I’m Just So Tired! Ways to Bring Energy into Your Life

I'm Just So Tired! Ways to Bring Energy into Your Life

It’s just about 3:00pm, you stare at the clock, an hour passes by for it to turn to 3:01pm. You’re exhausted. All you can think about is heading straight for your couch, your cozy socks, and a warm cup of tea. The mid-afternoon slump.

Or your alarm starts blazing. It’s 5:00am – time to get up and shower, walk the dog, or go for a run. You hit snooze – nine more minutes will do the trick. Ten seconds later and your alarm is ringing again. The morning slump.

It’s Friday at 9:30pm and your friends want to go out for a drink. You contemplate the idea of getting dressed – for the second time today – and actually leaving your house. You send a text – “I’m not feeling well.” This white lie saves you again. The evening slump.

If any of the above sounds like you, you’re pretty much in the same boat as 2.77 million Americans.

Infographic: Americans Are Tired Most Of The Week | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

What is making us so tired?

Most Americans report not having the opportunity to sleep at least 7 hours, which is the new recommended rate for most adults according to the National Sleep Foundation. While we all know that getting enough sleep is a priority, sometimes we still need an extra boost to get us into quality sleep.

Get Some Quality Rest

  1. Try reading 30 minutes before bedtime. The process of your eyes scanning a page creates mental exhaustion, which may be exactly what you need to get you to sleep.
  2. Lavender essential oil, of course! Pure lavender essential oil has linalyl acetate, which is a naturally occurring phytochemical found in different plant species. Linalyl acetate is the essence of the oil which scientifically calms the nervous system to produce relaxing feelings. This is exactly why we named our Lavender and Chamomile blend “Rest Easy” and one of the main reasons we’re obsessed with lavender oil.
  3. Wash your sheets and blankets and take a bath before bedtime. The calming sensation of warm water (and even better if there’s lavender in your bath) helps to relax muscles and release tensions. The clean sheets and blankets mentally calm you because cleanliness gives us a sensation of being organized, which our brain needs to calm down (who can relax with chaos around them?).

If you’re already starting to incorporate quality rest into your life, there are some other techniques to give you some energy throughout your day.

Give Me a Quick Pick-Me-Up

  1. Reduce the number of refined carbohydrates and sugars in your diet. Unless you’re about to do a serious workout, carbs, when digested, become glucose, glucose spikes the production of insulin, and while it creates a temporary feeling of energy, that quickly becomes a crash as your body tries to regulate its blood sugar levels. Reducing your carb and sugar intake helps to level your blood sugar, which creates a steady stream of energy throughout the day. Some excellent low-carb snacks – cheese sticks, nuts, coconut milk, avocados.
  2. Bright, cheery essential oils can help you feel energized as well. Rosemary, peppermint, orange, lemongrass, lemon, eucalyptus, and grapefruit are great for a burst of energizing air. You can diffuse these oils, use products with these oils, but never put the oils directly on your body. You must blend the oils with a carrier oil before putting it on your body! A safe ratio is 1 drop of essential oil per 10 drops of carrier oil. Excellent carrier oils include jojoba, coconut (liquid – also known as MCT ), sweet almond, sunflower, and more. *Important note – Citrus essential oils are phototoxic, meaning they can cause burning in the sun. If you plan on being exposed to sunlight, do not use a citrus oil blend on your skin.
  3. Increase your circulation with some moves! If you’re feeling a slump, try to do a couple of jumping jacks, walk up stairs, or anything that gets your heart pumping. When your heart pumps extra blood and increases circulation, you bring oxygen to your brain, giving you some quick energy.
  4. Get cold! Just like warmth makes us cozy and sleepy, brisk and chilly wakes us up. Open a window, go outside, decrease the temperature in the room if you want everyone awake. (My students always state how chilly my classroom is, but this is exactly why I keep the room comfortably chilly, to keep everyone’s attention.)
  5. As always, get hydrated. Our brain function slows down when even if we’re slightly dehydrated. We should be drinking half our body weight in ounces of water every day, but if that’s too much, grab yourself a cold bottle of water to help wake you up. Add a spritz of lemon or lime for the essence of citrus (see #2) plus the hydration!

What are some tips you have for grabbing energy?

