How to Get Your Energy Back

Shannon Smyth
How to get your energy back We have all experienced the infamous afternoon slump. Your eyelids are barely able to stay open, and you have been eyeing that next cup of coffee for easily an hour. At this point, you would even consider one of those energy drinks to give you a little pick-me-up to get you through the day. While I am all for a delicious cup of coffee, sugar or caffeine will not help you get your energy back to make it through the rest of the day. Whether you have been in a slump for days, weeks, or just during the afternoon, here are some simple tips to help you get your energy back:

Healthy Snacks = Energy

If you work in an office, avoid the vending machine at all costs. That chocolate bar may be calling your name, but it's pure trickery I tell you. Refined or high fructose sugar-laden snacks may give you an initial boost, but that energy runs out faster, making that energy dive feel even worse. Fruit's mixture of natural sugars work at an even keel helping you to avoid the ups and downs energy. Eating a protein-packed lunch will also help you to avoid that afternoon crash as protein takes longer to break down in the body.  Check out post regarding lowering your A1c, which is chock full of info on the right way to eat.

Beauty Sleep is Essential

OK, this is a no-brainer. If you don't get enough sleep, you will just be plain tired. Maybe you are a creative like I am, and your brain is running full speed late into the night preventing you from slumber. I've had to learn that less sleep will mean my creative brain will work sluggishly the next day and less than 7 hours of rest also packs on the pounds. It's just not worth that extra hour or two of staying awake. Put down the phone, stay away from your computer, turn down the lights in your living room and get cozy on the couch. I guarantee you'll relax a lot faster and thank yourself in the morning. (Follow these sleep tips, too.)

Get a Move On

If you work at a sedentary job, make sure you are getting up and moving around regularly throughout the day. Park further away in the lot to add more steps to your walk. Walk the parking lot at lunch. Use a standing desk (they make kits that fit right on your regular desk without any installation needed.) You don’t have to do a full-blown Jillian Michaels Style workout each day, but you need to get up and get your circulation going.

Light It Up

Ditch the blinds in your home and opt for black out curtains that you can slide open each morning, allowing for more natural light to come through. Sunlight naturally energizes you. If you work in an office, try to take breaks and lunch outdoors or in an area of the building with more windows. This is even more important during the Fall and Winter when Season Affective Disorder occurs due to the reduced amount of daylight.

Elevate with Music

Pop in your earbuds or, if you work from your home office, put Alexa on full blast. Create a playlist full of heart pumping songs that is sure to get you tapping your feet and lights that fire back up in your mind. Follow these tips for how to get your energy back. So you don't need energy drinks or candy to give yourself an afternoon boost, instead try to make some adjustments with a little planning and healthy eating and you'll feel immediate results. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Positive Thinking: Step Out in Faith

Shannon Smyth
Positive Thinking - Step Out in Faith

Positive Thinking is a weekly series of inspirational articles to empower and encourage you.

In the summer of 2018 I turned 44. I always hear people complain about getting older, but I like to look at how far I've come. OK, OK, I may sometimes throw out a comment here or there about feeling old and falling apart, but for the most part, my birthday is my "new year" and when I reflect on the past, present and future. POsitive Thinking: Stepping out in Faith In this photo, I am almost 4 years old. It was my very first recital and I would be going out on stage dancing to "Me and my Teddy Bear." As much as any Leo loves the spotlight, I was scared. What if I forget the steps? What if I mess up the tempo? What if everyone laughs at me? Much like when I first stepped out on stage that day, deciding to expand my beauty blog into a bath and body line several years ago, was scary. What if no one buys my products? What if I make our family go broke? What if I am a complete and total failure? But I faced my fears. I pushed through. Deciding to take a leap and step out in faith is hard. Like, really, really hard. Your mind will play tricks on you and fill you with fear. It'll create every what-if scenario. It'll even take something positive and try to find the negative. You'll also encounter people who seem to only reconfirm those thoughts and scare you more. This happened to me when "friends" would privately message me to say, "So many beauty brands fail in the first few years," and "I hate to say this, but you really aren't going to make it," and "I don't like how you chose to start your company and I will never support you or buy from you." All of the above were real things said to me. I would sit here and silently cry at my desk...and sometimes sob to my husband. Maybe I'm not smart enough? I mean, I've never done something like this before. Maybe I'm naive in thinking I can be successful. Every fearful thought multiplied in my head as more people offered their opinions. And we all know the saying about opinions. ;) Eventually I looked in the mirror and realized that I was allowing fear to hold me back. That's when I decided I would push forward and give it my best shot and here I am, still going strong. I'm telling you all of this because each day is an opportunity to face something you are afraid of and grow from it. Is today the day you need to look in the mirror and tell fear you won't be held back any longer? Is today the day you will step out in faith and believe in yourself? One day you'll look back and be thankful you did. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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How to Prevent Dry, Chapped Skin

Shannon Smyth

Cold weather is known to be harsh to our skin. If there is any truth to the combination of things to make the "perfect storm," the colder months seem to know how to brew that recipe perfectly.

