Natural Deodorants: Revisited

Natural Deodorants: Revisited

My journey to find the perfect natural deodorant has been quite a struggle.  You may remember some of my previous posts on natural deodorants.

After years of trying what seemed like millions of natural deodorants, I had just about given up! Until, another bad experience with a natural deodorant led me to finding the perfect one.

I had high hopes for the Schmidt’s Naturals deodorant. So many people told me that it worked really well for them. So, I decided to try it for myself! I purchased the Lavender Vanilla scent at TJ Maxx.  To my surprise, it was perfect! It lasted all day, kept me dry, and it smelled really good.

After a few weeks of using it, I realized that my under arms had become extremely dark in some areas and in other areas, my skin was red and raw.  After doing a bit of research, I found out that I was having an allergic reaction to the baking soda in the deodorant.  I posted about my experience on InstaStories and Schmidt’s Naturals reached out to me asking if they could send me their sensitive skin formula. They told me that it is usually a better option for people that have had a bad reaction to the original formula.

After the burns and rashes healed from the bad reaction I had, I began using a body scrub from Shimmer in the Dark; it was great for peeling off all the dead skin.  I also made my own gentle deodorant using coconut oil, arrowroot, and cornstarch (I only used this to mask the odor of sweat, it did not work as an antiperspirant).  Within a few weeks, my skin was back to its normal color and I was finally able to try out the sensitive skin deodorant.   They were right! The sensitive formula was exactly what I needed.

I’ve been using the Schmidt’s Naturals Sensitive Skin formula for about four months now and it works just the same as the original formula, it keeps me dry all day and it comes in amazing scents like Coconut Pineapple.

Unlike many products on the market, Schmidt’s Naturals Deodorant is both a deodorant and an antiperspirant, so it keeps foul odor away while keeping the underarm dry.

After three years of trying natural deodorants, I’m happy to finally report, that I’ve found one that works and fits all of my needs!

Book Now, Pay Later

Book Now, Pay Later

When it comes to planning a trip, finances play a HUGE part.  For many, paying the full amount up front for a trip isn’t always feasible.  I totally understand; I am on a strict budget and can’t always pay up front for my vacations.  Over the last two years I’ve stumbled upon several vacation services that allow customers to “Book Now, Pay Later”.

 

Airfordable

Airfordable is a service that allows customers to put their plane tickets on layaway.  I first used Airfordable in 2016 when I traveled to Sydney, Australia.   The process to use Airfordable is simple:  find your desired flight (Spirit Airlines is not eligible), choose the frequency of your payments; bi-weekly, tri-weekly or monthly and lastly, make your deposit.  Each booking is assessed a service fee that is based on the cost of your ticket.

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Sydney, 2016

 

Carnival Cruises
In 2016, I took a cruise to The Bahamas on Carnival Cruise Lines.  Many cruise lines allow customers to book their cruise with a small deposit, sometimes as low as $20.  When I booked with Carnival, my deposit was $20 and I had until about a month before the cruise was to set sail, to pay off the remaining balance

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Nassau, 2016

 

Book It
Bookit.com is another excellent website to book travel.  Depending on the destination, customers can book hotel and resort accommodations for just $5 down.  Book It, also allows customers to choose the dates they want to make their payments; as long as a payment is made each month.  I used Book It for a trip to Mexico earlier this year.   I put just $5 down and split $487.50 over three payments!  For this particular trip, I was splitting the cost of the resort between myself and two other people, for a total of $162.50 each.  Book It is definitely an affordable option.

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Mexico, 2018

 

Fun Jet Vacations
In 2017 my cousin planned a trip for her birthday to The Dominican Republic using Fun Jet. With Fun Jet, customers can book all-inclusive trips to various destinations.  For this trip, I made an initial deposit of $200 and then had about 4 months to pay the remaining balance.

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Dominican Republic, 2017

 

If you’re on a budget but still desire to travel, check out these Book Now, Pay Later options and let me know what you think!