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Appreciate the Grease that Got You Here

Appreciate the Grease that Got You Here

For all the cooking I do, I did not own a cast-iron skillet. I must have mentioned this to my mother in passing because, in maternal tradition, she, like her mother did before her, and my grandmother’s grandmother did before her, presented me with a beautiful cast-iron skillet for Christmas this year. I was so excited! In our family, a cast-iron skillet is the purest form of cooking craftsmanship. The person who can truly master this beast is the understood, albeit unproclaimed, chef.

Last night I decided to whip it out for the first time. I hand-washed it, dried it, covered the bottom in extra virgin olive oil (and I add dried spices like thyme, rosemary, and basil), placed it in the oven, and let it drip-bake off for an hour. After, I pulled it out again, gave it a good washing, and prepared to make my cauliflower rice-and-mozzarella stir-fry.

When I was done with cooking, Frank, my husband, came over the skillet and looked horrified at all the crusty pieces that had browned the skillet. “You ruined the skillet your Mom gave you!” I looked over at the skillet and knew it wasn’t ruined, it was seasoned.

That’s when it struck me. In the New Year, we’re so focused on the shiny and new, whether it’s the new gifts we receive or the new promises we make to ourselves, that we don’t look deeply at what brought us there.

2017 was a rough year for me. I suffer(ed) from depression, I gained weight, I lost touch with friends, I struggled with my career, I made business decisions that I wouldn’t make again – I burnt out. For every metaphorical and clinical determination of the words, I sincerely burnt out. I lost myself inside of myself.

This week was the first opportunity I gave myself to actually relax. I read, I cooked and baked, I finally cleaned my house, I made soap, I spent time with my family and my dog. Despite breaking out with some crazy rash that made me look like a red crocodile, I allowed myself to just be. I refused “opportunities,” I said no, I stayed home, I made a planner, and I’m working on a vision board.

I realized I am not unlike my cast-iron skillet. I have grease that won’t wash off, stains from my past, but beneath it – or better yet – because of it all, I am a cast-iron skillet.

While I am not one for resolutions, because real change takes real time, I am all about being reflective and I decided that the grease is what got me here. Of course, I have made mistakes, and I would chalk it off to being human, but it’s so much more than that. I don’t believe we ever conscientiously make the mistakes we do, we do what we think is best for our happiness at that moment in time.

What we need to realize is that the grease, our choices, are all part of the composition of ourselves. Sometimes they weren’t right, but I think it’s more like our wiser selves seeing a new picture because of that grease. Without it, we would just be a shiny, new cast-iron skillet with no flavor, no culture, no essence of being.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident.png

Moments of Skin Mayhem: Surprise Reasons Your Skin Isn’t Cooperating

Moments of Skin Mayhem_ Surprise Reasons Your Skin Isn't Cooperating

With the skincare industry expected to reach $130 Billion by 2019, it’s safe to say that the concern for your skin is not just yours alone. There are hundreds of medical reasons why your skin may not be as you want it to be, with the most common in the United States being acne, eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea. Your skin is your largest organ, so you can almost bet that it indicates when there is an underlying issue. While all of the aforementioned issues should be treated by a medical professional, there may be some other factors in your daily life that are affecting the condition of your skin.