Freezing temps, gusty winds, and dry air can do damage to our skin in an instant. All that hard work that you've done throughout the warmer months can easily go right out the window once colder weather hits.

The good news? There are things you can be proactive with in order to help prevent dry, chapped skin.

How to Prevent Dry, Chapped Skin

Shea Butter

Any type of lotion with the word "butter" in its name has to be good, right? Shea butter has some amazing benefits, such as restoring skin's elasticity and being a fnatastic emollient. Not only does it help to moisturize already dry skin, but it can also be used to help create a nice barrier for your already chapped skin (in case you are reading this after the fact!)

Many people tend to use shea butter at night and lather up the areas of their body that need a bit of extra care. This is mainly because shea butter alone tends to be greasy. But any A Girl's Gotta Spa! reader knows, our body lotion with shea butter (and cocoa butter) is non-greasy and can be used day or night without worry.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is known as a healthy fat since the main component of it is coconut oil. Since it's high in fat, it can help to create a barrier for your skin, much like shea butter, that can keep it feeling baby smooth all winter long.

One cocoa butter tip? If the heels of your feet are dry and cracking, exfoliate them first (we make a great body scrub) and then apply lotion. Sloughing off the dead skin preps the affected area to better absorb the nourishing ingredients from the lotion.

After just a few times of doing this, your heels will be totally transformed! While there may be many cocoa butter lotions available to help bring back the moisture and glow to your skin, don't forget that there are things that you can also do in your everyday life that can also help to prevent your skin from becoming dry and chapped as well.

What Can You Do In Your Daily Life To Help Keep Your Skin Moisturized?

Believe it or not, there are some things within your control to keeping your skin happy and healthy! Take a step back and implement some of these suggestions on how you can treat your skin and your body better during the harsh, colder months.
  • Turn down the temperature when taking a shower.
Taking a super hot shower may "feel" nice, but it can also do quite a number on your skin as it'll deplete moisture. Turn down the temp to luke warm and limit the time you spend in the shower as well - even cutting back by 5 minutes will help. You may find that this simple tip can really help to keep your skin's natural moisture barrier remain intact.
  • Try to limit lotions and body washes that have a million "fillers."

When reading the label on your lotion, do you need a PhD and magnifying glass to read the extensive list of ingredients? Keep it simple and look for a lotion and body wash with ingredients you understand. Always look at those first two lines of ingredients - that's what your product contains the most of.

I hope these tips will help you with your dry skin woes this season! 

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10 Little Habits to Relieve Stress

Shannon Smyth
10 little habits to relieve stress There are so many stressors in our daily lives. From work, life at home, to even daily life, we are constantly bombarded with stress. Over time, all these little stressors can start to add up! Here are 10 little habits to help relieve stress:

Read a book

Sometimes it can be nice to step outside of all the things going on in our lives and get lost in a good book. When choosing a book, look for something that is fiction or a book you can envelop your entire attention.

Get moving

Exercising at least 30 minutes every day can not only help reduce stress, but help release endorphins to boost your mood. Take a fitness class or go for a run, if you don’t have time to leave the house, look on YouTube for a good workout you can do from home. (I personally love Rebecca Louise.)

Write it down

If you have a lot on your mind that is causing you stress, write it down. Sometimes journaling can help to see all your thoughts or starting a to-do list on paper can help you start prioritizing and get better organized.

Eat a healthier diet

Sometimes the reason we feel so bad is because of what we’re putting in our bodies. Junk food or unhealthy food can affect our overall mood and make us feel less than stellar. Fruits and veggies will do the trick to getting you back on track.

Do some deep breathing

If you are stressed out, take a moment to do some deep breathing. Simple breathing cannot only help you relax and calm down but also help you refocus. A great app to do this with is Calm.

Do a quick declutter

If you are stressed or feeling stressed in your home, it might be that you have too much stuff. Sometimes the best thing you can do is remove the clutter and sort through it, and better still, donate what you no longer need.

