural solutions for soothing bites and for stopping them before they start.

lavender garden

An Ounce of Prevention: One of the first things you can do to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your summer fun is to plant herbs, flowers and other plants around your home that repel them. Things like lavender, lemon balm, marigolds and peppermint will keep bugs away and make beautiful additions to summer dishes, as they are all edible. You can also plant catnip, though you’ll likely make friends with all the neighborhood cats, if you do. If your thumbs aren’t green, you can use essential oils to create a simple bug spray that will keep you from feeling the sting. You’re not stuck with smelly old citronella, either! Lemon and eucalyptus make great additions to a homemade pest spray due to the naturally found ingredient called cineol. Try mixing 4 drops each of lemon, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint essential oils, a ¼ teaspoon of vegetable glycerine, and clean, filtered water to the top of a 4 oz spray top bottle. Shake and spray directly on the skin for a great smelling way to keep bugs at bay. Another option for saving your skin is neem oil. This Aryuvedic herb can be added to coconut oil to create a skin salve that can keep mosquitoes away for up to 12 hours. Just be careful not to apply neem to skin that is cut or broken.

chamomile teacup

After the Fact: It’s great to prevent pests from feasting on exposed summer skin, but what happens when it’s already too late? The itchy, relentless red welts can be unsightly and very irritating. Calendula and aloe vera are very helpful items to have in your summer medicine cabinet because they’re dual-purpose performers. Not only are they great at soothing stinging insect bites, but they’ll cool sunburns as well. Don’t toss your used chamomile teabag in the trash! Once they cool, they make great compresses for itchy skin that needs calming. Tea tree and lavender essential oils are wonderful for bites that are bugging you. In most cases, they can be applied neat to the skin, but when you have kiddos and elders in your care, it’s best to dilute in a carrier oil or lotion. Consult a certified aromatherapist in your area for dilution ratios that will keep everyone safe. When you’re really in a pinch, search your kitchen for raw, organic honey. It’s antiseptic and antibacterial. Just stay inside when you use it, or you’ll also have ants and flies to worry about!

 

garden party

There’s no reason to shut yourself inside this summer to keep the bugs from biting. With these skin saving and soothing tips, mosquitoes don’t have to make you miserable.  Goodbye, bugs. Hello, Summer!

Essential Oil Spotlight: Patchouli

PATCHOULI     Oh, Patchouli! Nothing divides folks quite like it’s rich, pungent aroma. Whether you’re firmly on Team Hate It, or you would roll around in the stuff like I would, there’s still plenty that’s worth noting about this resinous, controversial oil.  Before you write it off as stinky, I’ve written some words about this exotic beauty and it’s many benefits.

If you were alive in the 60s and 70s, you probably got more than a nostril full of patchouli in the form of incense or perfume oil. It was around for centuries prior to the hippie movement, though. My favorite historical note about this plant dates back to Ancient Egypt whee King Tut was said to have arranged to be buried with almost 10 gallons of oil infused with patchouli. In the 19th century, Asian countries began using the oil to protect fabrics from moth damage when being exported to other countries. I inherited a beautiful silk robe from my grandmother who purchased it on a business trip to Hong Kong and to this day, I can still catch a faint whiff of of it if I press it to my nose.  That’s pretty impressive, considering she would have brought it home well over 30 years ago!

silk robe

Patchouli essential oil is made by collecting the flowering tops of the plant and steam distilling it. It’s also a bit like a fine wine, in that the scent tends to deepen with time. This is why it may be time to give that bottle you cast aside another go, if you’ve written it off in the past. It may have reached a point in it’s mellowing where you find it agrees with you. I’ve found that the longer I have a bottle, the more resinous and darker the color becomes. This can make it a little hard to get out of the reducer, but oh so worth it it you adore the scent of an aged patchouli.

So, what is it good for? Patchouli can be quite soothing for the emotions and for relaxing frayed nerves. I get that some of you may be reluctant to put it on as perfume, but it can be quite beautiful in a blend that balances some of it’s noted potency. I love placing it in the diffuser or fragrance blend with citrus and florals (bergamot and ylang ylang are favorites) to soften it’s presence. I also love it for acne flare-ups. I’m starting to see wrinkles, but I still have hormonal breakouts from time to time, and I love adding a drop to my skin creams and serums to keep inflammation and bacteria at bay. I also love to use patchouli as a deodorizer. I use it as an underarm spray and in my running shoes to keep things fresh.

shoes-791044_1280

Patchouli is one of those oils that is generally regarded as safe for humans. If you’re pregnant or nursing, talk to a doctor just to be on the safe side. If you’re interested in using essential oils on your kids and pets, it’s a good practice to run that past a certified professional, especially since they may not be able to tell you that something doesn’t feel right.

