DIY Lavender-Mint Deodorant

Hello lovely people!

Today I have this awesome and super simple DIY for all you people out there trying to cut out chemicals from your daily beauty routine and for those of us who simply can’t afford to spend $10 every time you need deodorant. SERIOUSLY. What’s up with natural deodorant being so freaking expensive?!

While I was in London a few months ago I was looking around Whole Foods for a new deodorant. Now I sweat A LOT due to the nature of my work so I need something that actually WORKS. I decided to splurge (10 pounds, which is practically $17!!!!) and bought the honey and milk Lavera spray deodorant.

This stuff smells awesome and it actually makes putting on deodorant kinda fun, but unfortunately it was not the most effective product I’ve ever used. If you don’t do much physical activity during the day, it would probably work just fine for you.

But the take away from this trial and error was that I discovered I much prefer spray deodorant to a roll-on, and also John-John would kill me if I kept spending $17 on deodorant ;). So I decided to make my own version so that I could customize my scent, save a ton of moolah, AND still have a luxurious experience with something as mundane as covering up body-odor.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. 1/2 cup Witch Hazel
2. 1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel (or juice)
3. 1 teaspoon Baking Soda (or more if you want it to be stronger)
4. Essential Oils of your choice (I used Lavender, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus)
5. Spray Bottle (bonus: I re-purposed the old Lavera bottle. At least that softens the blow of the price tag a bit.)

Instructions:

1. Combine the witch hazel, aloe vera, and baking soda in a cup with a spout for easy pouring later (you could alternatively use a bowl and a funnel).
2. Add around 5 drops of each essential oil to your mixture and adjust to your preference. (I find the Eucalyptus is what makes the fragrance really fresh.)
3. Pour into your bottle and DONE!

Seriously I don’t think it gets any easier than this.

And not to mention that all these ingredients are totes natural, good for you, and pretty household standard. The witch hazel is anti-bacterial which will help keep odor causing bacteria at bay, the aloe will soothe your underarms as it’s an anti-inflammatory, the baking soda neutralizes odors, and the essential oils also combat bacteria and make you smell oh-so-nice. Plus the spray aspect gives a wonderful cooling sensation on those hot hot days.

All together this product cost less than 5 bucks! What a steal!

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Note: This is NOT an antiperspirant. I am a firm believer that our bodies know how to take care of themselves and I am not about to get in the way of a process that cleanses and detoxifies our bodies.

UPDATE: Today I put this deodorant to the ultimate test. I went for a 2 mile run in 95 degree weather (call me crazy) and then did a full ab workout with lots of pushups and some weight lifting. I was completely drenched by the end and guess what? I was B.O. free! This stuff is serious business and I am SO happy with how effective it is!

DIY Chemical-Free Febreze/Air Freshener

So let’s be honest.

People can be stinky.
It just happens. Life is messy and sometimes sweaty people sit on our couches or make our homes smell like a locker room. I’m a dancer and I am 100% guilty of this. Sometimes you just forget to put on deodorant! O_O
But personal hygiene aside, I had been looking for a natural fabric refresher and an air freshener for John-John and I’s bathroom for a while now, but everything in the store was either: 1. Aerosol (contains propellants and just plain bad for the environment), 2. Had a s**t ton of chemicals, or 3. Had an ungodly fake fragrance.
So of course crafty-Andy decided to simply make his own!
I was thinking back on my recipe for my DIY Lavender Deodorant (which btw still is the BEST deodorant I have EVER used) and thought to myself there was no reason this same base couldn’t work to freshen up not just my armpits, but my entire home!
Except the thing is, this recipe is even EASIER AND SIMPLER! CRAY!
Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Spray Bottle
  • Enough water to fill your spray bottle
  • Baking Soda
  • Essential Oil of choice (Peppermint, Lemon, Grapefruit, or Orange are all great, I used OnGuard by dōTERRA)

          Cost: less than $2!!!

