Quick Natural Fact: Honey

Honey, about 18% water, is a natural humectant, which means that when it’s applied to the skin it pulls moisture towards your skin and helps retain it.  Honey is beneficial to all skin types so consider its addition in beauty products a definite plus and don’t underestimate the benefits of a 1 ingredient mask of pure honey!

Honey mask: simply apply a thin layer of honey to clean skin and leave on for 10 minutes. You’ll be happy to know that this is one mask that is actually very easy to rinse off with warm water.



Quick Tip: Ice First

Try this simple trick before applying makeup:

  • Run an ice cube over your face to tighten pores and contract the skin, leaving it instantly firmer.
  • Pat your face dry and apply makeup as usual.

So simple, natural, cost-free and effective!


Happiest Birthday to You

I want to wish the happiest of birthdays to my amazing husband! Dylan, I hope you and Gavin have the best day today and I can’t wait to celebrate more tonight!

Back-story: I plotted with Dylan’s younger brother, Gavin, to surprise him and come to DC for the day from NY. Dylan almost jumped out of his skin last night when there was a knock on the door at 11:30pm and Gavin was standing there. It was SOOO great. I had told Dylan to take today off because I had something planned so now the two of them have the day together to wander around DC :)

A few of our favorite places from the past and for the future…

{New Zealand}


{San Francisco}

{Bora Bora}



Make Fresh Flowers Last Longer

It’s always so nice to have fresh fresh flowers in your home, isn’t it?

Well I recently came across two easy ways to keep blooms around even longer:

  1. Dunk buds in room temperature water before putting them in a vase to prolong their life by a few days
  2. When keeping flowers in the kitchen, keep them away from fruits and veggies since they both release the gas ethylene, which increases the rate at which flowers wilt


Having fresh flowers around is proven to be a natural mood-booster. I love getting mine at Trader Joe’s –  great variety and awesome prices. I especially love sunflowers. What are you some of your favorites?

p.s. Happy first day of summer!!

Calming Chamomile

Did you know that the essential oils and flavonoids in chamomile tea relax muscles to relieve pain and cramping? In addition, chamomile promotes normal peristalsis (the contractions of your intestinal tract that move food along). Chamomile also has a relaxing effect on the entire nervous system making it an excellent choice for stress, anxiety and insomnia.


And an external bonus: when you’re done with your cup of tea put the tea bag in the freezer – that way you have natural relief on hand the next time your eyes are puffy!

Have a great day :)

Father’s Day Inspiration

With Father’s Day soon upon us, here are some gift ideas that won’t break the bank, but are sure to be much enjoyed.

For the dad who appreciates some quality spirits…

Hudson Manhattan Rye ~ Tuthilltown ($44.28 – must buy on premises though) Any unique or local spirit/wine/beer would be fun!

For the dad that could use some relaxation on a regular basis…

Brazilian Hammock in a Bag by Bliss Hammocks ($29.99)

For the dad into being (or trying to be) healthy…

Circulation Sandals (therapeutic sandals that gently stimulate blood flow, enhance circulation and reduce fatigue) from Gaiam ($68)

For the dad who loves to grow things*…

Mushroom Garden from Back to the Roots ($20)

*Green thumb not required. These mushrooms grow like weeds! (But more like, mushrooms)

For the dad who loves to snack…

Help him do it in a health way with a gift basket like this one from GiftBaskets.com ($58.99)

For the dad that doesn’t like “stuff”, but loves to be pampered and could use some de-stressing…


That’s my dad so I decided to get him a massage at a great spa. This is the one I picked: Acqua Aveda (prices vary)

Good luck with your shopping!

p.s. Just give me a category or tell me a little bit about your dad and I would love to give you more suggestions :)

HollyBeth’s Grits & Honey Scrub

To me, an ideal facial scrub is one that thoroughly exfoliates, but in the most gentle way. With HollyBeth’s Natural Luxury Grits & Honey Scrub, that’s the exact balance you get — it has the perfect grittiness (thanks to the grits :)) with a calming and antibacterial base of sweet honey.  This super natural scrub is literally good enough to eat! And don’t worry, it’s not messy or sticky.  Your skin will feel noticeably smoother after just one use.

Grits & Honey Scrub

Other great products by HollyBeth:

Wildflower Dry Oil – so nourishing to the face and neck with a regenerative mix of oils and plant extracts.

Lavender Hand Cream (98% organic) – rich and relaxing with sweet almond oil as the #1 ingredient and of course, lavender.

Happy happy weekend everyone!

Time for a Soak

I am a huge fan of baths (I almost take them on a daily basis!) If you’re not normally a fan, I’m sure you might quickly become one in any of the tubs pictured here. Aren’t they amazing?! But don’t wait for an extravagant tub because baths are SO incredibly relaxing and beneficial to your entire body no matter what the tub looks like! I love to add Epsom salt and lavender oil to my baths, but plain old warm water is all it takes for a calming and detoxifying soak.

Master Bathroom contemporary bathroom


Do you take baths?

The Wonders of Neem

Neem is an ancient herb from India, which is known for its medicinal benefits externally and internally. Neem’s extremely high antioxidant content, high levels of fatty acids as well as its anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial abilities makes it an excellent choice for people with chronically dry or irritated skin. Some people have even reported healing of precancerous cells!

When taken internally, neem is said to support the health of skin, immune system response, blood purification, and healthy bowel function.

The one thing I must warn you about is that neem has a VERY distinct odor. I would say it’s like a mix of peanuts and garlic. I know that doesn’t sound very appealing, but when mixed with other scents, it’s not so noticeable. Plus, its benefits can be well worth getting used to the unique scent.

Here are some beauty products with neem that I really love:

Organix’s Theraneem Ultimate Support Orange & Ylang Ylang – Excellent for sensitive skin. I love using it instead of face wash. ( $5.56)

Organix’s Neem, Lemon & Peppermint TheraNeem Scalp Therape Shampoo – Clarifies and rejuvenates the scalp. (on sale for $11.96)

Auromère’s Ayurvedic Lavender-Neem Soap – Lavender + Neem + 16 other herbal extracts to cleanse and restore skin. ($2.95)

Dr.Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil – Ideal for an irritated scalp and dry/damaged hair. Also adds great shine! ($39.95)


Have you tried any products that contained neem before?