Mini Spa Day at Home

Bills due, busy at work, kids driving you crazy, fighting with your spouse, exams all week, deadlines to meet…the list is endless when it comes to stress, we all have some form it. What we fail to realize is how it takes a toll on our mind & bodies, especially our skin, hair, & nails. There are so many different things that can happen to your hair, skin, & nails due to stress, things such as acne, eczema, hives, rosacea, psoriasis, alopecia (hair loss), vitiligo, (depigmented white spots on the skin), & dry, brittle nails & hair.

We all need to make time for ourselves, to relax our minds, rejuvenate our bodies, & get away from the everyday craziness, so that we can avoid all those nasty possibilities. Take time to treat your hair, skin, & nails, pamper yourself, if you don’t do it for you, who will. You can always make that appointment at your favorite salon or spa, but if your on a budget, try taking advantage of some alone time & pamper yourself at home.

Let’s start with skin. Wear makeup everyday? Well even if you don’t, try to give yourself a weekly facial. Pull out all those products that you’ve bought, collected & put in your drawer that you never use. I’m sure you have a whole regimen & didn’t even realize it.  Give yourself a good cleanse, exfoliate, tone, & moisturize. You can even purchase an at home facial steamer, they are very reasonably priced, & much safer than the old pot off the stove steam method. If you’re having some dryness or breakouts, apply a mask for about 5-10 minutes to condition or clarify your skin. Leave your skin bare all day to let all products you have used settle in. It’s also good to let your pores breathe & take a break from wearing makeup.

quote

On a computer all day or wash your hands hundreds of times a day? Address those dry hands & cuticle with a mini-hydrating treatment. Cleanse your hands & massage some olive oil into your cuticle area. The olive oil will not only hydrate your cuticle area but will also bond your nail layers together enhancing nail strength. If you’re having trouble with dry, flaky hands, try coating them with body butter or thick hand crème & mask them for a few minutes, you would be surprised at how much your skin will drink up all that moisturizer!

Nothing is more relaxing than a nice, warm bubble bath. Too many warm baths can dry out the skin, even more so if you use a foam bath. Try using bath oil instead, you can still enjoy the warm water in your bath, meanwhile the bath oil coats your skin, leaving it moisturized & soft. Give your hair a treat at the same time you soak in your bath, leave your conditioner on & wrap your hair in a warm towel or use a shower cap. Need an intense conditioning treatment? Apply olive oil to the ends of your hair for a few minutes, your hair will soak up what it needs, & you just give your hair a quick wash to remove the excess oil.

Now that you’ve had your mini spa day at home, pour yourself a glass of wine, and relax before bedtime…I guarantee, you will sleep peacefully, like a newborn baby.

Advertisements

Keep Busy During Deployments

Being a Military spouse is a tough job; no one knows how hard it is to keep your mind off thinking the worst. During a deployment there will be days, weeks, and sometimes months before you get to hear from your spouse. In the meantime, you are always on edge, waiting by your home phone, have your cellphone near you at all times, checking the mail and your email always…it’s crazy how your life changes at this time. Other military wives ask me how I survived during my husband’s (6) deployments… here are some of the things I did to keep busy.

deploy

List of Things to Do During a Deployment:

STOP CRYING!

Mediate

Hang out with old friends

Make new friends

Strengthen family bonds

Get better at your job

Take classes

Tend to the hobbies & passions you normally don’t have time for

Road trips

Visit museums, art galleries, or historical sites

Plan a girls picnic

Take fitness classes

Go Wine tasting

Go for walks at a near by track or park

Pamper yourself at home with a bubble bath

Catch up on the latest books

Try new foods

Start writing to let your emotions out

Keep a journal of your daily thoughts

Book a spa day

Go on vacation

Never turn down an invitation to do something fun

Go to local events

Volunteer in your community

Start a business

Buy a house, renovate and/or rearrange your home

Save money

Get to know yourself

The trick is to KEEP BUSY!!! Get out of bed, throw the box of tissues away, pick yourself up, get dolled up, and do things. Before you know it, time flies by and you’re love is home and back from deployment. These are just the things I can remember off the top of my head. Don’t spend to much time on driving yourself crazy…it’s stressful, wears you out, and not healthy.

