Self Care Spa Day Saturday!

Hello dear goddess,

With all of the stress, sadness, heartache, and downright upsetting news that has happened this week (or let’s be real… for far too long) I know at times it can be hard to break away. That feeling of wanting to keep up to date about what’s going on in our country and in our world, of wanting to be aware, is something I can relate to. I find myself watching the news, or going through the latest articles on my feed for so long that by the end of it, I have tears streaming down my face, and an ache in my heart from the unfairness and ugliness of it all. That, or I am just so emotionally exhausted at the state of our nation that I can’t shake it off for a large portion of my day. Maybe you can relate and maybe you have even found yourself doing the same thing as I have at one point or another. It’s not a good feeling…so this is my idea for you dear goddess. This may be something you could try today or even tomorrow, but I would like for you at some point during your weekend, to shut off the tv, put away the cellphone, and have some quality time with YOURSELF. I think it’s important to give yourself a little extra love at this time, to give your mind a little break even if it’s just for an hour. I think we all need it. And please don’t feel guilty about it. It’s things like this that will keep us sane, that will bring a little sunshine to a grey sky.

So for today, let’s have a DIY spa day! Or spa hour. Whatever suits you best. But let’s try to make this day one that uplifts your spirit and takes care of you in the most comforting way only you know how, just like you would do for a friend who was down and out.

First things first, if you’re going to have a spa day you need to make some essential things. Yes, you will have to put in a little effort here, but I promise, the reward will be worth it! I’m thinking a face mask (not the corona kind), a foot soak, and of course your favorite beverage. This could be your favorite tea or coffee (or even a glass of wine or champagne, because you’re a fabulous being and deserve it!)

So get ready to raid your fridge!

DIY FACE MASK

There are many beneficial ingredients you could use for a face mask that you can probably find right in your home, and I could put down so many different recipes for you to try, but today I won’t overwhelm you. I personally really like ones with honey in them as honey soothes, heals, rebalances the skin, helps the skin retain moisture, and is great for anti aging. It sounds pretty good right? So I present to you, two different honey face masks to choose from. You will want to leave your mask on for about 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off.

Honey Banana Mask

1 tablespoon of honey

1/2 banana mashed

**Bananas smoothe rough skin, hydrate, cut down on oil production, brighten, and protect against free-radicals!

Or…

Honey Blueberry Mask

1 tablespoon of honey

1/4 cup fresh blueberries mashed

Optional: 1 tablespoon ground oatmeal/oat flour

** Blueberries are powerful antioxidants, fight against free radicals, are filled with vitamin c to brighten, and their phytonutrients help prevent skin cancer!

** Oats are anti inflammatory, hydrate, and cleanse the skin!

TIP: If you don’t have blueberries try another type of berry 🙂

And if all else fails and you don’t have honey at your house for some reason, or if you are just sweating to death because your house is 100 degrees, feel free to give the old aloe and mashed cucumber mask a try. It’s super soothing, hydrating, and never lets you down! Plus, it’s cold!

Okay, so now you have your mask all made. Time to get your foot soak ready.

Relaxing Foot Soak:

Basin filled with warm water (enough to cover your feet)

1/2 cup Epsom salt

6 chamomile or lavender teabags (or other totally relaxing type of tea like Sleepy Time)

Optional: 6-10 drops of essential oil. ( Personally, I like lavender or rose oil for this.)

**If it’s too warm out and you just want to cool down, fill a basin with cool water, add 1 cup of coconut milk, and some relaxing essential oils.

Alright, your foot soak is made. Now break out your favorite mug (or glass) and fill it on up!

Now find a nice quiet spot in your house where you won’t be disturbed, light your favorite candle or incense, throw on a little spa music (Enya anyone?), place your feet in your soak, and swipe that fresh mask all over your face. And don’t forget to BREATHE DEEPLY!

Remember, this is your time to let your cares drift away. Just enjoy the moment. There’s really nothing quite like a good self pampering!