  1. Dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your skin will react in two possible ways. It will become dry and inflexible, or you can over-produce oil. Both circumstances can lead to redness, inflammation, dry patches, brittleness, and even itching. Be sure to consume enough pure water every day to flood your skin’s cells to aid in the rejuvenation process.
  2. Diet. As the old adage exclaims, you are what you eat. Eating too many foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates can create acne breakouts. The sugars themselves don’t cause the issue, it’s how our body reacts to it. We’re not meant to over-indulge on simple carbohydrates (bread, pasta, sweets, etc.) so our insulin levels will fluctuate when our body is trying to digest these sugars. This creates a hormonal imbalance which can turn to a development of acne and dull-looking skin. Balance your nutrition with protein, fresh vegetables, and complex carbs, like from legumes, to help regulate your blood sugar.
  3. Phthalates and Artificial Fragrances. In our daily lives, we inhale thousands of particles of unhealthy fragrance. From canned air fresheners to cleaners, to scented and harsh detergents, we’re breathing in the unhealthy air all the time. Minimize the use of phthalate-rich products by switching to phthalate-free products (like our soy candles), and avoid using artificially fragranced products on your face. We created the Resting Beach Face soap using essential oils because they minimize the risk of skin reaction, but every person is different and should monitor how he/she reacts to various fragrances.
  4. Your Face Wash or Toner. Many commercial face washes and toners use harsh surfactants, parabens, phthalates, and detergents to cleanse your skin. While these products may be effective for some people, many people don’t need such harsh cleansing ingredients for their daily life. Try switching to a natural face wash that is skin-sensitive and moisturizing; you want the product to be a soap, but not a detergent which can cause irritation. The same goes for facial toners; they may be too harsh with ingredients like salicylic acid. While salicylic acid is a useful chemical if you’re suffering from acne, we often only need to tone the portion of our face with the acne with these products. Instead, try using micellar water or hydrogen peroxide once per week which kills bacteria (one of the main culprits of skin issues). Don’t overuse hydrogen peroxide, though! While it’s killing off the bacteria on your skin, it’s also damaging some skin cells. Follow-up with a gentle moisturizer that contains oils rich in Vitamin E and C.
  5. Dirty Pillows, Jackets, & Scarves. You may not realize it, but your pillow is dirty! From sleeping on it every day, a normal pillow will have the remains of dead skin, drool, oil, hair products, make-up (don’t lie, you’ve gone to sleep without washing your face once or twice). This build-up all rubs into your skin while you sleep! The same goes for the collar of your jacket and your scarves. Just be sure to wash these items regularly (ideally would be once-per-week) to keep a clean environment for your face.
  6. Your Cell Phone. You touch your cell phone hundreds of times per day. Sometimes your hands are clean, sometimes they’re not. You stick your phone in your purse, your pocket, your hoodie, tables, hand it over to your kid who wants to play a game, use it in the restroom… all of this causes millions of various germs to grow on your phone. Then, that one time you go to answer it, poof, that’s all over your face! First thing is to keep your phone in a case to avoid all of those germs to actually get into your phone; this makes it much easier to clean, also. Then clean your phone case with rubbing alcohol every day (or, at least as often as you can remember!).
  7. Your Hands. You probably touch your face dozens of times per day, and while you do wash your hands every time you use the restroom, you’re still touching your face after you type, touch door handles, the office coffee pot. While we can’t live in a bubble, just remember to continue to wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  8. Your Pets. While you may not be distinctly allergic to pets, their dander is generally a human irritant. Your face may be more sensitive to pet dander causing some inflammation. Plus, we all love having our dogs kiss our faces, but the old myth about their mouths being clean is simply not true… if you have ever had a dog, you know just about everything goes into their mouths, and in turn, onto your face.
  9. Your Cosmetics. Not all makeup is created equal and some brands use ingredients that may be irritating to you without even realizing it. If you suspect your cosmetics may be the cause of your skin irritation, spend a few days without wearing any to see how your skin responds.
  10. Vitamin Deficiency. If you’re lacking certain vitamins, your skin could be one of the first places your body demonstrates this deficiency to you. The best way to check this is to visit a medical professional to test yourself for vitamin deficiencies, in the meantime, eating a balanced diet and taking a daily multi-vitamin will help cover these bases.
  11. Pollen & Dust.  While “hay fever” is a common allergy, you may not realize how it’s also affecting your skin. Common allergies activate our body’s histamines, which often cause reactions like runny noses, itchy eyes, and inflamed skin. You may notice this the most during certain times of the year, especially spring and fall (when flowers bloom and when trees drop their leaves). Speak to your medical professional first, but often over-the-counter antihistamines, like loratadine, will help deter these effects. Also, being sure to dust and vacuum frequently to eliminate these from your home will help minimize their effects.
  12. Air Pollutants. We’ve all heard the term “free radicals.” Free radicals are air pollutants that come from our daily lives like carbon emissions and cigarette smoke. Of course, if you smoke cigarettes, this damages healthy skin cells amongst hundreds of other harmful effects on the body. While you can control whether or not you smoke, you cannot control your environment completely. The best protection is to keep your face clean and protected with deep moisturizers that create barriers on your skin. This will not prevent all free radicals but will reduce the amount that reaches your skin.

