Friday, June 14, 2013

My Secret Elixir: Argan Oil

Enjoying the Day For most of my life I have used Ponds Cold Cream to remove makeup, oil and daily residue, further replenishing my skin with vitamin E oil, but like many woman I have tried tons of skin products which will supposedly make your skin feel its utmost best, and look years younger, remove stretch marks, blemishes, lines and wrinkles, all falling up short. There are some fabulous higher end products on the market that I do love and find make a huge difference in my skin, such as the galvanic spa from Nu-Skin, I love that product for all over use from my face to my neck to my arms and legs, its a great product.
My Daily Routine
Recently I discovered another product, which has actually been around for centuries called; Argan Oil. You might have heard of it under its commercialized alias; Moroccan Oil. I live in Northwest Jersey and find that our water system is a little harder then most water systems so I have had to use a water softener system to balance it out, the result leaves your skin and hair feeling more brittle and dry, to combat that I use once again Ponds cold cream to wash my face, vitamin e oil on my skin and a vitamin e cream to hydrate it. At least once a week I make a coffee and brown sugar scrub to exfoliate, generally in the evening or early morning, which is simple and easy to do, I'll share the recipe in this post.

As for my hair, I decided to try a hair oil, so I headed over to Sally's and spent an hour in the hair treatment aisle, and found Argan oil, it was priced around $7, housed in a medium sized jar, so I figured its only $7, can't hurt to try it, so I bought it, the best move I ever did. I started using it on my hair after every wash and it made a huge difference, then by accident I dropped some on my skin, so I just rubbed it in, next day my skin was glowing, so I did it again and again, within one week, my skin improved, less puffy eyes, my accident scar from 1996 actually lightened and is almost faded, and a few blemishes are gone.
My Daily Routine
As for stretchmarks as a result of weight gain, weight lifting, dieting, pregnancy or accidents, I really recommend Argan oil in its purest form, followed by a good Argan oil body lotion, twice a day and a body coffee body scrub once a week if possible. Since Argan oil has been working wonders I did some research on it and discovered its been a beauty elixir for centuries, and is a huge warrior against stretch marks, blemishes, cellulite, wrinkles, lines, scars and promotes healthy radiant skin. Now everyone's skin and tones are different, bodies heal or absorb products at their own pace, but for me I'm a new fan of Argan oil and Argan products as its the first product that I have tried which has made a huge difference in my overall skin texture and its feel.

Here is a bit of history regarding the Argan oil origins:

-Argan oil is a plant oil produced from the kernels of the argan tree (Argania spinosa L.), endemic to Morocco, that is valued for its nutritive, cosmetic and numerous medicinal properties.

-The tree is extremely well adapted to drought and other environmentally harsh conditions of southwestern Morocco. The genus Argania once covered North Africa and is now endangered and under protection of UNESCO. The argan tree grows wild in semi-arid soil, its deep root system helping to protect against soil erosion and the northern advance of the Sahara. This biosphere reserve, the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve, covers a vast intramontane plain of more than 2,560,000 hectares, bordered by the High Atlas and Little Atlas Mountains and the Atlantic in the west. Argan oil remains one of the rarest oils in the world due to the small and very specific growing areas. The earliest known European account of argan trees was by Leo Africanus, in 1510. An early specimen was taken to Amsterdam where it was cultivated by Lady Beaufort at Badminton House in 1711.

-Culinary argan oil (argan food oil) is used for dipping bread, on couscous, salads and similar uses. Amlou, a thick brown paste with a consistency similar to peanut butter, is produced by grinding roasted almond and argan oil using stones, mixed with honey and is used locally as a bread dip. Various claims about the beneficial effects on health due to the consumption of argan oil have been made. Researchers have concluded that daily consumption of argan oil is 'highly likely' to be one factor helping the prevention of various cancers, cardiovascular diseases and obesity. The results of a nutritional intervention study, in which volunteers were given either argan oil or animal fats (butter) in their diet, were published in 2005. The results showed that regular dietary intake of argan oil led to reduced levels of harmful cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, compared to a diet with regular intake of animal fats.

-Unroasted argan oil is traditionally used as a treatment for skin diseases and as a cosmetic oil for skin and hair: "In cosmetics, argan oil is advocated as moisturizing oil, against juvenile acne and flaking of the skin as well as for nourishing the hair. This oil has also medicinal uses against rheumatism and the healing of burns ... Externally, argan oil is used ... for hair as brilliantine, to fortify and ... in the treatment of wrinkled or scaly dry skin".

For more info on the origins and properties of Argan oil visit: 

Coffee and Brown Sugar Exfoliate Scrub

-2 cups coffee grounds
-1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

-1 1/4 Tablespoon baby oil
-Saran wrap
-Mixing bowl w/lid and spoon

1.Lay newspaper on the floor, you will stand over newspaper when applying mixture.
2.Mix ingredients until you get a brownie/paste like consistency.
3.Massage mixture onto body, concentrating on the thighs, stomach, butt and arms.
4.Wrap mixture covered body w/saran wrap, let set for 15 to 20 minutes.
5.Unwrap and shower.