Stay healthy, be positive, be well,

Charissa

P.S. I urge you to continue your relaxation and you time by reading a book, taking a bubble bath, meditating, or even napping. The possibilities are endless but I promise you, you will feel a lot better! ❤

New Moon New You

Good evening goddess!

Today marks the New Moon in Gemini. This is an exciting time cosmically as new moons are symbolic of new beginnings. This is your chance to really dig deep, to do some self reflecting, and maybe even decide that it’s time for a reset!

A new moon in Gemini is exciting because it is like a breath of fresh air. Since we have been living in strange times lately, it will be good to have this airy energy surrounding us. This energy will make people more open minded and ready to head down new pathways. You might find yourself itching for human contact, ready to finally reconnect with friends, or may find yourself even just opening up the lines of communication even more in your romantic or personal relationships. The biggest thing, dear Goddess, will be the urge to focus on where you want your future to go from here. You may find yourself ready to make some really big changes in your life, picking up old hobbies, or practicing self care to put yourself on a more positive trajectory as you move forward into the summer season.

This is a great time for a refresh and to reassess how you’ve been viewing or going about life day in and day out. Are there any areas you feel you need to work on? Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t? Maybe there is a goal that you keep trying to set for yourself but it just hasn’t been able to stick yet. This might be the perfect time to give it another try!

As my birthday is in less than a week, I am feeling this new moon even more. It seems only fitting that on my wellness journey, this moon would set some things into motion. I’ve really been thinking about the future, and I have already decided that despite the obstacles that have come about due to this pandemic, I am determined to make my 34th year a very special one.

I want to become more connected with my body through meditation and exercise helping me to be the healthiest I have ever been both physically and mentally. I want to take time to feed my creativity by engaging in outlets that let it flow out of me like water. I want to be calmer, be less quick to anger or get annoyed by things. I want to carve out ample amounts of time for loved ones, to make sure that our relationships only grow stronger. I want to have even more compassion for people and try to better understand those that I may not agree with. I want to be better at listening, better at communicating. I want to love deeper. Putting all of this out into the universe, and up to that new moon, I am confident that I can achieve these goals.

So dear Goddess, do you have any goals as we come into this next phase? I urge you to write them down and then when you’re ready, send your intentions out into the universe. The road ahead will be a positive one if you believe it to be. Gemini moon will help.

Stay healthy, be positive, be well,

Charissa

Dance Like No One Is Watching

Hello dear Goddess,

How are you holding up? Full transparency here, for me it’s been a difficult couple of days. I apologize for not posting, but I felt the need to focus on my mental wellness and take some time to process my emotions. You see, I’m missing my family very much. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat.

At the beginning of this week I was lucky enough to receive a visit from one of my closest friends. It was the first time in over two months that I have been able to see anyone besides my boyfriend, who I live with. We had such a beautiful time, relaxing out in my backyard (social distancing of course), enjoying the sunshine, with good coffee, and great conversation. I am so thankful that she wanted to take the trip up here to see me. As much as it warmed my heart, it made me really miss spending time with loved ones. It made me think about my family, who unfortunately I haven’t been able to see at all since March 12th ( my mom’s birthday.) They live with my grandmother who is 93 years old, so we all thought it best to wait it out. I would never want to put her health in jeopardy. I take solace in the fact that we are all in this together, and that we can lean on each other for support as we navigate through this new normal. Technology helps.

I realize it’s okay to have bad days and to get emotional over what’s going on, and this week has been just that; an emotional one. So what do I do, when I feel sad? I dance.

I suggest you try it dear goddess. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a dancer, that is a false statement. Anyone can dance, and everyone should dance. Dance when you’re feeling sad. Dance when you’re happy, when you’re angry. Dance when you’re feeling creative, or bold, or sexy, or silly. Dance even when you just feel like you need to get out some pent up energy. It’s such a beautiful expressive thing that really helps connect you to your inner life force and to just be one with your body. Observe how you can move in ways you didn’t even realize. Feel your energy flow through you and just enjoy being in it with the music. Feel your soul just grow lighter the more you dance and leave any negative thoughts in the dust. Just dance it out.