Traveling to South Africa? Here’s What You Should Know

Traveling to South Africa? Here’s What You Should Know

As many of you may know, I traveled to Cape Town, South Africa two weeks ago.  I know I say this just about every time I travel, but South Africa is my favorite place and I cannot wait to be able to go again!  I posted a few pictures on social media and I got a ton of messages about my trip.  So, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few things you need to know before traveling to South Africa

Take Time To Give Back
The main reason for my trip to Cape Town was to participate in a mission’s trip.  While there we served within the township of Masiphumele, serving at a child care center, providing assistance to the six amazing female teachers, who ran the center.  Many of the townships in South Africa are extremely poor and have limited resources.  Just $35 a month is enough to feed 50 people! Thanks to donations provided by our family and friends we were able to provide the child care center with food, toys, school supplies, electricity, cleaning supplies and much more.  I wish I could have captured the level of gratitude that came from the people we served.  The smiles on the faces of the children of Masiphumele will be something I will never forget.   There was one day that we blew bubbles for them, and even the teachers got excited! They had never seen bubbles before, something we have seen so many times.  Serving during this time was definitely an eye opener and taught each of us to be thankful for everything that we have.

Our last day with the little ones in Masiphumelele

There are many other townships that are in need of support, take the time to do your research to see how you can make a difference.

There May Be Water Restrictions
Cape Town is currently coming out of a a severe water crisis.  While there, we were notified that there were limitations on how much water we could use per day.  In an effor to conserve water, it is requested that residents and visitors take no longer than 3 minute showers, refrain from taking baths, only flush when absolutely necessary and to opt for hand sanitier instead of using water to wash hands.

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A local hotel’s attempt to encourage patrons to use less water

 

There Are Requirements When Traveling With A Minor
If you’re traveling with a minor (under the age of 18) you must have the birth certificate of the child as well as an affidavit from the parent(s) of the child with their consent for the minor to travel.   For further information, please visit the US Embassy & Consulate in South Africa site

The Exchange Rate
Things in South Africa are pretty cheap for users of the dollar, pound and euro.  A three course meal can be had for about $40 per person.   During one meal my friends and I had burgers, non-alcoholic beverages, and some had wine.  The total bill for the five of us was about $52, including the tip.   Other times we would go out to breakfast and have avocado toast with fresh squeezed orange juice and our bill would be about $8 each.

$8 avocado toast breakfast w/ fresh squeezed OJ

Not only is the food cheap, but other goods and services are inexpensive as well.   I was able to get a gel manicure and pedicure for a total of about $30 for both.  That’s impossible in the US!

South Africa Is A Tipping Nation
Unlike other countries I’ve traveled to, South Africa is a tipping nation.  This means that when a service is provided to you, it is expected that you tip.  Due to the low cost of goods and services in South Africa the tip is not astronomical, but you will get a side eye if you don’t provide one.

South Africa Is Very Laid Back
Being from the Washington, DC area, we are always rushing.  So when you travel to a place where people are laid back, your first thought is that there is no sense of urgency.   That couldn’t be further from the truth.  In South Africa, being slow and laid back is just their way.  Eventually you’ll learn to love it, and when you return home you’ll wonder what the rush is all about.

Take A Safari
The Safaris in South Africa are absolutely amazing!  We traveled three hours from the home we were staying in to the Aquila Private Game Reserve.  For $182 we had an up close and personal tour of the reserve and where we were able to spot a hippopotamus, giraffes, lions, zebra’s, elephants and more.   Our trip to the reserve also included lunch.  Don’t worry my vegan friends, the lunch had some amazing vegan options including a cinnamon pumpkin dish that tasted better than grandma’s sweet potato pie!   The reserve also offers a sunset safari which looks to be absolutely beautiful.

Uber Is Your Friend
Some will tell you not to take an Uber in South Africa for safety reasons.  However, we heavily relied on Uber throughout our stay.  The Uber rides in South Africa are extremely inexpensive.  The price for our rides cost anywhere between $3 and $21 and the average tip for an Uber driver is less than $1.

Exercise Safety Precautions.
Do your best not to walk around alone.  In certain areas, people target tourists and will try to rob you.  We experienced this in one of the townships when we went back to pick up some goods we were having made.  If you’re going to an ATM, don’t go alone, and don’t allow any of the locals to “help” you with the ATM.   When a local asks if they can help you with the ATM, they do not mean you well and are actually trying to rob you.  This didn’t happen to any of us but it is still something to be aware of.