-The newspaper catches any falling mixture and makes for easy clean up.
-If consistency to watery, add more coffee grounds, if too dry add more baby oil.
-After shower rub Argan oil into your skin.

Hope this adds some beauty and spa essence into your lifestyle while maintaining a budget,

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Sunburst Carnival Journal Project

"Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings These are a few of my favorite things"- Sound of Music Sunburst Carnival Journals We all know just how much I love the Carnival and Cupie Dolls, that's why I'm excited to share with you this fast and easy project I created that everyone can do in a few short minutes with a few simple supplies, its called a Sunburst Carnival Journal. Transform any journal or notebook into a carnival journal w/a few simple supplies and steps. Materials: -XL Cupie head from Lisa Kettell Designs -Medium Sized Wood Craft Sun or Moon -A Journal -Craft Glue of Choice -Optional: Glitter, Ribbon, Bakery Twine, Lettering, Broken Jewelry Sunburst Carnival JournalsSunburst Carnival JournalsSunburst Carnival Journals Directions: 1. Place the medium sized wood craft sun onto the center of the journal, glue in place. 2. Attach the XL cupie head on top of the wood sun, glue in place. 3. Add extra embellishments such as glitter, ribbon, lettering, etc. Sunburst Carnival JournalsSunburst Carnival JournalsSunburst Carnival Journals Tip/Tricks: -Use hot glue for faster gluing -Coat XL cupie head with glitter or embellish with broken jewelry -Line the bottom edge of journal with colored measuring tape (found in the sewing section of craft stores) -Add found objects to journal -Cover a composition notebook with scrapbook paper or wrapping paper, then add wood accents and cupies Sunburst Carnival JournalsSunburst Carnival JournalsSunburst Carnival Journals Sunburst Carnival Journals Hope this project inspired you to create a journal of your own, cupie heads and other embellishments are available. xoxo Lisa

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Artful Day w/Friends

Montclair, NJ I can't think of a better way of adding some excitement to the middle of the week then a day out with friends for lunch and exploring. Last week my dearest friends Suze and Bonnie met up with mom and me for lunch in Montclair. If you aren't familiar with Montclair, its a great place to explore, fabulous architecture, boutiques, antique stores, artsy activities, eateries, cafes and more. Look at the following building, I feel like I found the secret entrance to Hogwarts or Diagon Alley, its this kind of architecture that gives the area its unique flare. Montclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJ For me Montclair has some great memories for me, I lived there for a short while as a little girl, then moved on to West Orange and eventually 20 plus years in Maplewood, a town similar to Montclair and one worth exploring as well. Montclair, NJMontclair, NJ We met up at Starbucks now housed in the former Haynes Department Store building and headed up to eat at Famous Raymond's located on Church Street, which is the most fabulous vintage operating deli/diner/cafe serving all types of breakfast and lunch entrees, including fountain drinks, shakes and desserts. The decor is by far my favorite asset of the eatery, art deco class and glamor meets a 1950's essence, all wrapped up into one. The menus are just too fab with seer sucker stripes, the counter guy even had a bow tie on which I thought was too cool, the ceiling is original tin w/hanging bulb lamps, wall mounted art deco lighting, rich red leather booths, sophisticated tables and great food, but the company of Suze, Bonnie, Mom and Me was the best part.Montclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJ After lunch we explored a bit on Church Street and headed over to Madeline's Accessory shop which I love, love, love their trendy jewelry and accessories, plus their prices are really reasonable fitting every budget, even Johanna who can be found at Madeline's is extremely nice, helpful and artsy too. Montclair, NJMontclair, NJ Montclair, NJMontclair, NJ Montclair, NJMontclair, NJ Following Madeline's no trip would be complete without a visit to my friend Nancy at her artsy boutique called Parcel, located on Bloomfield Avenue, just the cutest shop ever with fun and unique items sure to fill any artsy, crafty lovers essential list of fun items, Nancy is even doing more classes now, which is so exciting.Montclair, NJ Montclair, NJ Montclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJ Montclair, NJMontclair, NJ Finally we all headed to our cars and started to plan our next adventure, but for Mom and Me, our adventure was not quite over, since we were in the area, we decided to head over to Applegate Farms for some ice cream, a real treat for many of us Jerseans, I've been going to Applegate for years, since I was real young, perhaps even as an infant, lol, such a nostalgic place and great atmosphere to spend some time and unwind before heading back home. I opted for a change and went with green tea ice cream and black raspberry, normally I'm a soft serve vanilla girl w/rainbow sprinkles on a cone, lol, but today I changed it up a bit.Montclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJMontclair, NJ Thanks for recapping the day with me, have a wonderful coming week and remember adventure can be found through everyday experiences, a walk in the park, by your house, around your house, within your religion, children, family, friends, pets and art, simple things such as shoes, flowers, books and food. xoxo Lisa xoxo Lisa