The most important point to remember is to listen to your skin. If it’s suddenly not cooperating with you, it’s trying to tell you that something isn’t right.

*Disclaimer: Please note that none of the above replaces the advice of a medical professional. If you suspect there is something wrong with your skin, seek the advice of your medical professional before making any changes or starting a new skin routine.

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

Fragrance Spotlight: Why You Need Lavender in Your Life

Fragrance Spotlight_ Why You Need Lavender in Your Life

I’m in love with lavender. I’m so in love with lavender, I was once tempted to make my business solely based on all things lavender. I settled for purple as our brand coloring, but there’s no doubt you’ll see my obsession with lavender if you simply searched the term on our website. So, what exactly makes lavender the most sought-after fragrance in the bath, body, and candle market?

Lavender itself is a plant, actually part of the mint family, distinguished by small, purple flowers grown upwards in grass-like fashion. It has a gentle, floral aroma which makes it incredibly popular for uses in cosmetics and home aesthetics. It’s relatively easy to grow, as long as it has proper drainage; the lavender plant does not tolerate saturation very well. It needs a good amount of light and does well in warmer climates. If you’re in a colder environment, lavender takes well to being potted.

Dating back to the time of Ancient Rome, the origin of the word lavender comes from the Latin, “lavare,” which means to wash. The Romans would often use the lavender plant to scent their baths, and while they did so, they discovered the properties it has to create a feeling of soothing and relaxation.

According to WebMd:

Lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, and depression. It is also used for a variety of digestive complaints including meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), loss of appetite, vomitingnausea, intestinal gas (flatulence), and upset stomach.

Lavender’s known relaxing properties are what drove me to create the Rest Easy aromatherapy spray. A beautiful blend of lavender essential oil with Roman & German chamomile, this spray can be used in an aromatherapy necklace, as a perfume, as a linen spray, for baby, as a facial toner, as a make-up remover, and even on medium-large dogs. Lavender and chamomile are a few of the only essential oils safe for babies; however, I always recommend you check with your pediatrician first – every child is different! Also, as a warning, while lavender is generally regarded as safe (GRAS under the FDA), it is best to avoid using lavender essential oil when pregnant, while on medication that could induce drowsiness, or when undergoing anesthesia.

Regarding its fragrance, lavender is beautiful on its own but is also known for blending well with numerous scents. In perfuming and blending, lavender is considered a middle floral note, and it blends particularly well with other florals, cleans, and fruit scents, though mixing it up with sweet scents also creates a wonderful blend, such as our famous Midnight in Paris bath bomb which is a blend of lavender and chocolate. I like to also bend the rules a little by blending lavender with woodsy/musky scents, like sandalwood. Our two best-selling candles are lavender blends: Unstressed, which is lavender and chamomile (two florals), and Weekend Getaway, which is lavender and sandalwood (floral and woodsy).

While lavender is now grown all over the world, and has been grown for over 2500 years, the most coveted lavender comes from Bulgaria. Surprisingly, if you sought to purchase lavender essential oil, there are so many varieties with numerous differences in price. Market prices change drastically pending crops, but as of right now, the general going rate, per pound:

  • Bulgarian Lavender – $100 – floral, sweet, choice for aromatherapists
  • French Lavender – $85- simple, sweet, floral
  • Lavender 40/42 (most common essential oil) – $40 – herbaceous, floral, and woodsy (main choice for soaps)
  • Population Lavender – $107 – green and a little sweet
  • South African Lavender – $50 – actually a hybrid, known as lavandin; the notes are fresh and sweet
  • Spanish Lavender – $67 – fresh, floral herbaceous odor

One of the best sources regarding lavender is the blog written by New Directions Aromatics; an excellent read for anyone who wants to learn even more about lavender!

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

A Moment to Rise Up: Body Shaming For Business

A Moment to Rise Up_ Body Shaming For Business

I am fat. This is not a secret. Aside from the pragmatic fact that I can’t hide this reality, it is something I have accepted about myself. I recognize the health risks, the lack of clothing options – I am painfully aware of weight limits on rides, of my hips on airplanes, how I choose to stand on subways. I am extra cognizant of sweat, of keeping my hair long, and avoiding sleeveless dresses like they’re the plague. I can tell you how many points, calories, carbs, sugars, and the fiber of nearly every common food.