Dancing has always been an outlet of mine. Growing up I wanted to be a ballerina. For a long time, my little creative soul would put on home stage productions of ballets for my parents. I was always the star, and would recruit my brother to be in my show alongside me. Usually he played the villain complete in full costume and makeup (whether he really wanted to participate or not is still up for debate). I loved dancing so much, and was so passionate about it that my parents, bless their hearts, put me in some classes at the Boston Ballet School, which prepped little girls for the real thing. Unfortunately, this free spirit could not be tamed, and the structure and non existent performances were enough to make me dance my way out of there. I still remember being extremely disappointed that instead of a stage recital in full bedazzled splendor, I would be performing the Nutcracker’s Arabian Dance in studio, with simply my practice leotard as my recital attire. Oh the horror!

I never joined a dance team again, but instead, ended up cheerleading through middle school, high school, and into college, and that became my outlet. I was so passionate about it and was able to really excel, and pick up the sport quickly. I loved the dance numbers most of all.

Now, I dance every day. I dance in my kitchen while cooking dinner with Mike, I dance around my room as I get ready for the day, and I dance for exercise. My favorite dancing exercise is Beachbody’s CIZE. If you haven’t heard of it, I strongly suggest checking it out. Shaun T is the instructor and will get you out of any bad mood. Guaranteed. He is really funny and motivating and breaks down the dance moves in a way you can understand. Even if you start out feeling like you have no idea what you are doing, the first step is just to keep moving. This alone will be so uplifting for your mind and your body, and I promise you will sweat!

I did this workout today because I was having a hard time this morning, and I can honestly say my mind feels so much more relaxed and I feel a lot more positivity flowing through me. It always feels good to move your body, and especially after a tough workout, the accomplishment alone should put a smile on your face.

So goddess, I encourage you to give it a shot. Put on your favorite music, and just go crazy. Dance like no one is watching. Dance with wild, reckless abandon. Dance like your life depends on it. Dance and leave your soul right on the floor. Let it heal you. Let it express the beautiful you. It’s your body after all, so show it some love!

Once you’re done, I’d love for you to write about your experience in your journal. What emotions came up while you were dancing? How did you feel afterwards? Was there a song you danced to that you really resonated with?

See, now doesn’t that feel good?

As always,

Stay healthy, be positive, be well,

Charissa

Review: Codex Beauty

Good evening dear goddess!

Yesterday I posted some information about making good choices when it comes to buying products to add to your skincare routine. Today I would love to share with you a few that I feel fit the mold for exactly the type of products people should be buying for their skin.

I received these two select products complementary through a reviewing site called Influenster. My job was to test them out, and then create a few posts and reviews about them so consumers can get a better idea of what they would be purchasing. I am not getting paid for these reviews, I just feel that they were such beautiful products in terms of their ingredients and sustainability that I felt that it would be nice to share them on here with you!

As I had never heard of Codex Beauty before, as soon as I received an email that I was going to be receiving a box with some of their products to review, the esthetician in me immediately hopped onto the website to learn a bit more about the line and what types of ingredients I would be getting within the products themselves.

Their site states that “Codex Beauty is a collective of global skin care brands built on science, natural ingredients, plant-based preservatives, pharmaceutical-grade processes, safety and efficacy trials, sustainability, and consumer transparency.” (Sounds like my kind of line!)

I found out the company was founded by Barbara Paldus, a highly accomplished scientist, and that the Bia line specifically was created by a woman named Tracy Ryan, who is a trained herbalist and horticulturist from Ireland. I have come to realize when science and nature combine, many times it is a winning combination for skincare and I feel these fierce goddesses really hit it out of the park with this line!

So without further adieu, below are my video reviews on the two products I have received. I hope that if you like what you hear and are searching for some new products to introduce into your skincare routine that you would consider Codex Beauty.

Click here to see my review of The Bia Exfoliating Wash by Codex Beauty
Click here to see my review of The Bia Skin Superfood Moisturizer

Establishing good skincare habits in your daily life is just one more way to practice self care, which is so important in our wellness journey. For your Seed For Growth exercise tonight I would like you to write about your favorite self care ritual that you do. What about it brings you so much joy and how do you feel after completing it?