Keep Your Receipts
In South Africa, they charge a VAT tax for certain goods.  Many times, the items that are charged a VAT tax may be eligible for a refund.  When you get to the airport to return home, don’t immediately check your bags.  Go over to the tax refund counter to show your receipts and the goods you purchased.  The agent at the counter will determine how much of a refund you are eligible for and will give you a ticket to redeem after you check your bags and go through security.   Depending on the amount of your refund, you may be able to receive your refund the same day or you may have to wait.  I got about $52 back but I have to wait three months in order for it to be available.  The refund is loaded onto a pre-paid master card and has to be used within two years and cannot be used in South Africa.

Local Shopping is A Must
If you’re in Cape Town you must go to Kalk Bay to do a bit of shopping.  The boutiques all carry hand made goods from local designers in South Africa and other countries in Africa.  I got so many unique pieces while there including genuine leather purses, jewelry, and other souvenirs I bought back for my family and friends.  One thing you won’t find here is a souvenir shop with products that have “Made in Taiwan” on them.  Just about everything you see is either handmade or manufactured in Africa.

Super cute leather bag I found at a local shop for only $20

Take a Trip To Table Mountain
Table Mountain is one of the 7 Natural Wonders and is definitely a great trip to take if you’re in Cape Town.  The views are absolutely amazing and the cable car ride up to the top looks like something out of a movie. Be sure to wear good sturdy shoes, if you’re like me and want an epic pic, you’ll be climbing on top of rocks in order to capture the fantastic views, so leave the sandals at home.  You’ll also want to take advantage of the gift shop on the top of the mountain.  The gift shop has a ton of hand made and unique items to bring back for your loved ones, and the prices are extremely affordable.

View from table mountain

Vaccinations Are Not Required (In Most Cases)
Unless you are traveling from a country where Yellow Fever is prevalent, you won’t need vaccinations to travel to South Africa.  If you are traveling from a country where yellow fever is present, you’ll need to show proof that you have gotten the vaccine.

You also don’t need to take medication for Malaria unless you’re planning on sleeping in a lake with a hippo!

Be Prepared To Dress For All Seasons
The weather in South Africa is really unpredicatable.  Many times, we experienced all four seasons in one day.  The best advice I can give is to dress in layers.   It may be 80 degrees one moment and then 50 degrees the next… be prepared!

As I said earlier, South Africa is my favorite place so far!  I can’t wait to go back and I hope you guys have an opportunity to go as well!

Skin Care While Traveling

Skin Care While Traveling

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We should all have some form of day and night skin care routine so that our skin always feels and look its best.   It is also important to have a skin care routine when you are traveling.

I have a specific set of products I bring with me when I’m flying, especially when it is a long haul flight.

Moisture and Hydration
Due to the circulated air on planes, I tend to put a thick layer of moisturizer on my skin when I’m flying.   The humidity in most air cabins is about 20%,  this is less than half of what our skin is used to.  Due to the lack of humidity it can cause the skin to become extremely dry, red and flaky.   Products that are rich in Hyaluronic acid are perfect for cabin air because they contain a molecule that is able to bind water and keep your skin moisturized.   I usually use the Osea Atmosphere Protection Cream to keep my skin moisturized and I apply it once for short flights and every few hours on long flights.  It is recommended that hydration sprays not be used while flying, because the water evaporates in the dry air and can make the dryness worse.

Cleansing
As soon as I get off the plane I wipe my face down with face wipes to get all of the dirt and grime from the airport.  After doing a quick cleanse, I put more of the moisturizer on.  I’ve been using the baby wipes from Joonya lately to wipe of my face.

Lips
I always bring a good lip butter or chapstick with me when I fly.  Your lips can become dry just like your skin, due to the lack of humidity in the air cabin.  Currently I’m using the Straw-burry Lip Butter from The Butter Bar.  I think this product may be out of stock but their lip balms are pretty amazing too!

Makeup or Nah
Please please please, skip the makeup when flying!  The dry cabin air, plus layers of heavy makeup can lead to breakouts, rashes and other skin conditions like black heads.  Makeup holds on to dirt and can create free radicals.  Free radicals can lead to the breakdown of collagen and lead to pre-mature fine lines and wrinkles.  I’m not even going to give you an alternative for how to wear makeup while flying, because I want you to have beautiful skin forever!

Do you have any skin care tips and tricks for traveling?  Post them below!