Growing up as a fat child, I grew a very thick skin… pun intended. I was “baby beluga,” “fat ass,” “piggy,” and everything in between. I have been told “But you have such a pretty face,” “maybe if you lost weight,”  and what I shouldn’t be wearing more times than I can count. I have avoided reunions and social gatherings; I have exercised until I vomited. I have tried juicing, drinking shakes, gone carb-less, went Meditteranean, counted everything under the sun.

The very topic of weight is my Kryptonite, but I have embraced this reality.  That being said, it’s not something I want someone to offer to “fix” unsolicited.

It should be as equally socially unacceptable as if someone suggested, WITHOUT BEING ASKED, acne medication, hair growth treatment, anti-aging cream, deodorant, breast augmentation…. you get the picture. Nonetheless, people view my weight (and based on my conversations, not just me) as a gateway to promote their health business to me.

Exhibit A
The top message is a private message I received to my business Instagram, and the bottom message was my response:

24232035_10102805344773462_1298666994065899678_n.jpg

When I initially received this message, I was hurt, shocked, and quite indignant. While the hurt and shock dissipated, I remain indignant. As a professional and as a business owner, I was tempted to just reply “no thanks,” but I am tired of being considered broken. I am tired of being considered less worthy of respect than anyone else with an issue.

So many thoughts ran through my mind – Who is this person to think she has the right to believe she is better than I am? What level of arrogance does one need to impose her lifestyle on mine? Does she have any idea of who I am?

I am a friend, a daughter, a granddaughter, an aunt, a sister, a niece, a wife, a teacher, a soap-maker, a business owner, a colleague, a network leader, a community member, a dog-mom, a New Yorker, a home-owner, a tax-payer… I am so much more than my weight.

Yet, in one fell swoop, everything that embodies my identity came down to my body. My body that is not acceptable. My body that others believe I should change. Do I recognize all the repercussions of my weight? – Absolutely. Do I walk around and point out how others are flawed and recommend I should change them? – Absolutely not.

Body shaming in business, sadly, is nothing new. While not all marketing uses tactics that are so direct and personal, all body shaming approaches are equally grotesque. Every day we are blasted with before-and-after photos, with photoshopped images of celebrities, with idealized caricatures of people.

Even the champions of body image, like Melissa McCarthy, Chrissy Metz, and Ashley Nell Tipton have all suddenly embarked on a weight-loss journey. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthier, and even wanting to be thinner (I know I still want to be thinner), there is something dreadfully wrong with the concept that we, as fat women, are not enough – as who we are, where we are.  There is something dreadfully wrong with the idea that the solution for weight loss is as simple as eating less and moving more – even science has proven that the psychology runs far deeper.

There is something even worse with the movement for inclusion and “fatness” is still something to be ostracized, separated, and unaccepted. The idea that all “fat” people are lazy, sitting around eating fast food. I am fat and I work three full-time jobs and I haven’t had fast food in over ten years.  When it comes to business, I should want to buy into whatever you’re selling, not be shamed into buying it.

But “It’s about health and living a healthy lifestyle” – yes, true, but it should also be about living life in the current moment. It should be about loving who we are at this very moment and not just what we could be, and more so, what others think we should be.

kristen-fusaro-pizzopresident-2

 

A Moment to Give Thanks

A Moment to Give Thanks

While I encourage everyone to practice gratitude every day, Thanksgiving is specially set aside for us to give thanks, appreciate, and fill our hearts with graciousness for what we have. On this Thanksgiving, I would like to share little moments of gratitude that I have for 2017, hoping it will bring you joy and help you to remember the little moments, too.

I am thankful for…

  1. Lucy, our little, mushy, sweet-as-pie pittie. Something about her caught Frank’s eye, and he knew she was meant to be with us. We’ve had a few rough moments – like when she ripped up our brand new carpet or chewed up $600 worth of sea sponges, but the joy she has brought to our lives will always outweigh those moments. Her happy little tail, how she purrs like a cat and snorts like a piggy, how she is such a good girl and always sits for her treats. She’s the little lady of our house and I can’t even remember life without her.

