Janice Cox

Pineapples and Pedicures

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Summer is over but that does not mean that you can ignore your feet.  In fact taking good care of  them with a weekly pedicure will enhance your overall health.  Wasn’t it President Abraham Lincoln who said “If my feet don’t feel good, I don’t feel good” such wish words in the history of the pedicure.

Pineapples are also a well known beauty secret when it comes to softening and cleansing your feet — especially after a summer of going barefoot .

Fresh pineapples are rich in the enzyme, bromelain.  This active ingredient cleanses and freshens the skin by removing dead skin cells and other surface impurities.   You can also use the tough outer rind as a skin scrubber on your heels and soles to get them super clean and soft.  If you don’t have access to fresh pineapple you can also used canned it works equally as well on your feet and may even save you a few $$

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Giving yourself a pedicure at home is super easy and you only need a few items:

Large bowl, sink or tub

scrubbing tools – pumice stone, loofah, pineapple rind

q-tips or orange wood sticks wrapped in cotton

natural oil or good foot cream

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Here are the steps I follow:

Ultimate Home Pedicure 

  1. Remove all old polish using a mild polish remover
  2. Fill a large bowl or basin with warm water and add some fresh acidic fruit such as pineapples or lemons and any other flower or herbs you have on hand.  (I just love to use fresh herbs and flowers in my beauty treatments).   Soak your feet for at least 10 minutes (15 is even better)
  3. Scrub rough skin spots with a natural pumice stone, loofah or bit of pineapple rind.  Keep soaking for another 5 minutes
  4. Apply a bit of natural oil to the base of your cuticles and gently push them back using a cotton swab or orange stick covered in cotton.  Be gentle.
  5. Clip your nails straight across to avoid ingrown nails.  Do this step after soaking as wet nails are easier to cut and you get a cleaner cut.
  6. Rinse your feet and massage a rich natural oil or foot cream into them.  Give yourself a bit of a foot massage too.

There you are healthy and happy feet!

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Have a beautiful day!

xoxo Janice

Here is a behind the scenes shot I had to include as my cat seems enchanted with the pineapple foot soak – it does smell amazing!

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Honey I love you!

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September is National Honey Month, so of course I have to post something about one of my favorite natural beauty ingredients.  This summer I added a bee hive to my garden and the results have been amazing.  “Busy as a Bee” is  so true these super pollinators are constantly working to make the world a better place full of fresh flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Honey is made by bees from the nectar of flowering plants and trees and contains many vital vitamins and minerals.  It has a very high potassium content which makes it almost impossible for bacteria to survive in it.  Honey is one of the best-known humectants (materials that hold moisture).  My favorite way to use honey is in the bath: a tablespoon or two makes your skin feel like silk!  If you don’t have your own bee hive not to worry honey is easy to find at your local grocery store or local farmers market.

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Here are a some more ways I like to use honey.  I even have a “Honey Bear” in my bathroom as a beauty staple.

Hair Conditioner

Honey can do great things for hair that has been mistreated and damaged by giving it back color, moisture, body, and shine.  It may seem a little sticky but well worth it.  Don’t worry it rinses out of your hair very easily.

Ingredients

1/4 cup honey

massage the honey into your hair and leave on for 20 minutes.  You may cover your head with some plastic wrap or a shower cap.  Wash and condition your hair as you do normally.

Yield 2 ounces

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Honey & Yogurt Facial Mask

One of my favorite facial masks is pure honey it is simple and perfect for cleansing and refreshing tired skin.  Honey also makes an excellent treatment for blemishes simply dab a bit on a breakout in the evening after washing your face and before going to bed.   I also love using plain yogurt as a simple facial mask weekly so this recipe combines both of these natural beauty ingredients into one super skin treatment.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream

1 Tablespoon pure honey

Mix the yogurt and honey together until smooth.  Spread on clean skin and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.  Rinse with warm then cool water and pat dry.

Yield: 1 ounce

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haha I look a bit crazy here but hard to take a cute selfie with honey and yogurt on your face.  For more recipes check out my book Natural Beauty at Home.

Also  few years ago I helped the National Honey Board with a beauty pamphlet  they are a great source of info on all things honey.

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You are all Bee-utiful!!! 

xoxo Janice

Apples, Apples, Apples !

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It’s apple picking season and you know what that means — fresh apples, apple cider, apple pie, apple butter and APPLE BEAUTY PRODUCTS!