Learn to say no

Having too much on your plate can cause stress, and not everything requires our attention. Learning to say no can help you not only have more free time, but keep you from having a full to-do list all the time. Amen to that!

Unplug every now and then

You don’t have to completely power down your phone, but you do need to put it down from time to time. Let the outside world wait for a little while and unplug when you can. Aim for an hour of unplugged time per day, usually leading up before bed is a good time. (Which gives you the opportunity to incorporate tip #1.)

Go for a walk

Even if it’s just around the block, getting out for a walk can be a great way to reduce stress and help you feel better. If you can, try and incorporate a daily walk into your daily schedule. Nature is good for the soul.

Learn to let things go

There are so many things out of our control. You can’t change everything, and there will be plenty of things that don’t go your way. Learn to let go of those things and don’t let them consume you. Instead focus on the things you can change - like your mindset. These little habits will have a big impact on how stressed you are and help you be able to manage your stress better in the future. 10 little habits to relieve stress Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Halloween Makeup Tutorial - Itsy Bitsy Spider

Shannon Smyth
Halloween makeup tutorial - itsy bitsy spider (not so much itsy!) If you struggle to come up with a creative costume for Halloween, I found this amazing Halloween makeup tutorial by Los Angeles MUA Ana Safazada, she titles "Itsy Bitsy Spider." Be sure to check out her video, the step by steps are very clear and she uses easily accessible makeup to create this look:
You can click the video to be taken to her page for her list of the products she used. Her portfolio is also on her website www.anasafazada.com. Instagram and Twitter are also @AnaSafazada. She's an amazing talent! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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5 Things to Do When You Can't Fall Asleep at Night

Shannon Smyth
5 things to do when you can't sleep at night Have you ever had one of those nights where you just can’t seem to fall asleep? Despite your best efforts, you end up tossing and turning all night and your quality of sleep suffers as a result. While I can’t give you a magic formula to make you fall asleep, there are a few things you can do to help you fall asleep and avoid sleepless nights. Here are five things to do when you just can’t fall asleep at night:

Take a relaxing bath

Before you head to bed, take the time to have a nice relaxing bath. Use a bath bomb or add some bubbles to your bath to make it even more relaxing. Light a few candles for some ambiance and soak in the tub for at least half an hour. If you decide you want to read a book, go for something that is a little on the dull side to make sure you aren’t wired when you finally go to lay down.

Turn down the temperature

If you can’t fall asleep at night, it might be too hot. According to sleep.org the most ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees. While this might be a little too cold for most, turning down your thermostat a few degrees can help with insomnia and help your body regulate its core temperature. This will make falling asleep easier, and make your bed that much cozier. Tips for insomnia

Block out all lights

It is going to be much easier to fall asleep in a pitch black room. Not only will it make it less tempting to look around your room when you can’t fall asleep, but it will help you get to sleep faster. When it gets dark, your body will release melatonin which will cause your body to feel sleepy. If there is too much light in your room, this could be the reason you don’t feel tired even when you haven’t slept much.

Find something to do

If you feel like you have too much energy before bed, keep your mind busy but your body still. Read a book, scroll through Facebook, or find something to do that will keep yourself occupied. You’ll find that it won’t be so hard to fall asleep after a few minutes, or a few hours if you need to wait that long.

Do a brain dump

If you have a lot on your mind before bed, try doing a brain dump before you fall asleep. This will allow you to get all those thoughts wandering around your head on paper, and you can deal with them in the morning when you’re not trying to sleep. Keep a journal or notepad next to your bed just in case you think of something so you won’t be trying to remember it while you are falling asleep. Instead of tossing and turning when you can’t sleep at night, give one of these tips a try! You might be surprised how quickly you’ll fall asleep. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Best Face Oils for Anti-Aging

Shannon Smyth
Best Face Oils for Anti-Aging #skincare #skincaretips Long ago, I would have never considered a face oil for my skin care routine. To me, it was just one more step to needlessly add onto my already long list of things to do both day and night. Additionally, I used to have combination skin and felt that using a face oil would make my face as slippery as a Slip 'n Slide, which of course was just naivity and there's more on that at the bottom of this post. Over time I have learned to love face oils, and once I discovered just how wonderful they are, my skin improved considerably.