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gave you a bit of insight into this amazing line. Have a happy Sunday night!

Stay healthy, be positive, be well,

Charissa

Clean products=Happy Skin

Happy Saturday goddess!

I hope this week proved to be a positive one for you on your wellness journey. Were there any new routines you may have taken up this week? I bring up that question because today I would like to discuss a routine that is very important to me, and that is the development of a good skincare regimen. As an esthetician, I love to educate people on the importance of daily skincare practices as our skin is our largest organ after all!

When starting a routine, it’s important to personalize your experience by picking out products that are going to address any concerns you may have with your skin, and create positive, healthy changes to it as well. The problem is there are so many products out there where do you even start?

I personally, like to start with the ingredients. Many people may have different opinions on what types of products are best when it comes to skincare, but I feel that the most beneficial ones out there are going to be the products that feed and nourish the skin through natural, organic ingredients free of synthetics, parabens, or other harsh chemicals and preservatives. You would be surprised by how many “high quality” products are filled with these types of ingredients. Not only can they create inflammation, irritation, and imbalance in the skin, but some are even known carcinogens! Does that sounds like something you would want on your body? No? Me neither.

I think it’s important to treat the outside of your body the same way you want to treat the inside, by making healthy choices, especially since the skin can absorb up to 60% of what you put on it. This is why it’s so it’s important to always keep ingredients in mind when choosing new products to use. I am a skincare junkie so when looking for a new product line to try I like to begin by looking for certain certifications printed on the packaging. Just a few that I try to be on the lookout for are:

Eco Certification is one of the most respected and recognized organic certifications when it comes to skincare and is often very hard to get. This certifies the product is environmentally friendly with a green make-up. Everything is tested from the packaging, to the manufacturing process, to the soil used in the growth of the ingredients.

Like Eco Cert, USDA Organic also tests soil quality, the use of additives and making sure that no pesticides or synthetics are used within the creation of the product. They also test for organic packaging as well. This certification is given if the product meets all U.S. federal guidelines in these categories, much like USDA approved food does.

The leaping bunny certification means a product is cruelty free. There are many types of cruelty free certifications out there but this one is one of the best because the product is free from animal testing throughout the entire development process from start to finish.

A vegan certification means that your product is entirely plant based, and does not contain any animal bi-products, honey or pollen from bees, or silks or dyes from insects.

Non GMO project certification means that your product does not contain any genetically modified ingredients.

There are more certifications out there that are very important as well but those ones are some of my favorites. When a product has multiple of those symbols on the back, you know you are getting a high quality product, as some of these certifications are very in depth in their testing and may take years to get.

Aside from the certifications, it’s also important to think about the areas that you want to focus on when it comes to your skin. Are you dry and dehydrated? You’ll want to be on the lookout for ingredients that add hydration and moisturization back to the skin, such as hyaluronic acid or marshmallow root. Are you sensitive? Ingredients like calendula, chamomile, and lavender are known soothers. Do you have acneic skin? Something clarifiying might be good like rosemary or neroli. If you’re addressing aging skin, rosehip oil or vitamin c can be great for rejuvenation.

These are the questions you want to be asking yourself so that you aren’t wasting your time or money on products that aren’t suited for your skin type. If you’re going out shopping for skincare, make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity to chat with the salesperson working that day. Chances are they know their stuff, and may even be an esthetician as well. Don’t be afraid to discuss with them your skincare concerns so that they may better assist you and give you that awesome skincare recommendation!

If you decide to buy online instead, I always recommend to buy directly through the brands official website. Usually they will have it set up entirely by skin concern to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for. Also look for the ingredients list, which most brands will present at full disclosure so that you know exactly what you would be putting on your skin.

Well, dear goddess, I hope that I was able to help shed a little light on how to pick products when trying to establish a good skincare routine. I would like to talk about my own routine but I will save that for another post. Tomorrow I will be posting two product reviews that I did for a line I was introduced to recently. I feel they are SO beneficial for the skin and I am excited to share them with all of you!