 

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Vegan While Traveling

Vegan While Traveling

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Many people think that maintaining a vegan lifestyle while traveling is difficult, but honestly it doesn’t have to be.   Today I’m going to share a few tips on being vegan while traveling!

When You’re at the Airport

Ok this is probably the hardest part of traveling while vegan.  Many airports are not vegan friendly and if they are, the food can be pretty expensive.   Typically when I’m traveling I like  to bring my own snacks to eat while I’m at the airport and on the plane.  I’ll bring things like an oatmeal cup from Trader Joe’s and I’ll ask the flight attendant for hot water or I’ll stop by a cafe in the terminal and get some hot water so I can have my breakfast on the go.   I also try to pack things like bars, crackers, trail mix and chips.

Vegan.com is an excellent resource for all things vegan.  They even have a post about the most vegan friendly airports in the US.  Now, it hasn’t been updated since 2014 but it is still a good tidbit of information.   Caitlyn Shoemaker (one of my favorite YouTuber’s) also has a few videos on how eat at airports and how to pack snacks as a vegan.  Checkout my Vegan While Traveling playlist on YouTube!

While You’re on the Plane

If you’re flying domestically, airlines like Delta and American airlines offer Biscoff Cookies which are vegan friendly.  You can also call your airline ahead of time to let them know that you are vegan and sometimes they will make accommodations.  Please don’t try this with Spirit, they will laugh and hang up on you (I’m lying… I’m just bitter from that stunt Spirit tried with me back in May.   If your airline doesn’t have any accommodations check out Oh She Glows post on vegan travel snacks for your flight.

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Vegan goodies I took on the plane, cuz Spirit Airlines is WHACK!!!! – Cancun 2018

If you are traveling internationally on a flight that is more than 5 hours,  most likely you will be offered meals and snacks on your flight.  You can contact your airline and let them know your dietary restrictions and they will accommodate.   I’ll be traveling internationally later this month on Ethiopian Airlines and I was floored when I saw all of the meal options they had.  They had options for every type of dietary restriction like pescatarian, vegetarian, vegan, low sodium etc.  Airplane food usually isn’t the best, but it’s always nice to know you have options available.

When You Get to Your Destination

While traveling abroad, I have yet to have difficulty with finding food to eat as a vegan.  Honestly I feel like finding vegan eats in the US is a lot harder than it is around the globe.

Here are a few tips:

  • Download apps like Happy Cow and Vanilla Bean.  These apps are kind of like FourSquare and Yelp, but for vegans and vegetarians.  You can look up restaurants around the world and see what food spots fellow vegans like and don’t like.
  • Look up hashtags on social media such as #veganinbangkok or #veganinlondon to see what other vegans in those countries are eating.  You can also reach out to other vegans on social media for insight on where to eat.  When I traveled to Iceland last year, I reached out to several local vegans to see what their favorite spots were.
  • Research the area you are traveling to.  There are a ton of of vegan travel blogs out there like The Nomadic Vegan that share food chronicles for fellow vegan wanderlusters.
  • Chat with your friends that have already visited the places you are going.  When I went to Sydney two years ago, it really helped that the friends I was visiting were vegan because they knew everywhere to eat, plus all of the restaurants there had a plethora of vegan options (Dear America, please take notes!!!)
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Me looking like proud mama with my lentil burger – Sydney 2016

Honestly, I’ve never had any vegan food I didn’t like internationally.  Oh wait, I’m lying!!!  While Amsterdam had a smorgasbord of vegan options, the food was GROSS and flavorless!  I told someone that the best food I had was french fries because everything else was edible but super bland.

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This coconut yogurt bowl I had was flavorless- Amsterdam 2018

While traveling domestically, I’ve experienced a little bit of difficulty but I have found that websites like Spoon University and Veganuary make it easy to find vegan food wherever you are.   Last year, YouTuber Sweet Potato Soul traveled from New York to California and stopped at a ton of amazing vegan friendly restaurants across the US. She documented her journey and spotlighted several amazing vegan friendly spots.    I’ve actually had the opportunity to try a few of them, so I know you won’t be disappointed.

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Breakfast at The Southern V – Nashville, TN 2017

Websites like Veg News have information on the most vegan friendly restaurants in the US and abroad.  Veg News also provides frequent updates on restaurants that are offering more vegan options.   I like to save their posts on Instagram when they post about new restaurants and new menu options just in case my travels take me to those areas so that I know exactly where to go.