Ready to give patchouli a try, or even a second chance? I get mine at Mountain Rose Herbs, and I’m thrilled with the quality and price. I love it so much I became an affiliate!

IMG_0163

I want to hear from you. Do you love patchouli as much as I do? Do you have a blend you use that you just love? Leave me a comment below and tell me all about it!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Gratitude Review: July

popsicle     Happy almost end of July, Well Beings! It’s been a pretty good month, so I want to share a few highlights of things I felt gratitude for during the month of July. Are you ready? Go snag a popsicle out of the freezer and let’s get started!

I officiated a wedding! I was able to help a good friend and her super cool new husband say their vows over the Independence Day holiday. I’ve helped tons of imaginary couples get hitched during my fantasy-filled childhood but this time, there were wonderful, real-life people involved and my heart is totally overflowing with love for this awesome family. Grateful doesn’t even begin to cover it.

wedding

I am in the process of creating my next set of tutorials for the blog, and have really enjoyed the process of coming up with fun things to teach you. Feedback is always appreciated, but it’s always a joy to learn how to do something that interests me, and then share that knowledge with the world. I guess I’ve always really been a teacher at heart.

tutorial

I took a much needed break for a couple of weeks this month. I’ve been wrestling with adrenal fatigue and some serious burnout on the job and truth be told, it was starting to take the joy out of the things that bring me joy (a totally uncool thing that can happen when your hormones go haywire). I’m working on a wonderful holistic treatment that I plan to write about soon, made some better-for-me dietary adjustments, did a lot of meditative coloring, but mostly was just a really good listener during that time and I have to say, I think the vacation was exactly what I needed. My creativity has exploded, I’m wildly more productive, and my motivation is ten times what it was going into the break. Self-care takes many different forms, and sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing.

coloring book

What joys did July hold for you? Did you go anywhere exciting, or have the best staycation ever? Are you working on a new project? Did your garden yield anything tasty? Let me know in the comments so we can be happy right along with you. I hope the rest of your month is lovely!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

Sun Protection Foods: Nature’s SPF

floating     Hiya, Well Beings!

I’m back at the desk, typing up some new posts for you! I thought I’d share an article I wrote for Inner Child Magazine about foods that can help you combat the sun’s sizzling rays. Read, eat, and be merry!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There’s something about Summer that brings people outdoors. Whether it’s block parties, barbecues, or taking the kids on a family vacation, we sure do like to gather under the sun. While Vitamin D is an important building block to health, too much exposure to the sun has consequences that can harm us. We’ve all been told time and time again to wear our sunscreen when prolonged exposure is unavoidable, but there are some additional ways to ward off UVA and UVB rays, and guess what? You get to eat them!

tomatoes and peppers

Vegetables – Your mother was right. You need to eat your broccoli! That’s because it contains sulphoraphane, a powerful antioxidant with anti-cancerous effects that helps the cells in your body protect themselves against UV damage. Leafy greens are a good idea, too. They have been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer by as much as 50%. In the mood for some fresh garden salsa? Bell peppers and tomatoes are both great sources of lycopene, which has been shown to have an SPF of anywhere from 1-3. Sweet potatoes and carrots offer beta carotene and Vitamin C, which help protect the skin against free radical damage with their high antioxidant content. Slice both into long matchsticks, drizzle with olive oil and herbs and bake for a healthy substitute for fries with your grilled goodies.

strawberry watermelon smoothie

Fruits – Watermelon is a warm weather staple, and it’s not just a delicious way to stay hydrated! Its lycopene content is almost 40% higher than that of tomatoes. Other fruits with high levels of lycopene include papaya, guava and grapefruit. Pomegranates are an excellent source of polyphenols like catechins, which strengthen the top layers of skin and allow them to resist UV rays. Vitamin C is found in all varieties of citrus fruit , but can be found in berries and kiwi to fend off nasty free radicals, as well. Blend these beauties into a smoothie or use them to make a fabulous and functional fruit salad.

fruit infused water

Beverages – If you’re going to be out in the sun, it’s just smart to drink water to avoid dehydration, but water also helps keep skin’s Natural Moisture Factor (NMF) high. This isn’t just a fancy name, either. It helps skin protect itself from environmental factors that cause damage, like the sun. While you may not be in a hurry to put the kettle on as temperatures creep into the triple digits, taking your green or black teas iced will provide plenty of polyphenols to help skin fend off the sun’s rays. If the idea of drinking plain tea or water doesn’t excite you, slice any of the fruits above and add them to your glass for color and flavor. Infusing your teas and waters is a tasty trend that’s sun smart, too.

swimming

Sunscreen is still the gold standard in sun protection and you definitely shouldn’t leave home without it, but isn’t it nice to know that salsa and smoothies can save your hide, too? Be the perfect party guest by offering to make a delicious, double-duty side dish. Now that you’ve done your dietary due-diligence, rest easy and enjoy those lazy days of Summer!

image
Hi there, Well Beings!