For your Seed For Growth exercise tonight I would like you to write down what you do and use for your skincare routine. Is there anything you would change about it or something you would like to add to it? Do you feel that your products are giving you the results you would like? If not, maybe now is the perfect time for a little change! Onward and upward!

Stay Healthy, be positive, be well,

Charissa

Because I’m happy! :)

Good afternoon Goddess!

I hope the day has been treating you well. Right now in New Hampshire where I live, it’s sunny with a slight breeze. Perfect running weather. On my run I was taking in the beauty of the day. I watched the trees swaying overhead as the breeze flowed through their branches, their newly opened vibrant blossoms peppering their leaves. The sky was bright and blue, which makes me happy every time I see it that way, and the local park at the center of town was looking as inviting as always with its bright green grass, flowery trees, and calming river that flows through it. It’s days like these, when I stop to really take in the natural beauty of this world, that I feel even that much more thankful to be alive. What a gift it is to wake up in a world that has so many positive things in its make up.

Today, dear goddess, I want you to focus on the things in your life that make you happy, and that you are grateful for. These things could be as big as family, or as small as the smell of a really good book.

Speaking of a really good book, there is one that I would like to discuss with you today that does just this. It’s called, 14,000 Things To Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer. She has many other books that I find very helpful for people going through a wellness journey, and I’m sure I will cover more of them at some point in the future.

14,000 Things To Be Happy About is perfect for our exercise today because it focuses on happiness and how there are so many little things in life to be thankful for. I feel this is an extremely important concept to remember, especially when someone is going through a hard time and is having trouble finding that light. The contents of Barbara’s book (compiled over 40 years!) are simply lists of things that make her happy. It’s a simple but poignant concept that truly shows the beauty in the small things. I love to take this book and pick a random page, to see how many things on the list I can resonate with. It’s a fun exercise to do. For example, on today’s page I resonated with:

  • a contemplative corner of your own
  • aging a stew or soup
  • soup du jour
  • seeing rainbows
  • sipping “fun” down to the last drop
  • Easter basket treats
  • seeing interesting people in an elevator

Today I would like you to get out your journal and make a page full of your own things that make you happy. Again, these topics don’t have to be super deep (unless you want them to be!). Just like Barbara’s, they could be little things that bring you great joy! I have a feeling that this exercise will put a smile on your face and bring a little more positive energy to your day. I also encourage you, if you enjoy this exercise, to include it as much as you want in your journaling. Maybe it’s only a few things that you notice that day. That’s okay! Jot them down! When you look back, you’ll be surprised how much beauty there is when you take the time to notice.

My list for today:

  • wrapping both hands around a hot cup of coffee in my favorite mug
  • a really good stretch up to the sky
  • jelly bean toes on cats
  • plants reaching for sunlight
  • running socks where there is a specified right and left foot
  • reflections of trees on water
  • puffy clouds
  • a little note – just because
  • the feel of a soft, knit blanket on my skin
  • affirmations
  • wind chimes tinkling in the breeze
  • a friendly wave
  • video chats with my loved ones
  • hitting a daily goal
  • a book that you cant put down

Well my dear goddess, I am off to make myself some lunch! I hope that you have found a little inspiration from this post. Feel free to leave a few of your own things that make you happy in the comments, I would love to know!

Stay healthy, be positive, be well,

Charissa

Metamorphosis

Tarot courtesy of Alana Fairchild’s Love Your Inner Goddess Deck.

Good evening Goddess,

This morning I decided to pull a card from one of my decks while meditating on you, dear goddess. As we are all here to gain ideas and inspiration on our wellness journey, I wanted to ask the universe for some guidance for us as we move forward toward achieving our goals. I found it very fitting that I pulled the Bright Destiny card.

This card is symbolic of letting go of preconceived notions of who you thought you needed to be in order to make way for the stronger, more vibrant true self that is just waiting to break free and spread her wings. Although there might be some confusion, a little fear, and maybe even some speed bumps along the way, you need to trust in the journey and realize that this is the process for true growth. Just know that when you come out the other side, your light will be shining brighter than ever, and just like that butterfly, your most beautiful self will be revealed!