See, it really can be easy to maintain your vegan lifestyle while traveling both internationally and domestically.  I’ll be sure to document great food places I try during my adventures.  I’m actually heading out-of-town this weekend so, if I find any cool food spots I’ll be sure to share!

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Could Your Bed Sheets be the Cause of Your Breakouts?

Could Your Bed Sheets be the Cause of Your Breakouts?

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There was a time when I couldn’t have cared less about my skin.  However, when cystic acne decided to attack my face I had no choice but to start caring.    My journey to obtain clear skin was a rocky one.  I had to learn what foods were causing my acne, I had to figure out the perfect regimen for my skin and I had to figure out the things in my environment that were effecting my skin.

The holistic dermatologist I use told me that I needed to start paying attention to my environment and gave me some key tips for keeping my skin clear.  For me, one of the main reasons I was experiencing breakouts was my bed sheets!

It’s important to change your bedding frequently, and here is why:

The Dirt
Throughout the day, your skin comes into contact with various pollutants, forms of dirt, and oils.  Nightly when you go to wash your face and/or shower the dirt is washed away.  But think about how the body sweats, especially at night.  Also, if you eat in your bed or allow your pets to sleep with you there are a ton of irritants that will be left in your bed.  If you have skin conditions like psoriasis; eczema; atopic dermatitis; and other ailments, not changing your sheets frequently can lead to outbreaks because of the irritants left on the sheets from the dirt, oil, food and pet dander.

Another dirt factor is saliva, many people drool when they are asleep,  I am definitely guilty of this!  At night your mouth is filled with bacteria so imagine the amount of bacteria that is passed to your pillow throughout the night.

Your Hair
If you’re like me, you don’t wash your hair every day. So that means that there is a build up of oils, gels, creams, dirt and more.  Even if you sleep with a bonnet or satin scarf on your head, the products and dirt on your hair seep through and end up on your pillowcase.  I dye my hair midnight black which gives it a blue tint.  When I look at my sheets I see how the blue dye has seeped through my satin scarf and ends up on my pillow.

So What Happens If You Don’t Change Them?
Not changing your sheets often can lead to breakouts and inflamed skin.  The build up of oil that transfers from your pillowcase to your skin can lead to blackheads, white heads and other rashes.  The dust mites and dander that build up over time on bedding can flare up eczema and other allergies. 

So How Often Should You Change Them?
The frequency of changing your sheets really depends on the time of year.

During the summer months, its recommended that bedding be changed every four to five days because of the amount of sweat and oil the body produces.   In the winter, it is recommended that bedding be changed once a week.

If you don’t feel like changing all of your bedding, then at least swap out your pillow cases weekly.   If you have environmental allergies (dust mites or pet dander) then you should change your sheets more often.

Take minute to think about how often you are changing your sheets?  Is it weekly? Or is it less than that?  If you’re changing your sheets less often than weekly you may want to change your habits ASAP!

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Travel Tip: Using Spare Change to Pay for Trips, and Other Unique Ways to Pay for Travel

Travel Tip: Using Spare Change to Pay for Trips, and Other Unique Ways to Pay for Travel

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Two years ago I was not in the best shape financially, I wasn’t broke broke but I had to start paying my student loans back and it was taking all of my coins.  Even though money was a bit tight,  I still had the itch to travel.  I was working on paying down my student loan debt quickly,  so there really wasn’t any extra money to spend so that meant that anywhere I traveled would need to be super cheap.   My cousin told me about a five day cruise to the Bahamas that was $600.  At first I thought to myself… I can’t afford this right now.   Then I thought about it…what if I can find a way to pay for this without taking a hit on my finances.

Continue reading “Travel Tip: Using Spare Change to Pay for Trips, and Other Unique Ways to Pay for Travel”

Expiration Dates Aren’t Just for Food!

Expiration Dates Aren’t Just for Food!

I’ve been on a mission to use up all of the products I have before I buy more for quite some time.  Initially I had drawers and bins of products that I had collected.  When I moved in June, I was forced to go through all of my bins to see what products I wanted to keep and which ones I wanted to toss.  I realized, I had to throw a lot of the products away because they had expired.  Yes, you read that right…  products expire!