About the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, & an array of other topics. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Chase Your Dreams, Ignore the Bullshit

tumblr_m0gm28q9jk1qm94r5o1_500As women, we are always put to the test to see how much we can take, how far we can go, how tough we are till we break.  Many women have dreams and goals that are influenced by others. They want and need attention while looking good to their peers. That’s the wrong kind of dream to chase. Go after what’s really in your heart; if its finishing school, building something, getting that high paying job, traveling around the world, being on the cover of vogue…whatever it is, chase your dreams and do all you can for them to come true.

If family puts you down and makes fun of you, thinking your goals and dreams are stupid or a waste of time, ignore them. People like that have no balls to go out there with blood, sweat, & tears to do what they really want to do. They’re usually lazy, have no ambition, and the only thing that moves fast is their mouth talking shit about others when they should be looking at how they can improve themselves. Show them that no matter how many bad things they say to you or about you, you will succeed, to give in 7156943497_d50d4b0c36_zto their negative shit.

If you’re in a relationship and your spouse pays no attention to your ambitions, it’s because they simply do not care. As sad as this is, people like that usually have no goals themselves. If they tell you you’re not going to be successful, you’re not capable of making it to the top, it’s only because they are jealous of the drive that you have, they know that you will be, and they don’t want you to do things better than them…pure selfishness! You deserve better.

Pay no attention to negative people that do not believe you. As much as you think you need them, you don’t. Negativity slows you down, makes you doubt yourself, and gets you nowhere. Believe in yourself, if you have family and a spouse that doesn’t support you, then YOU support you. Wake up every morning and go to bed every night with good thoughts, ideas how to make your dreams a reality, and put forth the effort to do so every chance you get. We only have one life, count on yourself to fulfill it as much as you can, what are you waiting for? Dream it….do it…live it! ❤

chase-your-dreamsAbout the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, & an array of other topics. Don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Easy Crock-Pot Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Instead of the original recipe that takes quite a bit of time to bake in the oven, I experimented with some of the ingredients, took some out, added my own, and used a crock pot instead. This recipe is always a hit at parties, potlucks, and family gatherings. It’s quick, easy, and yummy! Enjoy!

Easy Crock-Pot Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 package (16 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli
1/3 cup milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Chicken & Herb Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’ s Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 jar (8 ounces) pasteurized process cheese sauce (like Cheez Whiz)
2 cups minute white rice
1 cup of warm water
Large Crock-Pot

Heat the butter in your crock-pot high on heat.
Stir the broccoli, milk, soups, and rice.
Bake at high heat  for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbling.
Then add cheese.
After its ready, set your crock pot on low or warm. Then serve. :)

Healthy Sex Life=Healthy Skin

As they say, love and laughter is good for the body and soul. But it’s not only good for the body and soul; it’s also great for your skin.  Now in the beauty industry for over 17 years and in my mid 30’s I am beginning to take extra care of my skin and pay close attention to the fine lines that are now starting to appear. What I have noticed is how my skin glows a bit more these days since I’m taking better care of it, I have had less breakouts, and my tone and texture seem a tad more even.  It’s been while since I have had an intense chemical peel or anything aggressive that would give my skin such benefits.

I remember when my husband had come home after a long deployment; I finally had a chance to enjoy being a newlywed & was living, laughing, and most definitely “loving” a lot more.  What I didn’t realize is how all the newlywed bliss had really made an impact on my skin. Total flawlessness…(in my eyes at least). Its amazing how being in love, being loved back, and having a healthy sex life improves your skin. Next to luxurious spa treatments, happiness, and laughter, sex is the ultimate spa beauty treatment.

