Use Virgin Coconut Oil as Massage Oil

When picking an oil to use for a massage, you don't have to go out and buy the fancy bottled stuff that masseuses and masseurs use. You likely already have oils in your kitchen that work just as well, including olive oil, almond oil and my personal favorite, virgin coconut oil.

Use Virgin Coconut Oil as Massage Oil

When I occasionally splurge and treat myself to a massage session, I always ask the masseuse to please use the virgin coconut oil that I bring with me rather than her own oils. Nothing against the stuff she uses, but I prefer virgin coconut oil because of all of its beneficial properties, and it's a perfect massage oil, as just a small amount spreads easily across the skin without feeling tacky and hard to move.

Virgin coconut oil also provides a perfect base oil for any other essential oils I want to mix in for a more pleasant and aromatic experience. Currently I like to mix about 20 drops of chamomile essential oil into 3 oz. of virgin coconut oil and use that as a massage oil. I always end up smelling faintly like chamomile tea after the session, but not so much that it's overwhelming, and the combination of chamomile essential oil and virgin coconut oil really helps make the massage experience quite soothing and relaxing.

If you prefer using a different essential oil, go for it. Lavender essential oil is also known for its calming properties, and many people enjoy using that during massages. Just remember to always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before using them, as they can be quite potent on their own, and you wouldn't want to trigger an allergic reaction.

Use Virgin Coconut Oil as Massage OilOf course, if virgin coconut oil is not your thing, pick another base oil that you like. Many people enjoy using olive oil, although I personally find it bit too tacky and difficult to use as a massage oil. But almond oil and jojoba oil are also good alternatives.

An important thing to remember: if you have sensitive skin, remember to test any massage oils you plan to use on a small patch of your own skin before using it for a full body massage. Simply rub some into the inside of your wrist, or the inside of your elbow, and leave it for a few hours to see if it triggers a reaction such as itching, rashes, or hives. If it doesn't, I'd say you're good to go.

Why You're Still Heavy and Bloated After Exercising

Why You're Still Heavy and Bloated After Exercising

When summer first began, I began hitting the gym a little more and trying to stay in better shape so I would pull off tank tops and shorts. However, it had been awhile since I kept a regular exercise regimen, and although I wanted to see results right away, I felt like I was gaining even more weight and feeling even more bloated than before.

I'm sure many of you out there have experienced the same thing. But don't panic. As long as you keep with your work out regimen and maintain a healthy diet, you will eventually become fitter than before.

When you first begin exercising, or if you start working out muscles you haven't worked out before, you may feel like you're actually gaining weight and retaining more water than before you started exercising. There are several reasons why this is happening.


Your Muscles Are Retaining Water

For me personally, I feel like this is always the culprit of weight gain and bloat once I start exercising again after haven't done so in awhile, or when I start working out muscle groups I haven't focused on before.

This is because when you're exercising your muscles, particularly those that aren't used to being worked out, you are creating many microscopic tears in them. That might sound frightening, but that is just how your muscles become stronger. In fact, when you feel sore after exercising, it is because these teeny tiny injuries are causing inflammation, and your body's metabolism is producing lactic acid, white blood cells and a number of other bodily chemicals to heal these muscle tears that will lead to them becoming tougher.

This causes bloating because in order to heal these microscopic tears, your body needs water. Muscle fibers will absorb the water in your body, which is why for awhile you'll feel as if you're actually gaining weight as opposed to losing it. Fortunately, this won't last forever, and anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks your muscles will heal and you'll see that weight come off. This is also right about them you'll want to intensify your work outs if you're interested in toning a bit more or building more muscle, and this process will start over again.

You're Bloated Because You May Be Dehydrated  

It seems ironic that the reason you're retaining water is because you body is dehydrated, but this can be the reason for bloating.

If you're not making sure you're properly hydrated, particularly if you're recently started a new workout regimen, your body start holding onto water just to make sure it has enough to keep functioning properly. The way the body automatically does this for you is pretty amazing, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't also take care to replenish your fluids. If your body stays in a dehydrated state for a prolonged period of time, this could lead to kidney and liver damage, not to mention continued bloat. So if you're stepping up your work out routine, make sure you're increasing your water intake as well.

There's Too Much Sodium in Your System

This is related to dehydration in the sense that when you sweat through exercise, the concentration of sodium in your body increases. This also causes your body to hold on to water in order to balance out the sodium content.

A high amount of sodium in your body may also have to do with the kinds of foods you eat. If you've started exercising but haven't bothered cutting out junk food and sodium-rich foods from your diet, you may actually be exacerbating the problem. Simple solution? Eat healthier!

Your Hormones Are Making You Bloat

Hormones can mess with the way your body retains water — this is something the ladies probably already know. If you've made lifestyle changes, such as exercising more, it may take time for your hormones to catch up with your new regimen and sort themselves out.