Have you ever noticed the expiration date on the back of your beauty products?  No?  Ok, let me show you…

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Take a second to look at the back of your beauty products and you’ll see a little icon that looks like a jar with the top coming off.  The number in the center of the jar indicates how long the shelf life is for the product.  If your product is older than the shelf life, you may want to think twice about using it.

When you’re going through your products to see which items to keep and which items to throw away, use your best judgment.  If the product doesn’t look the same way it did when you bought it, its probably best to throw it away.   If it smells funny or the texture changes, throw get rid of it!

Recently, I opened a jar of the High Gloss Masque from Coco Soleil and it looked like dry mustard.  I’m pretty sure it didn’t look like dry mustard when I bought it, so I knew it was time to throw it out.  If my grandmother had seen it, she would simply tell me to put some water on it to bring it back to life.  But… that definitely wouldn’t be a good idea.   Chemicals can separate over time and if used on the skin, it could be damaging.   Old products also carry various types of bacteria which could possibly lead to infections or even viruses.

If you’re like me and you like to do random trips to stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s, be very careful buying products.  Remember these stores pretty much get left overs or overstock from other retailers. So, it’s very hard to tell if certain products are still within their shelf life period, if they are defective (from a bad batch) or if they are still usable… you just never know.   I remember once seeing bottle of the Erno Lazlo Night Serum in TJ Maxx for $65 I was shocked because it’s normally $200 per bottle, I almost got it but then I thought about it…  Why on earth is it this cheap?  I love TJ Maxx as much as the next product junkie, but I have to be very careful with what beauty products I purchase from such retailers.

Do your skin a favor and go through your old beauty products to see which items can be tossed! Come back and let me know what you find.

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Travel Tip: Hotels on a Budget

Travel Tip: Hotels on a Budget

I’ve shared quite a few tips on how to get to your destination but, I have yet to share about hotel accommodations!

When it comes to hotels, I can be a little bit picky.  I like the max for the minimum.  I want to stay in a nice and comfortable hotel but I don’t want to pay a million dollars for it.

Whenever I’m looking for a hotel, whether its out of the country, in another state, or for one of my stay-cations where I book a hotel in DC for the weekend, I like to use the Hotel Tonight app.   The Hotel Tonight app allows users to book really nice hotels for a fraction of the cost.  I’ve stayed at the Intercontinental at DC’s new Wharf for only $60 per night…  I also used the app when I’ve traveled out of the country and have gotten deals for four star hotels for $100 per night or less.

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With the Hotel Tonight app, you can sometimes book up to a month in advance.  However, there are times when the app will only let you book a week in advance.  Its been my experience that the closer you wait until you desired date to book a room, the better deal you will get.    Last weekend I needed a hotel room for the weekend and I was able to get a room at the Westin in Arlington, VA for $120 for the weekend!

 

Another thing I like to do is check Google for hotel deals.  Simply type in: Hotels in (enter desired city here) and google will show you hotels that have the best rates in that area or areas that are close by.

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Results when doing a Google search on hotels in DC

 

There have been a few times when I’ve used the Express Deal feature on Priceline.com where they pick the hotel for you and help you get the best deal.   You choose the criteria for your hotel:  Star rating, desired area… etc.  and Priceline will find the perfect deal for you.

I’m sure there are a ton of other ways to get hotels at discounted rates, but so far these are my favorites.  What apps and websites are you using to book hotels?

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Healthy Lady Parts

Healthy Lady Parts

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We’ve all had our fair share issues with our vaginas… yeast infections, bacterial infections, heavy  and painful periods… you name it… we’ve been there!

I struggled for years with my vaginal health…  I had no idea that many of the products I was using on my body and my diet were affecting my vaginal health.  Are you struggling with your vaginal health or looking for ways to improve it? Then keep reading!

Take Probiotics

Probiotics are vital when it comes to vaginal health.  I guess I should explain what a probiotic is before I go further.  Probitics are a healthy form of bacteria that produces lactic acid and helps reduce and discourage the growth of bad bacteria.   Probiotics play a major role in our health, by enabling the body to fight off infection.  Taking probiotics can aid in the treatment of Yeast Infections and Bacterial Vaginosis.

When it comes to oral capsules, I take the probiotic by Renew Life… its the only vegan probiotic capsule I’ve been able to find in my local stores.