Best Oils for Anti-Aging:

Argan Oil is full of antioxidants which is great for repairing damaged skin. It also helps improve elasticity which helps to erase the appearance of wrinkles. The fatty acids in argan oil can help restore your skin and keep you looking flawless. Try: DermOrganic Pure Argan Oil Marula Oil is a soothing oil. It’s a great moisturizer and it helps the skin create collagen which helps to remove wrinkles. Marula oil battles signs of aging by curing and preventing damage to your skin. It keeps your skin tone even and leaves you with healthy, glowing skin. Try: Travertine Spa Marula Night Serum Rosehip Seed Oil is known for its concentration of vitamins A and E. In fact, it has a higher concentration of vitamin A than any other botanical oil of its kind. It smooths your skin and helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. It is absorbed quickly, so it is perfect for anyone with naturally oily skin. Rosehip Seed Oil leaves your skin feeling light and flawless.  Try: Rosehip Seed Oil by Kate Blanc Apricot Kernel Oil rejuvenates your skin and aids in the healing process as it repairs wrinkles, sun damage, and blemishes. It is also known to improve skin elasticity because it helps with skin cell regeneration and collagen production. This anti-aging oil is great for people with all skin types because it is not very greasy. If you have dry skin, then this is a good option because of its hydrating nature. Try: Plant Therapy Apricot Kernel Oil Best face oils for anti-aging. #skincare #skincareblog All of these oils are carrier oils. A carrier oil is used to carry other oils to your skin. You can use them alone or mix them with other essential oils, such as grapefruit essential oil, to create a product that is just right for you. They can be used to create creams, lotions, or serums. I prefer to use a serum because it uses a higher concentration of quality ingredients which means that delivers nutrients deeper into your skin. A little serum goes a long way so your ingredients will last longer. For younger looking skin you should apply face oils each evening. It’s best to cleanse your face first. Then, dab a few drops on your fingertips and apply to your face. Once the oil is rubbed in you are good to go. There is no need to wash the oils off. You may not notice a difference overnight, but over time you will see the benefit of using face oils every day. And if you have oily or combination skin, you can still use a face oil. It's a myth that you cannot or that it will make your face greasier. It may just help to balance your skin and you will find that your skin produces less/just the right amount of sebum. Have you ever used face oils? Which combination works best for you to keep your skin looking youthful? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Five Ways to Look Younger without Resorting to Botox

Shannon Smyth
5 ways to look younger without resorting to botox. If we aren’t being bombarded with news of which (already youthful) celebrity is getting plastic surgery or being injected with Botox, we’re being fed images through beauty and fashion magazines, Hollywood, and most of all these damn filters on our social platforms, that youthful skin is IN and the real you is OUT. So how can we keep up when we certainly aren’t getting any younger, but don’t want to resort to needles and going under the knife?

Five simple tips to help you take anti-aging matters into your own hands:

Wear broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+, 365 days per year. (Yes, even in the winter!) Think of it this way: UVB=burning rays and UVA=aging rays. Make sunscreen a priority in your beauty arsenal not only as a preventative measure against skin cancer, but to prevent age spots and wrinkles. Two places people often forget but show signs of aging the fastest? Your hands and your neck. Favorite: MDSolarSciences Wear sunglasses with UV protectant lenses. If crow’s feet are the bain of your existence, think about all of the squinting you’ve been doing. Whether you are enjoying the outdoors with your children or simply driving to the store, the delicate skin around your eyes takes a beating each time you squint thus deepening the creases and making those fine lines more apparent. Favorite: PolarSpex Schedule a monthly facial. There is nothing like escaping to the spa for a little down time to relax and be pampered, but the most important part of this is seeing a professional esthetician who can address the needs of your skin and give it a deep cleaning on a monthly basis. Your skin will have a more youthful glow, I promise you. Favorite: The Lodge at Woodloch Brightening Facial Use products suitable for your skin type. Think there are only three categories for skincare: normal, oily and combination? Wrong. And chances are, what your friend tells you works great for her, isn’t always best to meet your skin’s unique needs. By using the right products for your skin type, you’ll have a more effective skin care routine that will have people asking you for ID. Favorite: Renée Rouleau Skin Care Get your beauty sleep. 7-8 hours of sleep per night will not only help your overall health, it will also keep your skin radiant (e.g. you won’t look so tired!) Bonus tip: Sleep with your head elevated on two pillows in order to prevent dark circles and under eye puffiness. This helps fluids to properly drain from around the eye area. Another great way to ensure a good night’s sleep? Blocking out all light with a sleep mask. Favorite: Alaska Bear Sleep Mask It’s never too late to put these tips into practice or to share them with your best girlfriends…unless you want to keep the secret to your new younger appearance classified of course! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Best Essential Oils for Anxiety