     

  2. A VERY successful first annual Holiday Shopping at the Hilton event! My team and I spent nearly a year planning this shopping event, trying to make the best show possible for vendors and shoppers alike, and with nearly 700 visitors, it was clearly a huge success. I am so grateful, and looking forward to future Vine events!
  3. My amazing and loyal customers who shop with our small business, who support our shows, who spent all night voting for us as the best online shop in Staten Island (even though we didn’t win). Our customers are the most genuine, sincere, thoughtful people in this whole world. I would be NOTHING without them, especially my VIPs!
  4. Being invited to speak at Maker Mastermind for the Indie Business Network and the Evolution of Marketing seminar with the Small Business Development Center. It has been just such an honor to help other makers and entrepreneurs grow!
  5. My friends and family who are just so supportive of any wacky idea I come up with. I may be the luckiest person on the planet because I have just a strong, willing, and loving support network.  Especially my parents, Aunt, and grandmother, who make every effort to come to every show.
  6. My students who bring me joy, laughter, inquiry, and intellect every single day.
  7. My Principal, Mark, who is always encouraging me to grow and giving me opportunities to become the best self, understanding I will bring that to my classroom.
  8. Handwritten notes from my friends Pam and John. Always random, these little moments of finding notes in my mailbox bring me joy and fill my heart with love.
  9. My Vine Vendor Network family who has taught me so much about what a true team looks like. Especially Sandra, RoseMary, and Brooke.
  10. My friend Jackie who is my biggest cheerleader, one of my closest friends, and always working to help me improve.
  11. The Thankful Candle! Because it took FOREVER to find the perfect ripe cranberry fragrance that I absolutely love!

    Thankful Candle
    Thankful Candle Scented in Cranberry
  12. My consultant Barbara, who believed so much in my mission for Bath, Body, Candle Moments that she took the dive to become our Hawaii consultant! (Go shop with her!)
  13. For everyone who takes the time to read my blog posts!
  14. For my morning gigantic coffee, which has picked me up, comforted me and been there through all the roughest alarms.
  15. And my amazing husband, Frank, who is my rock, my soul, the love of my life.

On this Thanksgiving, I wish you all moments of love, happiness, comfort, relaxation, and joy.  From our family to yours!

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

Different Ways to Incorporate Aromatherapy into Your Life

Different Ways to Incorporate Aromatherapy into Your Life

You’ve heard the term “aromatherapy” thrown around quite a bit since the resurgence and rediscovery of essential oils in the last fifteen years. I say resurgence and rediscovery because using aroma to create mood and atmosphere has been around for centuries, and using essential oils for various purposes has been around for millennia!

“Aromatherapy,” as the term connotes today, implies that using different fragrance can elicit different positive moods, feelings, and emotions for people. Some common scents found in aromatherapy include lavender and chamomile for calming and relaxing, eucalyptus for air-freshening, peppermint for awakening and relaxation, and citruses for concentration, but the power of aromatherapy doesn’t stop there, nor is it the same for every person. Because our sense of smell is directly linked to the olfactory area of our brain, the area used to store memories, different fragrances can have varying effects on people. For example, if your grandma always baked delicious apple pies, then the fragrance of apple pie could have an aromatherapy effect of nostalgia, calming, and joy.

In this blog, I would like to offer different suggestions for how you can incorporate aromatherapy into your everyday life to bring you joy, relaxation, comfort, and elicit life’s ideal moments.