I also drink kombucha regularly.  Kombucha is loaded with natural bacteria that aid in boosting our immunity and improving our overall health.

You can also eat yogurt, kimchi, kefir, tempeh, sourdough, dark chocolate and a ton of other foods that are loaded with probiotics.

Recommended Products

Ultimate Flora Women’s Care
Health-Ade California Grape  Kombucha 

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Speaking of food, there are a lot of foods that will improve and maintain vaginal health.  Here are some of my favorites:

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A.  Vitamin A aids in maintaining healthy vaginal and uterine walls and helps produce the hormones we need that allow us to stay energized.

Avocados

Avocados have many health benefits, but one of them is that they can help you stay naturally lubricated down there, and it can enhance your estrogen levels.   Avocados are rich in vitamin B-6 and potassium which have positive effects on your libido.  For women that struggle with fertility and are undergoing IVF treatments, avocado may increase your success due to its unsaturated fats!

Cranberry Juice

Its packed with acid compounds that ward off unwanted and unneeded bacteria.  Cranberry juice is known for helping prevent and relieve the pain of urinary tract infections.  Skip the Ocean Spray and go with all natural no sugar added cranberry juice to take full advantage of its benefits.

Fresh Fruits and Well… Eating Plant Based in General

I can honestly say that since I switched to a plant based diet my menstrual cycles are much more manageable.  I experience very little cramping and my cycles went from 7 days to just about 3 days.  I can definitely tell when I haven’t been eating the way I should, because I experience numerous issues including terrible cramps.

Sugar and Alcohol

While there are foods that you should definitely ensure you are eating, there are also a few that you should avoid to make sure you are as healthy as possible.   If you are prone to yeast infections avoid foods that encourage yeast to grow like excessive sugar and alcohol.

Use Organic Feminine Care Products

It’s no secret how I feel about organic feminine care products. But I wasn’t always an advocate for organic feminine care products.   I remember how crazy I thought Vicky Logan was when she mentioned using organic tampons…  I thought… she is SO EXTRA!!!  But then, I did my research.  Now, I am willing to spend more and travel far for organic products that will improve and maintain my vaginal health.  So here is the tea… most conventional feminine care products contain:

  • Rayon
  • Chlorine
  • Pesticides
  • Latex
  • Dyes
  • Chemical Additives
  • Plastic Materials

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) many of the chemicals that are found in conventional feminine care products contain glyphostate which some studies suggest is linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  Why on earth would you want any of that near your vagina?

For me, switching the products I use completely changed the game when it came to my menstrual cycle.  I bleed a lot less heavy now and I  have not had a bacterial infection or yeast infection in 3 years.  I was getting them monthly and had no idea that it was coming from the types of products I was using.

Recommended Products:

This is L Ethical Personal Care Products
NatraCare Feminine Care Products 

Read the Labels

Many of the feminine care products on the market are filled with chemicals that can lead to health issues.  Many health issues that come along with using toxic products have nothing to do with the vagina.  Check out the Chem Fatale Report from Women Voices and see how many of the products being used are known to cause endocrine disruption, reproductive harm, asthma, and even cancer.

 

Get Rid of Washcloths

Washcloths hold bacteria, and its best to keep bacteria as far away from the vagina as possible.  Instead, buy a detachable shower that has an array of settings. This type of shower head will allow you to get to the parts of your body a regular shower head can’t reach. With a little warm water and if you desire an organic feminine wash, you won’t need to use a washcloth to keep your lady parts fresh.

Recommended Products:

 

Keep That Yearly Appointment

You should be on a first name basis with your OB/GYN or any other doctor you may see.  Its crucial to your health always know whats going on with your vaginal health and your health in general.  Sometimes there may be something going on that you are not even aware of.   About ten years ago I went to the doctor to see what was going on with my menstrual cramps, I was getting them really low in my pelvic area and it felt different than usual.  Turns out, I had a cyst on one of my ovaries.   If I had just brushed it off as regular cramps who knows what it could have developed into.

Take the time to make your annual appointment, tell your doctor everything that’s going on with you.  Don’t be afraid to be candid with them… trust me you’re not the first person they’ve talked to that is experiencing the same symptoms or issues that you are.

 

Vaginal health is a huge part of our health so its very important that we take care of it.  What are you doing to keep your lady parts happy and healthy?

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