Steps:
  1. Put your water in a small pot and heat until just before it boils.
  2. Take off the heat and stir in baking soda 1 teaspoon at a time until dissolved (I used about 4 teaspoons for my 4 oz. bottle). Be sure not to add too much baking soda as it will clog your nozzle if it is not fully dissolved.
  3. Allow your mixture to cool for a few minutes and stir in your essential oils. The amount you use is totally up to your personal preference how strong of a fragrance you want. I put in about 10-12 drops of essential oil.
  4. Allow to fully cool before transferring to your spray bottle.
  5. DONE!
Easy as pie and done in less time than it takes to do your eyebrows.
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I use this stuff all over my house, on the couch, blankets, directly in the sink and toilet, and in the air! You could even use this as deodorant in a pinch! The baking soda neutralizes any foul odors and essential oil leaves an uplifting and clean scent! The OnGuard oil was a gift from my mom before I left for London (thanks Mom!) and it is awesome! It is supposed to boost immune function when inhaled, applied to skin with a carrier oil, or taken orally. So every time I spritz this stuff I make sure to take a good inhale and breathe deeply. It relaxes me and I can breathe happily knowing there is absolutely nothing bad for me in it!
Happy spritzing!

Invisalign: 9 Tips and Tricks for Success!

Growing up I never had braces, or much dental work to be entirely honest. I think I may have gone in for a cleaning maybe 5 times in my entire life. I know, kinda gross right? The times I did go I always LOVED it though! And to this day I get a small thrill from sitting in that big comfy chair awaiting some tools being prodded around in my mouth. I know I know I’m one of THOSE sick people that loves the dentist.

However I have been blessed with pretty awesome sturdy teeth (thanks Mom!) and have only had 1 teeny tiny cavity. Which I got filled at a natural homeopathic dentist who did it WITHOUT using those horrific mercury filllings. Seriously, if you have mercury fillings go get them taken out and replaced IMMEDIATELY! They’re leeching toxic mercury into your system slowly but surely. Not to scare you or anything…

Anywho, my teeth were honestly one of the things I was always most self-conscious about due to their un-straightness. (Is un-straightness even a word? Oh well, it is now!) And we could never afford braces as I was growing up so I simply just learned to deal with it and accept it all the way through high school and partially through college.

Then one magical day I found a Groupon (that magical online place you can basically find anything discounted) for HALF OFF Invisalign treatment! That brought the price-tag down from $7000 to $3500! What a steal so I BEGGED my parents to get it for me as an early birthday gift until they caved.

The Groupon was for Smiles by Design in Carmel Mountain, CA with Dr. Daniel Javaheri. I googled his practice and read every review I could find on him. He passed my online stalking test so I decided he would be great. Now this is not a promotion for him, however, he gave me one of the BEST services I have ever received from a medical/dental professional. He always had a smile on his face and always made sure to remind me that he was there to help me reach my goals, whatever those were; if I was happy, he was happy.

I ended up going through 2 rounds of treatments, and here is how it went down (you’ll find my tips and tricks at the bottom of this post):

Treatment 1: 24 trays, a new set of trays every 2 weeks, about 1 year.

When I got my first trays it was the WEIRDEST sensation having plastic over your teeth all of the time. It also caused me to have a lisp for about a week while I got used to speaking with them in. John-John thought this was hilarious at the time, anything for a good laugh I guess. The only downside was that my gums and the inside of my lips got really irritated and a little cut up from the trays so it was a bit painful to brush and eat for a while until the inside of my mouth got used to the constant contact. Other than that they were totally invisible and I couldn’t have been happier!

Until I got my second round of trays. This time the doctor had to add these little white-buttons in order to give the trays leverage to move my teeth faster. I thought ‘okay this will be fine you still won’t be able to tell I have invisible braces.’ Unfortunately he had to put 2 huge ones on one of my front teeth and a myriad of others all throughout my mouth. I was a little devestated at how odd they looked and it made it much more obvious that I had braces. It took me a while to get used to the buttons, but after a while I started to notice them less and people only saw them if they were really close to me.

After I had finished all of the trays my teeth were still not 100% straight, but dramatically better than from where I had started. The doctor said that the retainer would continue to straighten my teeth and that it would most likely finish the job (PS the retainer was not included in the Groupon and I had to pay an extra $500 for it. Still a great deal I think compared to paying the full price for the whole treatment). So I wore my retainer religiously for a few months, and in my opinion they didn’t change much more. Also the retainer is an even thicker plastic than the normal trays! I thought my gums and lips got cut up before, that was childs play in comparison to the cuts I got from these bad boys! So I went back to the doctor and told him I wasn’t satisfied with the results and he said “no problem let’s get you started on a refinement series!” AT NO ADDITIONAL COST! I was floored; he wasn’t kidding around when he said that he was there to get me the smile I had always wanted.

Treatment 2: Refinement Series, 12 trays, about 6 months.

