Do It Yourself This Holiday Season

As hard as it is to believe, the holiday season is upon is, and it’s time to decorate, compile gifts for loved ones and cook up a storm of perfectly spiced treats. If you’re anything like me, you’re looking to save some money–and make something unique and meaningful–by creating things yourself this year.

From decor to gifts, the DIY trend has made it easy to get inspiration from the internet and whip together something truly delightful, creative and one-of-a-kind. Check out our list for links to some great ideas for do-it-yourself creations to help spread the holiday joy:

Holiday Decor:

Homemade Gifts:

Mouth-Watering Recipes:

Happy DIY-ing!

Be Thankful This November!

gratitude

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine and to come home complaining about everything from impossible clients at work to the stand-still afternoon commute. We all know in the big scheme of things (or even in the smaller scheme of things) that we’re incredibly lucky to have great friends, loving families, hot meals and warm beds. So what better time than Thanksgiving’s month to remember what we normally overlook and actively appreciate all the things that make our lives a pleasure to live? Check out some of the following suggestions for keeping yourself mindful of life’s aspects–big and small–that help you get out of the bed each morning.

  • Write down what you’re thankful for. Create a gratitude journal (or help your child create one). For detailed instructions, visit: [http://letslassothemoon.com/2012/11/01/kids-gratitude-journal/]
  • Volunteer. Giving back can be a great way to both learn to appreciate your own life’s quality and to help others. To find out where you can volunteer in your area, visit: [http://www.volunteermatch.org/]
  • The small things matter. Do something nice, unexpected, kind and special for someone you love. Cook their favorite dinner. Buy them a completely pointless–but awesome–trinket/treat/fancy cheese/cool greeting card. Draw them a picture. Send a cheesy e-card.
  • Don’t keep what you don’t use. They say you shouldn’t keep anything in your closet you haven’t worn for a year. Go through your clothes (or anything else) and donate the things you don’t need to those who do. Or have a friend who compliments a garment you only wear once every six months? Consider passing it on to someone who will really appreciate it.
  • Give someone a break. Did you know that November is National Family Caregivers Month? If you know of anyone who devotes their life to others, consider giving them a night off. Take care of their responsibilities–or pay someone else to–and treat them to dinner, drinks, a movie, or even just some extra sleep.
  • Leave someone a great tip. You never know how much a little extra month–that you likely won’t miss anyway–might make someone’s day.
  • Be nice to your coworkers. Complain about your job but know deep down that it’s really not that bad (especially because it’s allowed you to meet some pretty cool people)? Bring breakfast to work. Help someone out with their workload. Ask how someone’s doing and really listen to their response.
  • Be nice to yourself. Appreciating your life has a lot to do with showing other people gratitude–but it also has to do with taking care of yourself. Treat yourself to a manicure/pedicure. Go to bed early for a change. Enjoy a glass of wine after work. Meditate…and feel the pressure lifting off your shoulders when you let go of all the things you normally worry about and embrace thoughts of gratitude, peace and joy.

Four Of The World’s Greatest Places For Skin Health

Reykjavik, Iceland is beautiful, with pure air and waters conducive to healthy, clear skin.

When it comes to skin health, there are many factors at play: genetics, diet and exercise, and hormone and stress levels being just some of them. Over the course of many years, however, one element that largely determines the wellness of your complexion may be your environment. Between pollutants, air quality and the resources available in your community, the place you choose to call home can play a surprisingly major role in health, especially affecting the appearance of aging and clarity of skin.

So where are the optimal places to pamper skin cells and renew your youthful glow? We’ve compiled a list of some of the most complexion-friendly locations–so even if you can’t pick up and move, maybe you’ll find a place to rejuvenate skin on your next vacation.

1. Oslo, Norway: A beautiful cosmopolitan city, Oslo is also known as “the world’s biggest village” due to its small-town approach towards impact on the environment and commitment to the community. With a simple public transportation system, large amount of bike users and widespread use of locally grown foods, this city is known for its pure air and healthy diet. The quality of air and food creates a perfect environment for slowing the aging of skin and staving off conditions such as acne and environmentally caused skin irritation.

2. Marienbad, Austria: Discovered in 1341 by a wandering traveler, the mountain town of Marienbad has become a favorite spot for tourists due to the curative carbon dioxide waters in its springs. Boasting eight different pools, each with unique mineral compositions, this small town is a perfect escape for soothing tired, irritated skin. Bathing in the springs and drinking from them is reportedly beneficial in battling numerous ailments including gout, diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatism.

3. Reykjavik, Iceland: Iceland is one of the least polluted countries in the world. With an overall low rate of disease, Reykjavik is a perfect place to rejuvenate skin through clean air and swimming in the pure, geothermal-heated waters enjoyed by locals year round. With large amounts of outdoor activity, as well as relatively low exposure to the sun per year, this is a place that promotes skin health.

4. Portland, Oregon, USA: With some of the lowest ozone and pollution levels in the US, Portland is a great place to avoid the free radicals that age skin and interrupt healing. An emphasis on physical activity and farm-to-table produce also makes this city a great place to get and stay healthy, supporting a luminous, youthful complexion.