  1. Wear Your Aromatherapy as Jewelry! Popular and fashionable, Aromatherapy Necklaces allow you to interchange the fabric insertion of the locket. The insertion is fabric so you can drop a few drops of your favorite essential oils, fragrances, or perfumes and wear it around your neck all day long.
  2. Light a Soy Candle! Candles are a classic way to bring aromatherapy into your home. Burning a favorite scented candle for a few hours could enliven your space with a fragrance that makes you particularly happy. Plus, the candlelight is soft and relaxing to watch flicker.
  3. Scent Your Linens! Spraying your favorite aromatherapy blend on your linens can be a fantastic way to elicit calming feelings. The Rest Easy Aromatherapy Spray is blended with Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and German Chamomile essential oils, and is said to create feelings of serenity and harmoniousness. Plus, because of these particularly gentle essential oils with our natural blend of witch hazel with benzoic acid, you could also spray baby’s linens and your medium-large-sized dog’s linens!
  4. Use Your Body! With all the choices of perfumes and fragrances, wearing your favorite fragrance on your body is one of the most popular ways to create aromatherapy in your space.
    1. You could also use your body with a beautifully scented natural deodorant! As you move throughout the day, you’ll get delightful whiffs of your favorite scents.
    2. Lotions, creams, and body butters are another amazing way to wear the fragrances that bring you comfort.
  5. In Your Shower! Shower Steamers are specifically designed to create aromatherapy while you shower. From a bright, freshening, cleansing breath of greens (like eucalyptus, basil, tea tree, and peppermint), to everyone’s favorite relaxing scent, lavender, you can turn your shower into an aromatherapy spa.
    1. Don’t forget how much revelry a deliciously scented soap can bring to your shower day after day! Fragrant soaps can help you relax or wake you up, and mixed with the heat from a hot shower, it’s like taking 15 minutes for simple bliss.
  6. In Your Bath! The popular bath bomb can turn any bath into a luxurious and exciting experience! With so many varieties of fragrance (plus all the pretty colors), bath bombs are an amazing aromatherapy retreat. The same for bath salts! Bath salts make your bath water soft and moisturizing, plus with all the different fragrances, you are sure to find something that brings your mind and nose merriment.

Whatever way you choose to bring aromatherapy into your life, it’s a natural, safe, holistic approach to living a life of joy. Remember, any scent can function as aromatherapy, as long as it’s a scent that you just absolutely love to smell!

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

Shop Our Cyber Monday Specials 2017

Shop Cyber Monday!

It’s Shopping Season! We’re so excited to offer you some amazing specials on our natural, cruelty-free certified, vegan products!

We ALWAYS offer special deals when you shop with us in person, so if you want to visit our next pop-up shop, click here to see where you can find us next.

If you can’t make it to shop in person, we’re offering this special Cyber Monday Discount! Take 25% off your entire order with code MONDAY2017 on Monday, November 27th from 12am-11:59pm EST. Exclusions: Cannot be combined with any other discount or code. Not valid on previous purchases. Cannot be used on Soap-of-the-Month Club or Mystery Boxes.

November Special Cyber Monday 2017

If you want to get ahead of the line so your favorite products don’t get sold out, join our email newsletter by subscribing right on our website, and/or join our VIP Facebook Group (free). These customers get a special code and can shop for TWO days, starting Sunday, November 26th!!

We can’t wait to help bring you amazing handcrafted gifts for you and your loved ones!

Holidays are for Grown-Ups, Too!

Holidays are for Grown-Ups, Too!

Today we were vendors at a Holiday Fair geared for children. Santa was there taking photos with all of the kids. LOTS of toy vendors, kids jewelry, arts and crafts for…kids. What we saw: A lot of happy children with parents who were so giddy to make their kids happy that they denied themselves moments of relaxation.

“I would SO want to buy these bath bombs, but my kids would want to use them… I’ll take two, one each for my daughters.”

We were thrilled to serve this Mom, honored to be a part of her moment to bring her children happiness, but I was struck with a twinge of sadness that Mom didn’t get a moment for herself.  I like to get to know my customers, so I struck up a conversation. I learned that she has two daughters, ages 2 and 4, she’s been a nurse for 12 years (just coming off of a 12-hour shift), married for five, went to school at the College of Staten Island for her nursing degree. She grew up and lives in Staten Island, New York, but works at a hospital in Brooklyn in the Intensive Care Unit. She has a mixed-breed dog named Snoopy who sneaks table food.  I asked her when was the last time she took a moment for herself – she laughed and said: “Probably before I was married.”

This sounds all too familiar. It inspired me to write this poem:

Twas the night before work, when all through the house,
Every creature was stirring, even the spouse.
Who needs dinner and help with homework,
Clients still calling and piles of housework!

“Mom needs a break!,” you finally say,
Dad nods, agrees, and takes the kids out to play,
You fill your tub, grab a book, and candlelight,
Some time to relax, you squeal with delight!

Whirls and swirls of red and green,
Creates a bubbly bathroom scene.
A bath bomb awaits, oh such a treat,
This is your moment to put up your feet!