 Stop searching for the fountain of youth, getting busy could set your clock back a few years as far as your appearance is concerned. Sex increases blood circulation, which in turn increases oxygen supply to the skin cells, resulting in a natural brightening effect, better hydration and keeps that skin from being on the dry side. This doesn’t mean you can replace your eight glasses of water a day either, so keep drinking that water.  Since it also boosts collagen production, it fights off age spots, sagging, and keeps those wrinkles from creeping up on your skin, maybe even better then some of the facial masks on the market today. Your skin is not the only thing gaining strength and luster, so are your nails and hair.

As you start to sweat during a heated rendezvous sweating releases natural oils that lubricate and hydrate your skin. Those natural oils are what keep your skin looking dewy and fresh. Sweating can also help cleanse and detoxify the skin which can get rid of toxins and impurities in your pores. Think of your sexual perspiration as a free mini facial; just be sure to give your skin a cleansing before going to sleep to eliminate clogged pores. With all that blood circulation going on just think of the noticeable glow you will have after your love session. You’ll have pink lips, rosy cheeks, dewy skin, & shiny eyes for at least a couple of days …who needs a trip to the cosmetic counter with all that!

The big O not only reduces stress, it also lowers blood pressure, calms your nerves, eases the mind, and hits you with an intense wave of calmness. So maybe you can put off going to the spa for some relaxation or taking that sleeping pill to help you fight off those sleepless nights. Adding sex to your bedtime routine can very much relieve stress. After enjoying the deed for a while with a happy ending is sure to put you into a peaceful sleep which can help resolve those sleep issues. Post-sex sleep is restorative, so you’ll wake up refreshed, looking alive, and with reduced under-eye circles and puffiness. 

Many of us are so determined to stay looking young as long as possible that we invest in all sorts of makeup, creams, lotions, and potions. Although all of these things certainly go a long way to help us accomplish younger looking skin, it can get a bit expensive. Regular sexual engagement can be our “magic anti-aging product” and help make us look younger while not costing us a dime. Sex is a physical action that stimulates the body and mind. With proper diet, regular exercise, take vitamins, and healthy sex life, you make sure you get older with a healthy process. So heat up that bed and remember, putting more wrinkles in the sheets =fewer wrinkles on your skin!

April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, & Owner of The Lil Spa Room,  PCA Skin Chemical Peel certified, a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor, & freelance beauty writer. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, & travel adventures. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Like You’ll Never Be Loved Again

Has someone ever loved you so much they know your every move? The kind of mood you’re in just by the tone of your voice. If you’ve had a good day, a bad one, or just an ordinary one.  They know the curves of your face, the exact detail of your eye color, how your hair smells, and how your hands feel.  They know the kind of soup you like when you’re feeling under the weather; they show up with flowers just to make you smile for no reason at all. They look at you and see right through you, they know when you’re fibbing, when you’re scared, or when you’re the most confident.  You’re the most beautiful thing they have ever seen, even on your ugliest days. They write you poetry, send you song lyrics that remind you of them, and every site of beauty they see has your face imprinted on it. They constantly ask you questions about your past, show interest in your present, and hope to be a part of your future. They know when to back off to give you space, how to comfort you on a sad day, and act silly just to make you laugh. They can’t get enough of your company, are saddened when you have to part ways, and make plans to immediately see you soon.  When they lay right beside you still in the night, no conversation is needed and a bond is still felt even in the silence.  When the two of you make love, all disappears from your mind; you’re so wrapped up in the moment tears stream down your face. When you say goodbye it seems like forever till you’re joined again. Love

If you’re loved like this now, treat it preciously, guard it with your life, and make sure you take care of it because you may never have the chance to have that again. I believe only one person comes along in our life that loves us this much. Most of the time we take it for granted and treat it as if it would last forever. Forever only lasts when we give the same kind of love in return, if not, we lose it. No matter how hard we try to replace it when it’s gone, it will never be the same. Love those more that love you this way.