I had to have some more buttons put on, this time they were much less noticeable than the first round and they really didn’t bother me much after having had the other ones for a full year.

I went through the treatment and when I hit my 10th tray I was about to move to London with my hubby and I needed to get my retainer ASAP and be done with my treatment, after all Dr. Javaheri wouldn’t be able to help me an ocean away. My teeth were nearly 100% straight, but not quite. However I came to the conclusion that having a slightly off smile gave me character and that I was confident enough in my teeth to not feel self-conscious about them any longer. So I asked the doctor to take off my buttons and he had a retainer made for me in a matter of hours. I mean he was incredible and was genuinely happy that I was happy with the results.

Here are some tips and tricks I learned from my experience:

  1. Find a Groupon or some sort of discount. But make sure your dentist is reputable and check their reviews online before commiting!
  2. If your gums and inner lips get irritated from the trays, try swishing your mouth with a tablespoon of coconut oil every morning for 20 minutes (with the trays out of course). This will help the cuts heal more quickly plus the coconut oil is anti-bacterial and soothing.
  3. BRUSH YOUR TRAYS TWICE A DAY! Trust me, those things will get NASTY. Get a toothbrush with really long bristles that will reach deep down into all the nooks and crannies of your trays.
  4. Don’t waste your money on those effervescent denture cleaners. They won’t clean your trays like a solid brushing will.
  5. The doctor will tell you not to eat or drink anything with your trays in. While I agree with the eating part of it, you can totally drink smoothies and coffee with them in. Just make sure the coffee isn’t boiling and you should be good to go! I’ve even eaten bananas and  ice cream with them on and it’s been a-ok!
  6. Always carry your tray case with you. Seriously, the last thing you want to do is lose a set of trays! You have to pay for a new set and wait for them to be made, this sets you back $100 and sets your completion date back too. Carrying your case with you will ensure that when you do to take them out to eat that you don’t lose them in a napkin (I have done this far too many times and have even had to ask my waiter to bring my plate back to retreive the trays I had hidden in my napkin). Whoops!
  7. Wear them AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. The more you wear them, the better they will move your teeth. It’s that simple. The recommendation is 22 hours a day. However, I had a few nights (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) where I left them out for 4 hours or more so that I could eat, drink, and relax without worrying about taking my trays out every 5 minutes. And to be honest I don’t think it set me back at all. They will hurt really badly when you put them back in at the end of the night but it is was well worth it to have freedom for a night
  8. At the beginning you will be super self-conscious about taking your trays out in public. You have to make a really awkward face in order to get your fingernails in the right place to pop them out and it can be a little embarassing. You’ll soon get over this and become a ninja who can take out his/her trays in a matter of seconds without anyone noticing.
  9. Stick with it because the end results will so be worth it! ❤

Have any of you had success stories with Invisalign? Any horror stories? Share them in the comments below!

5 Fitness Instagrams to Get You Motivated


Summer is right around the corner! Yippee! That means sun, friends, cocktails, parties, beach, and lots of yummy food! Oh and it means it’s time to break out the skimpy swimwear!

I don’t know about you, but I should definitely be putting in some extra workout time. I’m going on a Greek cruise in 2 months time and you better believe I will basically be living in a teeny tiny speedo.

So here are 5 Instagram pages I follow for awesome exercise tips, videos, healthy recipes, and fitness inspiration!

  1. Michael Morelli Jr. @morellifit  
    • This guy posts a lot of videos where he shows you his favorite exercises from his HIIT program. You’ll get a lot of new ideas and exercises to try next time you hit the gym or workout at home!
  2. Chloe @chloe_veganfit  
    • Find loads of healthy recipes and food inspiration on this girls page! You’ll be inspired to eat the rainbow!
  3. Andrew Pap @andrew_pap_  
    • He’s an Aussiebum model so YOU KNOW he knows what’s up. Lots of exercise tips and motivational quotes plus a ton of shots of him in speedos in beautiful places. It’s a win-win.
  4. Laurel Fredette @grumpy_vegan  
    • This girl is a literal beast! She is crazy fit AND vegan. What a badass.
  5. @cuchira  
    • The creator of yogance (yoga fused with dance) this page has a ton of seriously fun videos that will get your butt into both a yoga and a dance class!