As the holidays come around and you spend your time and money to make sure everyone has a joyous season, please remember YOU deserve a moment to relax and recharge, too! When you’re happy and calm, you can be the best-of-the-best for everyone else. Your best-self starts with self-care.

We appreciate YOU so much and want you to feel comforted and pampered. You really, truly, sincerely deserve it.

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo

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Why You Should Try Bath Salts

Why You Should Try Bath Salts

We love our baths around here – obviously, that’s one of the many reasons we run our business – but even more fun (for us) than taking baths are creating different products to make your bath more enjoyable! Taking hot baths have been proven to relieve muscle aches and create relaxation. As quoted by Dr. Foxman from the Reader’s Digest article: ““The benefits that come from heat from water—which is an opportunity to relax—and the benefits of heat on capillary dilation at skin level, for some relieves pain,” he says.”

While simply soaking in hot water will definitely make you relax – think of yourself like a tea bag just expanding and floating in the hot water – hot water alone isn’t very fun. Add some pizazz to your bath with fragrance, color, and water softeners, and you can take an already relaxing experience to spa-level indulgence.

That’s why we just launched a line of bath salts. Our bath salts are comprised of Dead Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan Salt, Epsom Salt, Menthol Crystals, Baking Soda, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 80, fragrance, and colorant.

So, what are each of these ingredients and what are their benefits? We’ll start with the most “scientific-sounding” term on our ingredients list:

  • Polysorbate 80 – Polysorbate 80 is derived from polyethoxylated sorbitan and oleic acid; essentially, it is a polymer of sugar alcohols and fatty acids, like those found in olive oil, sunflower oil, etc. We use this ingredient because it’s an emulsifying agent and dispersing agent, allowing the oils from the fragrances we use to disperse properly in the water you’re soaking in (so you don’t see droplets of oil at the top of your tub while soaking).
  • Dead Sea Salt – Said to be rich in minerals because of all the natural light at the Dead Sea in Israel, salt (and mud) from the Dead Sea is especially water-softening. According to a study conducted in 2005 published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information: “Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin.”
  • Pink Himalayan Salt – While there are no studies that prove Himalayan Salt has any more benefits or properties than, say, regular table salt, it is really pretty to use in bath salts! Himalayan Salt has sodium chloride, potassium, and magnesium at slightly higher levels than table salt; all of these minerals do act as water softeners, making the bath feel smoother, and such can be perceived as more relaxing.
  • Epsom Salt – Epsom salt is not really a “salt” at all, just has similar chemical properties to salt, which is why it’s given that name. Epsom is actually magnesium sulfate, named after Epsom, England, where it was first discovered. While there is a lot of hype around Epsom Salt, especially if you ask your grandmother, there is no actual evidence that the magnesium-deficient will be able to absorb the magnesium transdermally in a bath.  Again, however, like Himalayan Salt, Epsom Salt does act as a water softener, which makes bathing much more pleasurable.
  • Menthol Crystals – Menthol crystals serve aromatherapy benefits as the perception of breathing menthol and menthol-like scents (i.e. peppermint, eucalyptus), create a feeling of breathing greener, fresher air.
  • Baking Soda & Citric Acid – Combined, these create a fizzing action in the water. Only used in small amounts in bath salts, these will not create the same fizz that you would find in a bath bomb, but still, produces fizzing results as the carbon particles are released into the water. In a phrase – tiny bubbles! The combination of the two also neutralizes the pH of general tap water by alkalizing it.

While there is not much scientific evidence to suggest that any of these salts have properties beyond softening the water, the salts all do act as water softeners which make the skin feel softer and more moisturized after bathing.  Plus, the combination of fragrance and/or essential oils act with aromatherapy benefits – pleasing scents = happier people.

Why try bath salts, then? Because bath salts have been used in various forms for decades to produce a joyful, elegant bath. Unlike their bath bomb counterparts, our bath salts can be used for many baths as they’re stored in plastic jars, with cork tops, and wooden scoop spoons. We recommend about three scoops per bath, but go ahead and use as much or as little as you would like!

 

 

 

 

worth your salt bath salts
Shop Bath Salts Now!

Kristen Fusaro-Pizzo