Shannon Smyth
Best essential oils for anxiety. Anxiety affects all of us at one time or another. For some, it creeps up in middle school when we are given a major assessment. For others, it appears suddenly when we bring home our sleepy newborns from the hospital. Anxiety takes away our peace and leaves us feeling broken. Thankfully, there are some things that we can do to help alleviate the weight of anxiety. To be clear, I'm talking anxiety from everyday stressors. As someone who holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, I absolutely recognize that an anxiety disorder is a major mental health issue that should be addressed by a psychologist/psychiatrist. I first discovered essential oils in my early 20's (so 20 something cough cough years ago.) A good friend of mine had cancer and in order to relieve headaches after chemo and to destress, she would rub eucalyptus oil on her temples then down along her cheek bones to her sinuses and back to the temples. Curious, I asked her if she could try it on me. I was surprised at how well it worked. She gave me the bottle, which I still hold onto since her passing, as a reminder of that day. When formulating A Girl's Gotta Spa! bath and body products, adding essential oils were an obvious choice. I truly believe in their benefits. Essential oils can be used for everything from medical ailments to keeping bugs out of your home. I personally love them to help me sleep, focus or destress from daily anxiety. Best essential oils for anxiety. I've rounded up 5 essential oils that can help aid in reducing those every day levels of anxiety: When placed in a diffuser, Lavender Oil has a calming effect on those who inhale it. This is a great essential oil for relaxation. Frankincense Oil is known for its natural anti-depressant properties. This is a good essential oil to keep on hand if you suffer from anxiety attacks. Chamomile is known for its ability to reduce stress hormones (we use chamomile in our plant-based body wash.) It’s also a wonderful sleep aid. Oranges are good for more than just your daily vitamin C intake. Orange Oil has a positive effect on people in stress-inducing situations. It's an uplifting oil and a great way to wake up your senses and/or boost your mood. You'll find this essential oil in our rollerball perfume and bath and body products for this very reason. Ylang Ylang Oil is a great oil to use topically. When applied with a carrier oil to the skin, it will leave you feeling calm and relaxed. There are several ways that you can use these essential oils to aid in reducing anxiety, such as placing them in a diffuser or by using a portable diffuser, such as the kind from Corked. There's aromatherapy jewelry that can be worn all day and roll on applicators you can apply directly to your palms and breathe in. It's become easier than ever to find a way to incorporate essential oils into your lifestyle. If you’ve ever used essential oils to reduce anxiety or another ailment, I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Behind the Scenes: Soar Roll-On Perfume

Shannon Smyth
Our debut roll-on perfume was Arise. Arise is about strength and the fortitude to rise up from a difficult situation. Looking to carry on that same sentiment and power of Arise, I knew that our next rollerball perfume had to hold the same weight. I'll be honest, it's difficult naming a perfume. We went through at least a dozen names over the course of a few months, but none seemed to fit right. I was starting to panic since the packaging design had a deadline. Then I was reading an article and one word popped out at me.
Soar
Soar represents the woman who has walked the hot coals, who picked herself up despite all obstacles - the woman of Arise, but who has now regained the confidence to spread her wings and fly. Soar represents looking ahead, focused on the horizon, your goal within reach. Your head is up, self-esteem intact, and you're open to new possibilities. After you Arise, it's time to Soar. Behind the scenes - Soar Rollerball Perfume - A Girl's Gotta Spa!

(Sneak peek at our new perfume sans label on the perfume, which is not quite complete yet)

Soar is a smoky fragrance made sexy and mysterious by way of fig, spice, amber and white musk*.  We continue to carry into this next perfume our citrus notes of lemon and orange that you find throughout all A Girl's Gotta Spa! products.  We put a feminine touch on it with floral notes of geranium and rose absolute. While ginger gives it an exotic angle, green tea helps to lighten the heaviness of this scent making it crisp. Here are the notes in order: Meyer Lemon, Wild Orange, Ginger, Geranium, Rose Absolute, Green Tea, Fig, Spice, Amber, White Musk The color for Soar is akin to Pumpkin Spice, just a slightly lighter hue. This perfume is warm, so I felt the color should be as well. For the font, we went through many versions until we settled on a strong and powerful S font and a variation of the font we used for Arise with the oar. I've gotten quite a few comments about the spacing between the a and r - this was not a mistake, as I like how it appears the r is about to take off in flight. It seemed fitting for the name. Soar comes in a glass bottle with a silver rollerball and brushed silver cap. It is vegan and cruelty free. It's available for pre-order now and will begin shipping at the end of September. Click here to purchase: Soar Roll-On Perfume Sign up for our product newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ODuT1

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