Some of the oldest folk remedies include apples.  They have been known for centuries for their skin-healing power  Apple juice makes a breath sweetening mouth rinse and can also be used in skin toners and in the bath.  The juice contains malic acid, which acts as an antioxidant in cosmetic recipes and amylase, which is an exfoliating enzyme useful in removing dead skin cells and surface dirt.  Apple juice can even be used as a hair rinse to control dandruff.  The seeds re mildly poisonous and not be used.

So let’s get picking!  I love using those big blue buckets from Lowes  and have dozens of them.  They only cost a few dollars and really last and are easy to clean.

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Of course my dog Elvis loves to go apple picking too!   So now that you have your apples from your own tree, a local orchard or even the grocery store here are a few recipes for you to try from Natural Beauty for All Seasons.

Apple Pectin Toner

Apples are 85 percent water and high in vitamins A and C, and potassium.  Apple pectin is a natural thickener and is often used in recipes as an alternative to gelatin.  When applied as a facial toner, pectin is soothing and refreshing for all skin types.

Ingredients:

1 apple cut with peel, seeds removed

1/2 cup water

1 /4 cup witch hazel

Place the apple in a small saucepan with water and brine to a boil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.  Strain out apple pulp and pour liquid into a clean container add witch hazel.  To use: spray or apply to your skin with a clean cotton pad.

Yield: 6 ounces

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Fresh Apple Bath

Agatha Christie the great mystery writer loved to take long hot baths and eat fresh apples.  Which sounds like the perfect way to relax and be healthy to me.  Apples are naturally astringent and contain malice acid, which helps remove dead surface cells, leaving the skin smoother.

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh apple juice

1 /4 cup honey

1 /2 cup liquid soap

Stir together all the ingredients and pour into a clean container.  To use: Pour 1 /2 cup into the tub under running water.  You may need to shake gently to remix between uses.

Yield 12 ounces

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Enjoy your apples and remember  “An apple a day — makes you beautiful”

xoxo Janice

Happy Labor Day!

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Relax America this is your day to unwind, rest and relax!  Labor Day is a day to celebrate hardwork, passion and what made this country strong!  So if you want to be a bit lazy today – you’ve earned it!

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The end of summer is also a good time for an all over body scrub – after months of outdoor activity you skin may need an good all over cleansing.  Here is my go to scrub recipe.  I like to use raw sugar as it is easier on the skin than salt and less dehydrating.  Feel free to make it your own by adding fresh flowers, herbs or a drop or two of your favorite essential oil.  Get glowing

Basic Sugar Body Scrub 

Ingredients:

1 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup walnut oil or other light oil such as almond, sesame, or canola

1 /2 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Mix together all ingredients and spoon into a clean container.  To use: Stand in the shower or tub and massage a small  amount of the scrub all over your body to gently exfoliate and moisturize your skin.  Rinse well afterward.

Yield: 10 ounces

(For more DIY recipes check out Natural Beauty at Home)

Labor day also marks the end of watermelon season and this summer I have been drinking my watermelons.  It is so easy and a great way to start the day.  Here is what I do.  Peel your fresh watermelon and chop up.  Place in a blender or food processor with some coconut water, lemon juice and fresh mint.  Blend and enjoy! So easy and so good for you.

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Oh and if you want to know how I got “JOY” on my watermelon super easy with some stickers and a sharp knife.  I saw the idea in Womans Day Magazine.

Ok back to my hammock!

Happy Labor Day

xoxo Janice

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Let Your Natural Beauty Shine

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Hello — It is almost labor day weekend which means the end of summer vacation. I am still on our road trip and today doing a bit of reading by our hotel pool.  One of my favorite magazines for beauty and health inspiration is Self Magazine.  This month has the perfect cover not only does it feature Kerry Washington (Olivia Pope) who is a natural beauty but also has this empowering message:  “Let your Natural Beauty SHINE”

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On page 50 are some natural “Beauty Boosters” and some great commercial natural beauty products.  Here are my DIY versions for some of the featured products for healthy and gorgeous skin and nails:

Almond Oil for Shiny Hair:   Almond oil is lightweight and perfect for moisturizing and hydrating your hair restoring shine and luster.  You can find almond oil in the cooking oil section of your grocery store.  Massage a small amount into your hair weekly.