However, just because hormones are to blame doesn't mean you can't do something about it. Hormones are affected by a number of things, including diet and environment. Medicine and drugs can also majorly affect a person's metabolism and hormone production, including painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. So stay away from those unless you absolutely need them.


Although bloating is annoying, don't forget that water is extremely beneficial to your body. Need a reminder as to how much water you should be drinking? Maybe this post will help.

How to Naturally Cure Dry Eyes with Honey Eye Drops

How to Cure Dry Eyes with Honey Eye Drops

I know how unorthodox this sounds, but I assure you this works, and apparently I'm not the first person to have thought of doing this. Let me explain.

I have been suffering from some pretty irritated eyes recently due to long hours at work staring at a computer monitor, combined with summer allergies. However, I never even considered putting conventional eye drops in my eyes, as they are filled with chemicals and steroids that in the long run, are incredibly bad both for your eyes and your body. I simply figured dry, red eyes was something I was just going to have to live with. Then, quite by accident, I found out that honey is an excellent way to soothe my discomfort.

I use honey as a daily face wash, and inevitably, I would sometimes accidentally rub some into my eyes. I began to notice that my eyes felt rather soothed and refreshed after this happened a few times. So I did some research and found that before medicated and conventional eye drops were invented, honey was often used as a natural remedy for a wide range of ocular ailments, including dryness, irritation, allergies and glaucoma. This makes sense as honey has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, I decided to make my very own honey eye drops.


How to Naturally Cure Dry Eyes with Honey Eye DropsYou'll Need:

- natural, organic honey
- boiled, distilled water that has cooled
- a small container that dispenses liquid in drops


1. Mix one part honey and nine parts of water (that has already been boiled, distilled and cooled to room temperature) together in your container.
2. Close the top.
3. You're done. It's that easy.

Some people may prefer to create a stronger solution, but I think one part honey to nine parts water is a good place to start. Feel free to make the concentration stronger or more diluted according to your comfort level. There are those who are able put pure drops of honey in their eyes before going to bed, so use whatever concentration feels right for you.

To Use:

Place a few drops of the solution into the affected eye whenever you need. If the solution is on the stronger side, your eye may sting or burn a little before feeling soothed, as honey has antiseptic properties, but it isn't unbearable. I would compare the sensation to opening your eyes while underwater in a chlorinated pool.


How to Cure Dry Eyes with Honey Eye Drops
I generally use these drops after long stretches at the computer, and it has definitely helped ease the dryness in my eyes, even helping them stay moisturized for longer stretches of time. My eyes also look a lot brighter and clearer, whereas they used to become red quite easily after only a short time starting at the computer screen.

There are some postings online that say a side affect of using honey eye drops is that it can actually change the color of your eyes by inhibiting the ability of melanin to attach to the iris. Some people say brown eyes have become hazel or green, or green eyes have turned blue. I don't actually believe this is true, and I think it's mostly wishful thinking by people who really want to change their eye color. So far, I have not seen any changes in the color of my dark brown eyes, but I'll definitely write about it if that happens.

How to Cure Dry Eyes with Honey Eye Drops
Side note: If you spend a lot of time in front of the computer, I would also suggest investing in a pair of computer glasses, which are glasses that help reduce the glare of blue light from the screen so you aren't straining your eyes quite as much. I use a pair, and it has significantly eased the discomfort I experience from staring at a computer screen for too long. These types of glasses can be used while doing any activity that requires looking at a bright LED screen, including watching television.

How to Organize Photos in a Box

How to Organize Photos in a BoxI have a lot of loose, physical pictures scattered around from the days before digital photos became popular, and I don't feel much like putting them into frames and albums. But I don't want to throw them out either or risk damaging them by letting them continue to lay scattered. So I decided to organize them in the simplest way possible - by putting them into boxes.


You'll Need:

- a box wide enough and tall enough that won't bend your photos
- acid-free paper to use as dividers (paper that isn't acid-free may damage your photos)


How to Organize Photos in a Box
1. Begin by sorting your photos into the organizational pattern you want. I personally like to keep my photos chronological, but some people also like to group photos by special occasions, vacations, geography, etc.
2. Place the photos in the order you want them into your designated box.
How to Organize Photos in a Box3. Segregate the photos into their separate categories by placing acid-free piece of paper between each section, then label them so that they match their categories. For example, I divide my categories by date ranges, and I may also add a few notes about notable events that happened during that time. If you'd like, you can jazz up the dividers by pasting mini collages of notes and photos directly onto them.
4. To personalize your photo box, use wrapping paper and/or fabric to cover it up, and you're done!

How to Organize Photos in a Box

This is a very easy way to organize loose pictures if you have some laying around but don't want to go through the trouble of putting them into albums. If you do happen to want to put them into albums, maybe you'd like to personalize them as well!