aprilmaemonterrosaApril M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, & Owner of The Lil Spa Room,  PCA Skin Chemical Peel certified, a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor, & freelance beauty writer. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, & travel adventures. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Sept 3: My 3rd Year of Marriage

3-year-anniversary (1)Today is my 3rd year wedding anniversary. Three years ago I never would’ve thought I’d be saying that at all, much less writing it. Far from your traditional marriage, I still took the plunge and became a military wife. Funny how life turns out; unexpected twists and turns of love, loss, heartache, bliss, and never-ending surprises. This year was particularly hard. Both of us have been through huge transitions and handled them the best and only way we knew how. Unfortunately, it was the wrong way. I’ve always been too ambitious and impulsive for my own good, while my other half is patient and cautious. Opposites attract right? I guess that’s why it had been working so well. Again, I’ll admit, this year has been a rather difficult one.

Between therapy, alone time, and dealing with my own inner demons, I’ve learned a lot about marriage, life, and 6863_20121109_170345_75913_413125865425792_1535894639_n1myself. I’ve learned not everyone is the speed demon I am, I’m not the same person I use to be, some things aren’t as important, if someone really wants you no excuses will be made, anyone can change if they want to, and sometimes you got to take your time and not use your emotions to make huge decisions. As for marriage, I’ve learned that your spouse should come before your career, especially if they’re supportive of your every move and just want a tinny tiny bit of undivided attention. I’ve also learned that even though you’re extremely upset, you need to bite your tongue if any ugliness is on its way to coming out. Words spewed out in heartache and anger can really break someone’s heart.

579784_4042463780429_465533200_nI use to be one of those “marriage is a piece of paper” people. Now that I have one of those pieces of paper, I know now it’s far much more than that. When you marry for true love, you lose yourself, you give more chances, you forgive more, you ache harder, and even though you want to run away from it all, that bond of marriage gives you more gall to fight for it. I’m talking real unconditional love, the kind where you forgive and want things better not like they were, respecting your vows, and knowing you can’t nor want to be without your spouse.

Marriage has its highs and lows; I’m learning it can’t always be a honeymoon. Though this year has been difficult, the both of us are trying to find each other again along with ourselves, we still laugh with one another, the towel hasn’t been completely thrown in, & I still feel blessed to have him in my life. I’ve given and invested so much in quotesthis marriage; it may last, it may not. I can’t see the future and neither can anyone else so any negative opinions will be paid no attention to. With any not so good situation, the blessings are there. With everything that’s happened its lead me to some pretty awesome things; I am now my own boss, I’m the strongest I’ve ever been, I have more pride in my accomplishments, my home is filled with more love, had the chance to travel, enjoy life, make new friends, and find the person I want to be.

Trying times can produce the most valuable lessons in life. Those that truly love you will accept whatever decision you make or direction you decide to go and be there for you when you’re blissfully happy or torn up to pieces. So to my husband, the both of us are full of imperfections, no mistake is worse than the other, both of our fingers are too dirty to keep pointing at each other and I’m glad we’re slowly getting away from that whether we are under the same roof or not. We can now only hope for the best since we’ve been through the worst. Thank you for helping me learn more about myself, allowing me to grow and branch out to new opportunities, and mostly, for still loving and supporting me in every way possible despite the mess we’ve made. Happy anniversary & much love always.

About the Author:

Beauty Writer & Lifestyle Blogger April M. Monterrosa is a Proud Latina from San Antonio, Texas, a Military wife, the mama of a dachshund, a licensed Cosmetologist of 18 years, Owner of The Lil Spa Room, & a Nuskin Skin Care Distributor. With beauty & blogging being such passions, Shine Beautifully was born. Shine Beautifully will feature beauty tips, home remedies, quotes, poetry, recipes, personal stories, travel adventures, & an array of other topics. Don’t forget to subscribe!