I’ll be taking a short vacay from my weekly blogging duties for a little R & R, and wanted to make sure to send you thoughts of good health and loving kindness while I am away. I’ll be back on the 24th with another post and hope the next two Sundays find you full of joy!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

My Top 3 Methods for Managing Stress

table-384802_1920    I had a conversation with a friend who didn’t know that I completed my life coaching certification last year, and she had a lot of questions about exactly what a Stress Management Coach does and how someone decides to become one. After sharing some background about what I’ve been up to since we’ve seen each other (it’d been 15 years!), I detailed some of the time I spent battling grief and chronic illness and how I faced a pretty serious decision between giving up or teaching myself how to get better. We talked about all of the tools I added to my arsenal as I learn how to heal myself from years of chronic stress and dis-ease, and then she posed a question that I absolutely loved she said, “How would you help me get started?” I want to share my answer with you because I think it is an opportunity to help many of you who may just be getting your self-care footing. Below are my top three methods for lessening stress in my life, and I hope they help you do the same:

  1. Meditate – This probably scares some of you, but I promise you there’s nothing scary about it. In fact, if you can just muster 1 to 5 minutes to sit in a quiet room by yourself and pull up a short video on your phone to listen to while you close your eyes, you my friend, can meditate. When I was first trying to figure out what this whole meditation thing was all about, I used guided meditation as my training wheels. It did eventually lead me to certify as a teacher of seven different types of meditation, but I started with what was accessible and comfortable to me, and we all must start somewhere. Try listening to a few short ones until you find one that resonates with you and make time to use it every day for a week. Then repeat the following week with a different meditation. Practice for as long or as short a time as you wish, as long as you give it your all and remain committed to doing so at least a few minutes a day, every single day. If you are consistent, you’ll begin to see and feel results quickly. When things get crazy in your life, you will be tempted to quit because you think you need the extra time, but this will be the most important thing you do all day. Show up for yourself. You’ll never be sorry that you took time to meditate.

lotus-915835_1920

  1. Get Outside – I struggle with my day job. It’s not especially in line with my soul’s purpose and it drains me to the point of total exhaustion sometimes, but I still need it to pay my bills right now. Sometimes the only thing that gets me through my shift is stepping away from my desk and taking a lap around the building. There is something about nature, even the small patches of flowers and grass in the shopping center where my office is located, that grounds me in an instant. If you can’t spend all afternoon hiking, or you don’t have a backyard with a lovely garden that you can tend and get your hands dirty in, sit outside with a book on your lunch break or sip some tea on your apartment balcony. Make it a point to get outside once a day and be present in nature. As I’ve made the effort, yes even in the rain and snow, I’ve witnessed it change the energy in my body in a way that’s allowed me to handle whatever I have to do with more grace and ease. It can do that for you too, if you let it.

 

hiking-924758_1920

  1. Gratitude – If you’d said this to me while I was on my descent into chaos several years ago, I would have a digitally signaled my contempt and probably used some colorful language to make sure I’d made my point. Gratitude is everything, though. Make yourself, and I mean force it if you must, write down three things to be thankful for each day. Do it at the same time every day, and don’t plan to move on to the next thing until you’re finished with the exercise. This is why I like to do mine at the end of the day as part of my winding down process before bed; nothing can get in the way. It might feel a little insincere at first, but even if all you can find to feel thankful for is the ability to write, a pen, and a piece of paper to write on, then start exactly there. More will come. That’s the beautiful thing about gratitude. If you are consistent about practicing it, it begins to bubble out of you. You’ll find more and more things to feel thankful for until one day, thankful is all you feel. I mean sure, you’ll still have other emotions, but the pervasive one will be gratitude. A thankful person is a happy person. Trust me on this. When I started, the only thing I had to feel thankful for was the fact that my illness hadn’t killed me, and now I have no trouble spouting off 100 or more things that I feel a deep sense of gratitude for. You can do this.

writing-923882_1920

I could easily expand on any of these topics and add about 16 more tips, but these are the absolute basics that I started out with when I was finally ready to stop letting stress control me. If it were any more complex I’m not sure I would have tried and that’s all you have to do. Try these methods for one week at a time and before you know it, you’ll have conquered stress and people will be coming to you for advice. That’s exactly how I did it, and you can do it too.