Today I concentrated on my own journey of growth by doing a sport yoga workout. This type of yoga workout is a bit more intense using weights during many of the poses as well as incorporating some targeted strength training exercises throughout.

Although I made it a point to do my daily workout, I’m not going to lie to you, today was a hard day for me to get motivated. It took me awhile to get up the energy to do my workout when all I really wanted to do was lay on the couch and cuddle with my two cats. I felt bloated and tired and lethargic most of the day but I will admit, once I made the effort to get up off the couch and move my body, I felt much better.

Why I’m telling you this is simple, the journey isn’t always easy and it’s okay to have those days where you feel unmotivated and maybe you decide not to do anything. When this happens, don’t beat yourself up about it but just look at it as a challenge to do that much better the next day. You will find that as you get more and more involved in making the changes needed to better yourself both mentally and physically you will see it begin to get easier and your motivation will grow and grow.

I encourage you to pick up a journal to write down your thoughts and feelings during this transitional period, as I will be posting Seed For Growth Exercises at the end of each post moving forward. These exercises are made to encourage you and make you think of all the wonderful reasons you have decided to create change in your life.

Tonight I would like you to list 3 things you did today to help yourself on your wellness journey. What did you learn? How did you feel after completing them? If you don’t feel like journaling feel free to leave a comment below, great ideas are always appreciated!

Stay healthy, be positive, be well,

Charissa

What Does Wellness Mean To You?

Good morning, Goddess. Quarantine hasn’t always been easy. At times it’s been pretty hard as I’m sure you well know. As the world as a collective whole goes through this major transitionary period, I too have felt a shift in my own life. I feel as days go by and I settle into a routine, I’ve begun to try to look for the positives in this surreal situation we are all in. I have wanted to do better, to take the time to focus inward on myself and to make the changes I need to for positive physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Wellness has always meant a great deal to me but I was only just scraping the surface.

I feel that as we navigate through this new terrain it is important to put our energy into creating more positive moments for ourselves and others. Yes, it is important to be informed and to acknowledge the reality of the situation we are in, and to grieve, because these are all healthy things to do too, but make sure that you are balancing that out with self care, exercise, and finding the beauty in life’s little moments. It will not only bring you much more happiness and joy, but can also help to calm the nerves, and bring peace to your mind.

I have created this blog to do just that. It’s a place where you can come for solace, for a little brightness to start your day, or to help you on your journey to wellness. I am on my own journey right now, and it feels really good! I decided to name this blog in memory of my Nana. She was one of the most amazing women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, and I know I was a very lucky soul to get to have her as my grandmother. Being one of the kindest people I have ever met (second to my own mother), she was always one to teach beautiful lessons about kindness, acceptance, and love. Her favorite was, “Always let that beauty shine from within.” Hence – Light Shine Wellness. If you have love in your heart, it will radiate outwards and you will be the most beautiful version of yourself. This is what I hope for, for you, for all of us. It may be hard some days, and maybe some days you feel like your light is dim, but when you begin to have love for yourself, for others, positive things will happen.

So, dear Goddess, I ask you, what does wellness mean to you? Does it mean getting up every morning at 6 am for that early morning run, when the air is crisp, and the pavement glistens with morning dew; when all you have is the long road ahead and your thoughts? Does it mean spending time with your loved ones, making new memories, and being thankful that they are in your life? It could even be when you’re holding your babies close, reveling in each new milestone, the sounds of their laughter and their joy. Does it mean finding a new hobby, or picking up an old one, and really enjoying each and every moment that you stitch that new blanket, or pluck that guitar string? Or maybe it’s simply learning to love yourself more, to giving yourself a little grace. Whatever it may be, hold onto it, and grow from it. Let it expand in your heart and add to it, and maybe your light will shine even brighter than it did yesterday.

I look forward to creating something to help you, others, and myself as well, and I hope we can grow in wellness together.

Stay healthy, be positive, be well,

Charissa