Soothing and Brightening Eye Treatment:  Fresh cucumbers are naturally astringent and soothing for tired eyes.  Simply place a few cold slices over your eyes and rest or juice and mix with equal parts witch hazel for a soothing skin freshener perfect for all skin types.

Refreshing Facial Water:  Clary Sage is a garden herb that is well-known for its use in cosmetics because it is soothing and refreshing to your skin.  If you do not have in your garden you may find at a local natural food shop dried.  Brew up a strong tea with the fresh or dried herb leaves and let cool completely then strain and use as a facial mist or toner.

Invigorating Body Scrub:  Fresh Grapefruit and Mint combined with raw sugar and coconut oil makes an energizing body scrub.  The grapefruit contains citric acid which is a natural exfolliant and mint is a well-known energizing and astringent  Use this scrub in the shower or tub weekly for fresh clean skin.

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 /4 cup coconut oil

1 Tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice

1 Tablespoon grated grapefruit zest

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Mix together all ingredients and spoon into a clean container.  Store in the refrigerator.  To use:  Massage into damp skin in the shower or tub and rinse well with warm then cool water.  Be careful as the oil can make things a bit slippery.

Yield: 6 ounces

Restorative Body Wash:  Honey is a natural humectant and can be used head to toe to treat your skin and hair.  Mixed with your favorite cleanser honey is naturally moisturizing and healing to your skin.  It also has antibacterial properties making it an excellent natural beauty ingredient for troubled skin types.

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Ok back to my magazine — Here are some Natural Beauty tips from Kerry Washington:

  •  Start your day with lemon water
  • Use a good face cream and lots of SPF
  • Stretch, pray and meditate everyday

Have a beautiful day and weekend — Shine on!

xoxo Janice

America the Beautiful

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Hello America you are Beautiful!

I am currently in Colorado Springs and it is a new month (September)  which is perfect for a new project for me and that is Blogging –so here I go and be patient as this is my first post ever!   Of course you know I love DIY beauty recipes and treatments and find inspiration everywhere.   If you have not discovered my book  Natural Beauty at Home check it out online, at your local bookstore or library!     I am really excited about this new endeavor, as I can journal about what inspires me and share some great recipes and ideas with all of you so together we can look and feel terrific!

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I am here at The Broadmoor Hotel which is in Colorado Springs and a gorgeous setting full of Natural Beauty — in fact the surrounding mountains is what inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write the poem “America the Beautiful”  which is one of our best patriotic songs I think.

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The Broadmoor is an amazing resort and the grounds are fabulous they even had one of my favorite at home herbs in their flower beds — Lavender.  If you are lucky to have some lavender in your yard or garden pick it now and dry it you will thank me later.  Lavender is an herb you can use year round and head to toe.  In fact  when I get home I am going to do a whole post all about Lavender and Lavender Spa Products.

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In our room there was a lovely packet of “Lavender Mint Bath Salts”.   I  am a huge fan of bath salts and  I love to make my own and give them as gifts.  My husband had a meeting to attend so guess what I did? — that’s right took a bath with those salts and it was wonderful.

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Here is a DIY recipe inspired by those hotel  bath salts.  They are super easy to make using basic ingredients that you may already have at home.  Lavender and Mint are both naturally relaxing, cleansing and smell so good.  Epsom salts and Kosher salt  are perfect for detoxing your body and soothing your muscles.  These natural salts can be found at your local grocery store — look in the first aid section for the epsom salts and the baking section for kosher salt.    Essential oils are powerful little oils that contain the true essence or scent of the plant.  They can be found at natural food shops and some grocery stores in the natural living section.

Relaxing Colorado Bath Salts

1 cup Epsom salts

1 /2 cup kosher salt

5 drops essential oil of lavender

3 drops essential oil of peppermint

In a bowl or jar mix together all of the ingredients and stir well.   Store in a container with a tight lid or resealable plastic bag.  To use:  Pour a scoop (about 1/2 cup) into a warm bath under the running water taps.  Soak for 20 minutes.

Yield: 12 ounces

Note:  These salts make wonderful gifts so you may want to double the recipe.

Have a beautiful day!

xoxo Janice

Hello world!

Today is the day I started blogging — so here I go!

Happy Day and Happy September 2015

I believe we are all born with a natural beauty, it is how we choose to use it that makes us beautiful!

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xoxo Janice