Wishing You Total Well-Being (and Lots of Success),

 

Jennifer

Gratitude Review: June

sunflowers     Happy June, everyone! I hope the first week of summer has been kind to you wherever you may be reading this. Our heat and humidity have already been pretty high for this time of year, but I have still managed to do some hiking with my favorite guy, have been taking tons of pictures, and have had time to experience a few more things that I am thankful for and want to share with you. Go ahead and fix yourself something cold to drink and let’s get with the gratitude, yeah?

macarons

I completed another  trip around the sun. I was able to celebrate with loving family, kind coworkers, wonderful friends, and my fantastic boyfriend and cutie pie dog. I had a lovely dinner out, a lovely dinner in, macarons and a cupcake that would make your eyes roll back in your head, a terrific bottle of wine, and was blessed with thoughtful cards, and sweet Facebook posts from faraway folks. All this for basically just being alive.  I’m fortunate gal. It’s given me a focus for my next journey around to do something on  a weekly basis to make at least one person feel appreciated and loved. Call it a random act of kindness. It can be buying lunch for a friend, bringing flowers over next time I visit someone, paying for the coffee of the next few folks in line, leaving a special note of encouragement for a coworker who is having a rough time of it, whatever I’m led to do. Every day may not be our birthday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take the time to show people that they matter. I’m going to start scheduling it in my planner so that I’m sure that it happens. I’m already feeling grateful for all of it.

journal

My birthday happens to fall during the midway portion of the calendar year and it’s always a wonderful time for me to do a bit of a year thus far review to see where I’ve met goals, changed course, or needed to refocus my energy. I am ridiculously grateful to be able to sit down with my journal and review what I’ve written out at the start of the year and see if any of it needs adjusting, or in some cases, to be taken off so that it can be replaced with new goals and ideas. When I’m done, I feel loads lighter and like I’m going back in with a fresh perspective.

IMG_0152

I got back in the habit of creating things this month and it feels fastastic. I wrote a lot,  I made jewelry and art, I worked on some fun DIY projects, and played with my essential oils a lot. It feels like a time to be prolific and I’m taking full advantage of that for as long as the feeling lingers. My tendency when I’m under stress is to cut something and go into protection mode, and sadly that often means considering creative projects frivolous. After spending a month deliberately making time to pursue them, I can say that the opposite is true. Everything flows much more smoothly with my soul is satisfied, and making time to make things is no longer up for negotiation. I’ll be scheduling time to do this weekly, as well. It’s necessity.

So what have you been up to this month? Do you have any exciting stories to tell? Were you inspired to take on a project that’s been calling your name? Did you go anywhere special or spend time with people who make your heart happy? I want to hear about all of it. Post your gratitude in the comments below and let’s celebrate!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Father’s Day Tutorial: Mountain Man Beard Oil

mountain     Happy Father’s Day! I made some beard oil for my favorite guy recently and thought this would be the perfect day to share my recipe with you. It’s nourishing, lightweight and smells pretty dang great! Ready to make something for the cool-cat-daddy-o in your life? Here’s everything you need to get started.

IMG_0213

Mountain Man Beard Oil

2 oz dark glass bottle with dropper top

funnel

4 TBS argan oil

4 TBS  jojoba oil

3 drops black pepper essential oil

6 drops cedarwood essential oil

6 drops bergamot essential oil

This recipe couldn’t be easier to make. Seriously. First, you measure out your oils and add them to the empty bottle through the funnel. Jojoba and argan are both excellent skin and hair conditioners. Jojoba is the oil that most resembles human sebum, so it’s great for all skin types because it moisturizes without leaving skin greasy. Argan oil is like liquid gold. It’s so nourishing and makes hair shiny and skin glow. It’s chock-full of essential fatty acids, so it’s fantastic for fighting skin-inflammation, too.

IMG_0216

Then, you add the essential oils. This part can be a little subjective. I went with a lighter fragrance because I was giving it to my boyfriend who is kinda a fragrance-free sort of dude, but if I was blending oils for myself, I’d probably go much stronger. This is really up to you. My advice is to start with a small amount and build until it smells right to you or the person you’re making it for.

IMG_0214

Confession Time: I really wanted to add patchouli to this recipe. I love the way it smells, and I think it would have rounded out the blend beautifully, but my fella can’t get away with wearing it to his office without being on the receiving end of a little good-natured ribbing. Personally, I take pride in being called a “hippie”, but I guess they can be a little relentless with it, so I left it out of his batch. If you were going to add it, I’d cut the Cedarwood and Bergamot both back a drop and make up for them with 2 drops of patchouli. It’ll give the recipe a little more depth and dirt.

Once all of your ingredients are in the bottle, screw your top on and give your oils a good shake. Voila!

IMG_0217

If you make a batch of beard oil I want to hear from you! Did you change up the essential oil blend? Leave your selections in the comments below! Leave photos, too.  I love seeing those glamour shots.

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

P.S. If you’re looking for a place to get organic and wildcrafted ingredients for your recipe, I get mine here. My affiliate link allows me to keep buying ingredients to make more tutorials like this one!

« Older posts

© 2016 Tejomaya Wellness

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