There you go and I hope you enjoy these pages as much as I do! Find me on Instagram too! @andy_daze Now let’s go sweat! xoxo

My 10 Favorite Ways to Use Coconut Oil

So I know this post is a little late on the coconut oil bandwagon, however I have been amazed to run into people who still haven’t discovered the incredible versatility and health benefits of this wonder oil!

As soon as I experienced all the benefits first-hand I immediately become the coconut oil ambassador of the world and have been spewing facts left and right, like how it’s high in lauric acid and how it has anti-bacterial properties and how it is the ruler of the beauty DIY world.

So I thought I would share with you my top 10 favorite ways to use coconut oil!

(Be sure to purchase organic, virgin, cold pressed oil for the highest quality!)

  1. Cooking
    • Coconut oil has a much higher burning point than other oils such as olive or grapeseed, making it a more effective choice when making stir frys and such. Plus it adds the slightest coconut flavor to your foods which makes things oh so delicious! (An amazing replacement for butter as you still get that satiating feeling without the dairy!)
  2. Butter Replacement in Baking
    • You can replace butter with coconut oil in just about any recipe with a 1:1 ratio to make your baked goods so much healthier and nice and moist (I know I know it’s a gross word but I think it’s acceptable when in reference to yummy baked goods!). This way you are getting all the heart friendly unsaturated fats and lauric acid coconut oil has to offer while slashing the not so heart healthy butter!
  3. Sunburn Relief
    • I swear by this remedy whenever I’ve had a little too much fun in the sun: shower with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser, followed by a rub down of apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad, moisturize with aloe vera gel, and then seal in the moisture and replenish the lipids in your skin with a layer of coconut oil. Your sunburn will vanish by morning! The coconut oil is particularly soothing and is really restorative for the skin!
  4. Oil Pulling
    • This is a great treatment for your oral health if you have bad breath, receding gums, or just as a way to pull out toxins from your body! It’s also been known to cure headaches and help people with depression. It even whitens your teeth as an added bonus! Just take a heaping tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes first thing in the morning or on an empty stomach. Make your breakfast or go about getting ready for your day and then when you’re done spit it out in the trash (not the sink!) and rinse your mouth out with some warm water. You can read more about oil-pulling here.
  5. DIY Toothpaste
    • Mix together some coconut oil, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, liquid stevia, and peppermint oil and you’ve got yourself some toothpaste that’s free from any icky chemicals and leaves your mouth super fresh and clean!
  6. DIY Face/Body Scrub
    • Simply mix together some brown sugar and melted coconut oil together to have yourself a delicious scrub that will purge your skin of any dead skin cells and leaving you fully moisturized and smooth! (you can add essential oils for a boost)
  7. Personal Lubricant
    • So….I’m going there. But most of us do the “deed” and have you ever read the back of a lube bottle?! It’s a bit horrifying to be putting so many chemicals up in your lady/man bits. Switch out that yucky lube with some coconut oil for your play time! (Health PSA: Coconut oil DOES NOT work with latex condoms.)
  8. Rashes/Bug Bites
    • Coconut oil is anti-bacterial which makes it a wonder for healing things such as pimples, bug bites, rashes, or any sort of fungal skin condition. Just slather it on straight from the bottle!
  9. Smoothie Booster
    • Adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your smoothie gives it a healthy fat boost, making you feel more satiated! Plus it has been shown that eating a tablespoon of coconut oil a day actually helps keep your stomach flatter! Eating fat DOES NOT mean you will get fat people. Just make sure you’re eating healthy ones!
  10. Hair Mask
    • Heat up about 1/4 cup of coconut oil until melted and warmed through and apply to dry hair. Focus on massaging the scalp and roots and then work your way through your strands and focus on the ends. Leave on for 15-30 minutes and shampoo/condition to reveal incredibly smooth and shiny hair!

So there you have it! 10 ways to use coconut oil in your everyday life. Hopefully some of these will help you make a step towards leading a healthier and happier life!

Post in the comments below your favorite ways to use coconut oil!

Dance Obsession of the Month: Matthew Tseng

 

 
I have a new-found love for Matthew Tseng and all of his absolutely gorgeous choreography. He’s based out of LA and frankly he is incredible. It doesn’t hurt that he has some of the most talented and beautiful dancers in all of his videos either! This video he made to ASTR’s “Operate” is BEYOND fierce and the music just makes the sass in me ooze out!

Okay okay I’m being a little dramatic, but give this a look-see and then tell me you didn’t watch it 30 times on repeat like I did. 😉